Impact of my visit…
My name is Daléne and I am the newest member of the RII team in North America! Working as Stewart and Chantal’s assistant over the last 18 months has given me deep insight into the amazing ministry work that they and the RII team do in Belarus, Israel and India. I never quite understood the enormity of it all until my husband and I recently took a trip to Minsk, Belarus. During our visit we were invited into the homes of some of the Holocaust Survivors that we serve. The RII team impacted me deeply with their hearts of service. They truly are the heart, hands and feet of Yeshua. They go daily and provide companionship, food, care and help with basic day to day chores.
I don’t believe I have ever seen such self-sacrificial service in all my life. More than that, my heart was overwhelmed by the love that each of the Holocaust Survivors had for the team and the praises they spoke about Stewart and Chantal Winograd. This kind of love is supernatural, it is beyond what anyone could imagine.
Personal Tour with Maya…
On January 29th we were honored with a personal, guided tour of the Minsk ghetto, with Holocaust Survivor, Maya. With the temperature well below freezing, and a windy, gloomy day looming, it was fitting for the recollection of her experiences at the ghetto during the Holocaust.
We stood by the “the pit”. Maya shared that approximately 100,000 Jews were in the Minsk ghetto.
As we stood there in the bitter cold, Maya described how many, many innocent people had died. Her mother and sister were hung on gallows at the edge of the ghetto as an example to others. She pointed out the location of where this took place and my heart ached. She explained how they were labelled by the Germans. They had nothing, no food to eat, no water to drink, no electricity… nothing.
So Much Loss…
As we moved to a different part of the ghetto she told us that she grew up in a very large family, and had lost 62 family members during the Holocaust. She pointed to the trees and explained that it was where her little sister was buried. She shared the details about how they were hiding one day. Her mom was holding her baby sister, 9 months old, and she started crying. She was concerned that the Nazi’s would hear her crying and expose all of them. Her mom put something over her mouth and held her tight against her chest. Once the Nazi’s were gone they looked and saw that their baby sister was dead, she had suffocated. They had to bury her there.
We Don’t have much time…
I could go on for hours sharing about the life of this very precious lady an all the heartbreaking details. This brief overview, provides a glimpse of how much she and so many other survivors endured, how much they suffered….
The reason why I am sharing this with you today? We don’t have much more time left to bless these amazing and often forgotten people. They need to know that we are here for them, and willing to help them in whatever way we can.
Before you think that you don’t have much to give, please consider that most people in Belarus live on a family income of $300/month, so any amount you contribute to helping us care for them will impact their lives. It brings to mind the story in the Bible of the widow with the two mites. It is not about the amount you give, it’s about heart and attitude. Whether you can commit to $5 or $5,000 a month, it will make a huge difference in our ability to continue to serve them.
The Time is Now…
I want to appeal to you to please prayerfully consider committing a monthly donation to help Holocaust Survivors. Ask the Lord what He would have you do. If you are unable to offer a monthly donation, then please pray diligently that each of these precious survivors, like Maya, would come to know the love and salvation of Yeshua.
You can click here to make a monthly commitment or offer a one time donation to help all the Maya’s in Belarus and Israel who need to know they are loved, cherished and remembered: https://reachii.org/donate/
Thank you so much for your time. May God richly bless you.