Wow! What an opportunity! From minute one of day one....a fabulous experience! The staff, the other mission team members, the staff, the orphans...off the charts awesome!
That tells you I had a great time, but what I saw and experienced made it real! The planning, the investment, the leadership , the attention to detail....all that coupled with care, compassion, flexibility and constant exposure to new things. Orphan's tree didn't just invite me to come and give, they invested in me..gave me opportunity after opportunity to engage the orphans and the staff at the ministry center and the dacha and to learn. The interpreters were very competent and attentive. They were always present but not in an "in the way" manner. So helpful, patient and willing to teach! They knew I needed help before I did and would mysteriously show up on my left shoulder or at my right elbow and were ready to assist. The MC staff were on top of things....food prep, scheduling, classes, trips, etc. We had great conversations about their perspective on everything from Russian life to Religion. I've got the orphans in my heart and on my prayer list. My heart is with each one. I hope to see them each again, but I may never be able to, so with tears of loss and joy, all in one, I lift them to the Father. Such beautiful growing men and women with unique backgrounds that will help design and construct their future.
I'll conclude this by saying, I left part of my soul in Russia and I carry about 30 new people in my heart...16 of them are orphans by earthly standards but they've a great Father above that knows them personally and Orphan's Tree made it possible for me to meet them. Spasibo!
I traveled with Orphans Tree to the Kostroma Ministry Center, to work at the Graduates Camp for kids coming out of Orphanges or the Foster System to go College or Technical school. This is my second trip... I’m always amaze how something seems to happen that says yes I’m glad I came. I want to focus on one of these... the connections we make... This year I got to reconnect with a couple of kids I connected with last year. One of the Boys had really gotten involved with volunteering his time... I was really please and proud of him for the volunteer work he had been doing through the Ministry Center, however I also found out that he had struggle his first year at school... Missing a lot of classes! The team at Ministry Center is amazing and is always there for the kids and have come along side to make some suggestions to him about returning to the orphange for a year to give him time to regroup. But he chose to move to a different Tech school. I got to talk with him about his volunteer work and how proud I was of him and how I had been hearing good things about him. But I also was able to talk with him about the importance of school and balancing his time between volunteering and getting his school work done. At first he seemed a little defensive... he’s the type that doesn’t like to be told what to do, however I made the comment that I knew he could do much better and he relaxed and agreed. I promise him I would check up on how he was doing and he was receptive to this and seemed happy that I would do so. I think he was happy to know that some one else cared... The point... nurturing connections we have made... it’s these little connections we make that I hope that God will use to change these kids lives... to draw them to Himself.
At Orphan’s Tree I’ve consistently found incredible, compassionate, dedicated, kind and loving volunteers who freely and generously give of their time, talents and resources to help young orphans in Russia.
Orphan's Tree is a wonderful nonprofit making a huge impact in the lives of Russian Orphans. I have had the privilege of volunteering with Orphan's Tree in two of the ministry centers and it was a life changing experience. I had no idea how much they do for the young adults who have grown up in orphanages. I fully support them and am currently in the process of planning another trip with them!
Orphan's Tree Ministry is a perfect outreach for my husband and I to partner with. We both grew up in large families and know the value of children and community. Although, we've never traveled to Russia, there are plenty of ways to be involved with Orphan’s Tree locally. It is a grass roots ministry where they know us by name and in turn, they know and care for our family. We share the global vision that every child is worthy of love! Orphan's Tree is committed to loving children well!
My husband and I just returned home from a trip to Russia with Orphan’s Tree. From the beginning of planning nearly a year ago until now, our experience has been wonderful. Not only do we believe we completed the purpose of the trip, to support staff at Orphan Tree’s Ministry Center’s acclimate aging-out orphans to their new home in a large city technical school, but we felt very prepared for the trip’s potential challenges. Conference calls with our more experienced team members, numerous emails from the CEO, articles and books provided by a board member all helped us prepare our minds and hearts for the trip. Finally, the last couple days of the trip provided us with the opportunity to tour Moscow, eat traditional food, and see the Kostroma Ballet! The only unknown about our trip is how the young people we met will respond to the opportunity to complete school If they all do well, I will feel this trip has been perfect. Our hope is that we will get the chance to travel with Orphan’s Tree on a regular basis.
I recently traveled to the Kostroma Ministry Center to help with the orientation camp. My favorite part was making crafts with the teens. It was fun to discover that Russian teens are a lot like me and my friends. We spent time teaching the teens how to spend their money wisely, have good hygiene and cook. I'm glad I got to go and I would love to go back again!
This organization reaches vulnerable young adults as they are thrust into the world as they age out of Russian orphanages with few skills to navigate. They provide support, training and love so that the orphans will not feel alone.
I’ve been volunteering with Orphan’s Tree since year 2000. The reason I stay involved is because no one takes better care of needs of orphans than Orphans Tree.
They are well organized with specific goals in mind, no donation is wasted and both the lives of Americans and orphans are being changed.
If you ever wondered why you are on this earth, you will find out as you serve “the least of these,” through Orphans Tree.
I went on a mission trip with this organization and the work they did was amazing. Kids come out of orphanages never having made a meal or a dentist appointment. There's no place for them to go to learn basic life skills. Orphan's Tree guides them and gives them a safe place. These young adults are loved and accepted by Orphan's Tree. It was fun to see the amazing success stories that come from their work. I can't imagine an organization spending their money more wisely. They truly put their heart in to their work and make a difference in the lives of orphans and that impacts future generations as well. Your support will make these kids better parents, more employable and happier, healthier members of society.
I went on a young mom’s trip with Orphan’s Tree to help young Russian mothers, who were orphaned themselves, not repeat the cycle of abandonment. Being a young mom is hard under the best of circumstances. Orphan’s Tree helps young moms by coming alongside them and teaching them practical skills of everyday life, such as shopping, cooking, budgeting, and how to love well. They are changing lives for generations to come!
Orphans Tree is a great organization. Their staff is the best very friendly and helpful. Orphan tree gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I absolutely loved my trip to Russia. The work they are doing in Russia is great. They are giving kids the opportunity to make something of their lives. The kids are so appreciative! Keep up the good work
I totally enjoyed my second trip to Russia with Orphans Tree ministry. Our mission was to teach English to Orphan grads and build relationships with the grads and our team and encourage involvement with the ministry centers. You couldn’t help but be impressed with the grads’ interest and determination to learn English. Some even gave up their break times for extra practice with fellow students. Equally impressive is the dedication of the staff of each of the ministry centers to the success of their students. I love how they talk of their students’ accomplishments with great pride and take every opportunity to build up the grads within their hearing. The dedication of this staff is evident in their passion when they talk about the programs that their centers offer and when they talk about their dreams of the future. You come home from these trips with not only love for thé grads that you have worked with but also for the staff that pours their lives into these young people day after day.
God's love transcends any language barrier or cultural difference. That became very evident on a recent mission trip several of us took to Russia to serve young adults who have aged out of Russia's orphanage system.
Working alongside the former orphans, spending time with them, sharing photos, exchanging thoughts and ideas, eating and sightseeing with them, we formed bonds that span the ocean. The young people we spent time with ranged from age 17 to about 30.
The trip left an indelible impression. To see Christ's love at work in and through my travel companions, as well as the young adults, translators, and the nonprofit organization we worked with (Orphan's Tree) was a blessing beyond measure.
It was exciting to see firsthand what Orphan's Tree does in Russia, and the young lives being impacted. Orphan's Tree focuses on the needs of orphans in Russia at the critical time when they age out of orphanages and begin to transition into adulthood. You can see God's hand at work through the organization. What an amazing experience! I came home from Russia filled with thoughts, impressions and the desire to return someday.
I recently heard a friend say, "out of so many needs in this world, my heart still goes out to orphans." Here in America, we don't think of orphans anymore. And we don't think of orphans who were never adopted. In Russia, they still have orphanages, and they have orphans who are not adopted. Wow, the hurt of these poor people. Orphan's Tree helps these late-teenager/early-adult orphans by helping them adjust to the real world. I am so impressed with Orphan's Tree. They help these boys and girls learn social skills, how to find jobs, how to be a parent, and more. I am thoroughly impressed with this organization and their niche. I have volunteered for this ministry and continue to be amazed at how the lives of these unadopted orphans have turned around because of Orphan's Tree. Thank you for caring, Orphan's Tree.
I went with a team to Russia this past summer where we interacted with young adults who had grown up in Russian orphanages. We led seminars on entrepreneurship and family life, painted a room, insulated a small building, worked in a garden, helped with animal husbandry at a sheep farm and wool mill, and gave out shoes and clothing. Most important, we spent quality time establishing friendships and getting to know the needs of these wonderful and promising young people who have no family support to get them started towards productive and happy lives as adults. The trip was extremely well-organized, educational, enjoyable, and fulfilling.
I just got back from a two week experience visiting the orphanages and ministry centers that Orphans Tree supports, and cannot express how impressed I am with their entire staff. It's inspiring and encouraging to see God working through these people, and I can't wait to go back next summer to continue to support the ongoing work that is happening through Orphans Tree. They are truly changing lives, and I'm thankful I was able to witness that firsthand.
I recently attended a trip to Russia with Orphan's Tree and was blown away by seeing the effects that this ministry has-- both in the lives of older orphans in Russia and with the staff who work alongside them. George was an incredible trip leader and his heart for this population of people and the long term benefits that this ministry has had because of its continued involvement in a variety of ways was completely evident in what I experienced in the 10 days that I was in Russia. THANK YOU, Orphan's Tree, for your ministry!
After traveling with Orphans Tree, I cannot recommend this organization more. They are faithful, detailed and thoughtful in their work with older orphans. I was privileged to get to join the work they are doing to support young people in Russia as they age out of the system at 15. Their staff, both stateside and abroad are conscientious and dedicated. I had the chance to offer from my area of expertise and learn so much about the history, people and stories of Russia.
Orphans tree is doing consistent, "boots on the ground", work with older orphans in Russia. Their committment to relationships, as well as meeting physical needs is refreshing. George Steiner has been investing his time in this population for over two decades. The heart of this ministry is clear, and easy to support.
I had a fabulous experience with Orphan Tree! My team and I had the opportunity to visit three ministry centers in Vladimir, Ivanovo, and Kostroma. We had lots of opportunities to interact with the Orphan Graduates and to learn and share with them. It was amazing to hear about all the experiences. Though many of their backgrounds are difficult, it was clear that Orphan Tree and the various Ministry Centers were a great influence on their lives. For many of them, they considered the Ministry Centers like a home, with people who could give them love and guidance.
Its exciting to see all the great things that Orphan Tree is doing! I hope that I can partner with Orphan Tree again in the future!