New Experiences With Lutheran Communities in Siberia

Sailer, Bishop Volker E. "New Experiences With Lutheran Communities in Siberia." Volk auf dem Weg, December 12, 1999.

Translation from German to English and adapted by Alice Morgenstern, Munich, Germany

At the annual meeting in Omsk an account was given of the enterprises in the Eparchy: Ural, Siberia and Far East and how gifts and donations from abroad were distributed. The members in Omsk and the friends in Germany should know what is being done and how they can help in the future.

- Provisions in care packages were distributed among families and persons in need. At the moment there are 94 families to be looked after, refugees from Kasachstan. (There is an increasing amount of migration from Kasachstan to Southern Siberia)

- After the last hard winter some people were forced to eat up their seeds in order to survive. ELKRA helped in spring and now tries to see to it that such a calamity won't happen again.

- In September they had second hand clothing and shoes to give away and planned an auction to go on for a fortnight. It took them only one afternoon, even before the auction was made public - people needed the things so urgently.

- Orthopedic appliances and wheelchairs were being loaned.

- At the beginning of school term book and other educational material was given to schools and childrens' home, together with satchels and shoes for the children. The teachers got material for their lessons and writing utensils.

- Gifts of book and Bibles were much appreciated.

- Visits were organized to the following institutions: of drug addicts and aids-patients, invalids from the Second World War, Afghanistan, Tchetchenia, to refugees from countries last named, houses for street-children and children prisons, to a psychiatric hospitals and TB-sanatorium (There are 42,000 people in Omsk who suffer from TB), to orphanages, hospitals and refugee camps.

- Help was provided when a house burnt down or a cow was stolen (often the only subsistence for a family).

- Money was given for spectacles and dentures.

- A German businessman saved an orphanage with the sum of DM 100,000. That means that 120 children and 80 workers can remain there. Otherwise they would have been turned out.

- An increasing number of problems are caused, however, by the customs.

- There is a need for more helpers with an open heart and clear head.

Our appreciation is extended to Alice Morgenstern for translation of this article.

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