Georgia – Hurt Outshines Hope

Hurt Outshines Hope

By Lorraine Grassley –
for Captain Sherry McWhorter –

The Salvation Army is working on the front lines in Georgia to feed, clothe, teach and love the lost children in the orphanages.

What if you never had enough to eat and your belly swelled up big? What if your clothes were layer after layer of unwashed hand-me-downs; your head shaved and doused with kerosene to kill lice? Children are crippled by emotional pain and loss. What can we do for these children? When will hope outshine the hurt in their eyes?

Children are Georgia’s future. Children must be front and center in all of our work, all of our humanitarian assistance, all of our loving and caring.

This office has had lot of inquiries from across the U.S. and Europe about adopting Georgian children. Unfortun-ately, the government had created numerous financial and legal obstacles that virtually eliminated all adoptions. But now, good news! The U.S. embassy will soon be processing American families who want to adopt Georgian children. The 26 families now waiting will be given priority. We can put parents in touch with the right people. Perhaps there is a child in your future! Perhaps there is a future for your Georgian child!

The Blind Shall See…

The Army’s work in the Ponitchala Village of the Blind has stirred the hearts of the local government officials, and they want this work to continue. So, a new bridge has been built, a new link between the Army and the local government in the interests of these blind people.

We serve 15,000 hot meals every day in Tblisi, and provide dry rations to 190,000 each month. Our humanitarian aid work depends on contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Due to bureaucratic hurdles, our food is running out while waiting for the next contract. With the local government, we are finding a way to continue the soup kitchen here during the weeks between deliveries. Through a gift from the Zurich Central Band, the Army can supply the food.

American donors have let us respond to special needs at the Georgia School for the Deaf in Tbilisi. This month, the Army is providing clay, fabrics, art supplies and other materials for tactile education of deaf students. With warm food in their stomachs, the blind can see the love of Christ. And with their fingertips, the deaf can hear of his great mercies.

Money, always money…

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to see Georgia move away from dependency on foreign aid. Since that is our wish also, we will be working with the USDA to provide new funding sources for development projects. In addition to food, the USDA will begin sending products for us to sell. The sales themselves will help spur the economy and provide food for people. Best of all, proceeds from the sales will then be used to introduce new, innovative projects in Georgia.

One of the new projects will be a food-for-work program, putting unemployed villagers to work on the land belonging to the children’s institutions. Crops will then be used on shares to support the facility and the farmers. When the crops are in, the system will become self-supporting.

Another exciting proposal is the development of a hostel and educational day program for child prostitutes. Girls from 11-16 now living on the streets will have a chance to get education and skills, such as sewing, to escape that life.

The goals here are the same as William Booth’s first farms, programs and factories to help the destitute and disadvantaged. All these approaches will provide hope and a future for Georgian citizens.

The first Georgians ever commissioned as Salvation Army officers have just entered their first appointment at the Samgori Outpost, soon to be a corps.

Lts. Andre and Tatiana Shkurin assumed responsibilities at the Samgori Georgian Senior Center and the Samgori Russian Senior Center. What a blessing to have national officers!

Wanted: Senders!

A few people are meant to go to foreign fields of services. Others are meant to be “senders,” who stay at home and support those who go. The goers could not go without the senders.

We do need your help, not only in Georgia but in developing countries around the globe. Don’t forget to set aside your gifts and offerings for World Services. If you want more information, ask your corps officer or territorial headquarters. Lorraine Grassley at Northwest DHQ has information on sending – or phone (206) 217-1224.

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