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Mercy and Compassion – 1999

Report by Mrs. Raissa Kolesnikov

Dear Father Michael, brothers and sisters in Christ!

In 1999 we sent three 40-foot containers with pasta and clothing, including 952 brand new winter jackets, to the city of Electrostal in the Moscow Region. The goods were distributed in orphanages, senior citizens’ homes, the Veterans’ Society, Society of the Victims of Repression, disabled children and so on. We have letters from these organizations and citizens who received our help. Some of these letters can’t be read without tears.

We also sent a 40-foot container with medical supplies to the Children’s Hospital. We were ordered by Russia’s Customs to provide 10 descriptions for each item in this huge container. This was done, but when the container was near Moscow the Hospital’s administration were told that they couldn’t get it because it contained many supplies for operating rooms, while the departments supposed to receive our aid do not perform many operations. So we had to redirect that valuable container to Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, because our benefactor of many years, the Universal Aid Society, has good connections in the Kaliningrad customs office. The supplies were shared between four hospitals and three maternity hospitals. We received thank-you letters from all these institutions and also from the Vice Mayor of Kaliningrad.

So we had to decide how to continue aiding the Children’s Hospital which we had been helping for 10 years, and realized that at this time, the only possibility is to send money to the Hospital, and with it they will be able to buy what the ill children need. We sent $500 to the Hospital’s bank account, and received a thank-you letter signed by four doctors, and a receipt stating which medicines they bought with the money.

Apart from that, we sent 2,000 syringes and 2,000 pairs of medical gloves with two people who traveled to Russia. I would like to thank Ms. Ann Williams and Mr. Andrew Middleton for their help. I wish to thank from the bottom of my heart the choir Chor Leoni who donated $1,457 to our Group. I also thank Mr. Corky Coulis for donating $10,000 worth of medical supplies.

This year we will continue to help the Children’s Hospital. We will also send one or maybe two containers to Electrostal. Medical supplies worth $10,000 will be sent to a hospital near Ouzhgorod, we can do it for free. But first of all we would like to help the House of Mercy in Saraktash. Learn about it from our Appeal:


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Father Michael told us about the absolutely wonderful Russian priest Fr. Nicholas Stremsky and his matushka Galina, and even showed us videotape about them. In 1990 Fr. Nicholas was appointed to the town of Saraktash in the Orenburg Region of the Urals. First he restored the half-ruined church with the help of his parishioners, and then he told about organizing the House of Mercy. The couple adopted 40 children; they are not an orphanage but a family. Then they set up a shelter for some 25 old people who had no place to go. With the help of parishioners, they raise pigs and tend a vegetable garden.

Children and helpless old people continue to come to Fr. Nicholas, and he has no more room for them; he tries to continue construction of the House. So many people are in great need in Russia today, it is incredibly difficult to help them all. In the past years Fr. Michael, matushka Lena and their parishioners in Alberta put together 26 boxes oh humanitarian aid and sent them to Saraktash, with the help of the Moscow Patriarchy. They received a letter of thanks and videotape from Fr. Nicholas. This video will be shown in our church, and you will see a miracle, a podvig of real Christianity in action. You will also hear the church choir and beautiful Russian songs performed by soloists.

This is our appeal to all of you: please donate clothes that you don’t realty need, especially children’s clothes, also toys, non-perishable food items, and money, if you can.

A local chocolate factory already promised us to donate 1,000 chocolate figurines. I bought 20 pairs of shoes – it is my personal gift, plus I have many soap bars to donate. We have received $100 from Mrs. Irene Rozvaliaeff and $50 from Mrs. Ann Shishkov; with this money we bought 17 pairs of very nice rubber boots and 20 pairs of soft shoes for old women. Some money had to added from our Mercy and Compassion Fund.

I thank you all and hope that many of you will be willing to help this wonderful institution, this miracle of our days – the House of Mercy.