International Ministries

Child-less & Catching Fire in Belarus

September 24, 2012 Journal
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Dear friends and family,

Many greetings from Prague, the center of Europe. We just returned from Belarus, it is a beautiful country. We made a record regarding our waiting time at the border. We waited for 11 hours (arriving 5 pm at one side, and leaving 5 am at the other side with one hour time-change)! we had very hot days traveling in our camper.


Almost as early as the first year that we were commissioned as missionaries (12 years ago), we have heard about Kobrin camp. This camp has been on our hearts ever since. Many children are (still) effected by one of the worlds largest nuclear disasters known by its relatively nearby location ‘Chernobyl’ have attended this camp. Still this ministry is hosting some children born with disabilities, due to that disaster. During the summer this center hosts about 1,200 children in camps of 200 at a time every two weeks. Some of the children coming from villages received dental attention at the camp, that they otherwise they would not have. Some of the children are parentless.

The camp has a new facility for elderly ladies (babushkas) that are children-less. Some of these babushkas have dedicated their life to serve others in different ministries. Now there is nobody to take care of them, and this camp center has opened the ‘house of mercy’ for hosting them, and caring for them. One of the babushkas that we visited is 98 years old. If you would like to participate in helping with the camps for children or helping with the babushkas , please contact us. They are specially in need for help during the summer.


When we were in the south of Belarus, we visited a church that has been totally renovated some years ago. They were praying for the renovation, since the structure of the building was very fragile... the answer to their prayer came through a very unexpected situation. They were having a cleaning day, church members were cleaning the building and they asked a young new believer that had just came off of drugs, to destroys some papers. This young guy initially forgot, but burned the papers later, when the season had become hot and dry, so with sparks flying high, the roof caught fire. The only part that remained was the basement. They gathered there for some time and the rain was leaking into the basement. When they reviewed the records of the prayer request booklet for the renovation, they saw that the last entry before the fire was this prayer request. They saw this as an answer from their petitions and started the renovation that lasted long difficult years. Now the church building is completed and the young man has become a pastor.

As we were walking in the evening near this church, our daughter Norita started to have a strong pain in her stomach. We were in a group walking together with the pastor as one in the group pointed to the moats and wall that were built to prevent Napoleon on his march to Moscow. The pastor, and one lady from the church took us to emergency room at the city’s hospital. This lady stood with me (Nora) all the time, even after midnight. And despite of not understand each other languages (since she was only speaking Russian), she was with me during the examinations and tests. As her eyes were fixed on me, I could see her eyes full our mercy and love. For me she was like an angel that God sent. She was a reminder that God loves me and He takes care of us. I am thankful that our God provides and comforts us in all circumstances.

In His Hands,
Nora & Pieter Kalkman

Belarus volunteer opportunities (Ask us for details): Renovation of small Gypsy church in small town in the South Finishing church construction in small town in the West Team of 4 persons to put tiles in a multifunctional building of a church in the South-East Sport teams for a church in the capital

Please ask us for more volunteer opportunities all over Europe.