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!
I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Orphans Tree during my winter break between semesters. During my time in their three ministry centers in Vladimir, Ivanova, and Kostroma I was able to witness true servant leadership from the staff in all regions. The heart they have for the grads and kids they work with is truly humbling and I was honored to be a part of their work for 12 days during my stay. The grads I talked to were extremely grateful for the opportunities they had through Orphans Tree and the skills they had been taught throughout their time there. What was even more encouraging were the grads who themselves became involved in the local programs to mentor incoming grads and kids in the centers in true disciplship. I'm hopeful to one day continue working with Orphans Tree and would encourage anyone who has the opportunity in the future to participate in the program yourself.
My last trip to Russia with Orphan's tree was amazing. I was able to see God move in the three different ministry centers we visited. He moved, in part, because of the time, effort, and hard work that Orphan's Tree staff put into our visit. In each ministry center we were able to meet Orphan Grads with unique stories and challenges, they all were inspiring. The Grads were all very thankful for all the work that Orphan's tree is doing to journey alongside them as they learn life skills and meet physical needs. Orphan's Tree is a great organization doing amazing things.
I just recently returned to the US from Russia. I cannot even begin to describe the immense gratitude I have towards Orphan's Tree for the truly amazing trip. I got to experience the most wonderful people in three very unique but equally inspiring regions. In each region the orphan graduate inspired me with their life stories through their hard work, determination to have better lives and their joy in the families they have created with their care givers, visitors and friends. I know my life has been changed for the better based on the people I have met and I truly hope to have the opportunity to travel with Orphan's Tree in the future. My heart hurts for the graduates in Russia who are looking for love and friendships with the people around them and the work Orphan's Tree is providing some help for their cause.
I recently returned home after my ninth trip to Russia. My first trip was in November of 2008. This latest trip was during the first week of October 2016. So many things have come and gone in my life in the last 8 years, however I am so grateful that my desire to continue to develop the relationships I have with the people of Russia continues to grow. During my last trip I was thrilled to be reunited with so many people whom I have come to know and love as though they were my biological family members. This is a phenomenon that I have never known until these people entered my life. When I was in Russia in January 2016, I was given the joyous news that a young man and woman whom I had met on my very first trip were going to become parents! These two amazing "kids" who are now in their early twenties were embarking on the journey of parenthood...when all they have ever been known as was "orphans".
Baby Daniil was born in early September, a healthy baby boy. When I arrived in Ivanovo I could not wait to see his sweet face and embrace his mom and dad and share with them in their joy. A brand new family! The cycle breaking in front of my eyes. All of our prayers, hopes and dreams for them as young people growing up with a daily struggle of not knowing a family of their own had been answered.
I am completely humbled to share that I was asked to become Daniil's Godmother and be present with them for his baptism while we were in Ivanovo. I wish I had the ability to describe what that meant and means to me. This isn't an honor that I ever could have imagined or even dreamed of in my life. Only God could have orchestrated my steps into this place in time. And I am so grateful that He did.
I am so grateful for Orphan's Tree and the opportunities that it provides for Graduates in Russia to dream their biggest dreams, learn what they have been told they would never know and grow into thriving, active participants in their communities and families. I am thankful to be part of this story of change and hope in Russia and to know what it means to be used by God to watch His hope come alive in hearts and lives.
The Russian people are the most warm, generous, laughter-filled and genuine people that I've ever known. The opportunity we have to learn from each other about what it means to live life to its fullest potential is only possible when we say, "Yes. I want to go. I want to be a vessel. I want to be used by God.".
Thank you Orphan's Tree for allowing all of us the opportunity to be vessels.
I first traveled to Russia in 2008. Since then I have made a total of 7 trips, 6 of them under the banner of Orphan's Tree. Working with Orphan's Tree is one of the greatest joys of my life. The heart of this organization is pouring into the amazing people of Russia and supporting them emotionally, physically and spiritually. I have great confidence in Orphan's Tree and our ability to collectively as volunteers, staff and nationals provide hope, joy, peace and laughter to the lives of our brothers and sisters in Russia.
I recently took a trip to the three regions that Orphan's Tree works in to get an overview of who they are and what they do. Coming from the US and having worked with several other similar organizations, what I was most impressed with was the quality of the staff at each of the locations that we visited. You could just tell that the staff truly cares for the young adults that they work with and also truly love what they do. It is also quite evident to me that as OT has grown and expanded, it has been important to them that everything be done with excellence. So I was very impressed with everything that I saw and can definitely say they are a great non-profit!
I traveled to three regions throughout Russia alongside of Orphan's Tree several weeks ago. Orphan's Tree is as good as non-profit organizations get. Their philosophy of ministry is one that other NPOs should look to for counsel. Their labor is effective, visible, and tangible. This quickly became apparent with each orphan "graduate" I interacted with that used the ministry centers as a place of respite. Russia is a better place because of Orphan's Tree.