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October 8, 2015:

Who We Help
Just received a big thank you from an orphanage director in Nizhniy Novgorod for the medical equipment that FORO supplied this summer. He sent this picture yesterday. Hopefully this equipment will make life a bit easier for this child.. If you would like to help this little girl and others like her, please make a donation on-line at We have a goal of raising $15,000 before Thanksgiving. Let's see if we can do it!


September 14, 2015:

Thank you First United Methodist Church of Crown Point!
First United Methodist Church of Crown Point, Indiana ("FUMCCP") has been a faithful supporter of FORO since the very beginning. This past weekend, Mary Wurster, a freshman at Taylor University, shared about FORO's work during the congregation's "Moments for MIssions" session and her personal involvement with the organization. We are so grateful to FUMCCP for its continued support. We would love to come to your church to talk about FORO's ministry as well. Contact us to discuss a visit!


June 17, 2015:
"Russia, Tajikistan, and the Gospel of John"

The FORO team of Mary Wurster and Kendra Pinkelman are in the middle of a successful friendship trip to Russia. As always, there are interesting stories to tell. Today, before participating in a children's Bible School program, our team gave a supply of pocket size copies of the Gospel of John to their host, the pastor of a local church. But when their host looked at the booklets he said "what language is this?" Obviously not Russian as we had thought! A colleague identified the language as Tajiki...spoken in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic to the east of Afghanistan. The booklets were placed in the car as the team headed off to the Bible School program. On their way, they encountered two men on the road who appeared to be migrants. Our pastor friend stopped to inquire as to their welfare. He asked where they were from...they said "Tajikistan"! He gave them copies of the Gospel of John and, according to Mary, both men began to immediately and eagerly read it. FORO's mission is to care for orphans in Russia. While these men might not have been the likely candidates for our help, they, like all of us, are orphans in need of a father God to care for them, We praise God that FORO was in the right place at the right time to serve.


In spring 2012, FORO launched a pilot "Bible School" program at an orphanage in Solvychegodsk. The program was coordinated and funded by FORO, but presented with the help of a Russian evangelical congregation near Moscow who travelled nearly 20 hours by train to present the program for the children. Our volunteers gave up their personal vacation time to help the children. The The program involved typical "Vacation Bible School" activities, but with a Russian twist. Puppet shows, a clown, ballons, music, crafts and small group discussion time were centered around Bible stories and the presentation of the Gospel. We cannot thank our Russian friends enough for their willingness to minister to these children. FORO hopes to present a similar program next spring at another orphanage! Click here to view a slide show of program highlights!


FORO Introduced to New Orphanages!
In March 2013, FORO president, Lisa Wurster, visited three new orphanages that FORO will begin to assist. One is located in the city of Dzherinzsk in the NIzhniy Novgorod region, and two are located in Red Army City in the Moscow region. FORO continually evaluates where its resources can be effectively used based on its observations of orphanage conditions, leadership assessment, and potential effectiveness of its assistance.

FORO Mission Highlighted.
FORO's work has been highlighted in 2013 at seminars at Defiance College and at other speaking engagements. Do you know of an event, civic club, or church where FORO might be invited to present its work? Perhaps you might coordinate a speaking engagement for FORO to bring attention to the global orphan crisis in general and Russian orphans in particular. If interested, call 419-841-6971.

FORO's Work in 2013 Is Off to a Great Start!
FORO is pleased to announce that it has initiated a variety of new projects for 2013. FORO is funding a summer camp experience for children at the orphanage in Rakula-Koshensky and for orphans at a home for deaf children. We are providing musical instruments and equipment for a city orphanage so the children can form a band providing a wholesome alternative to street activity. FORO has also made a large donation to a special needs orphanage for medical equipment. Other donations have been made to another orphanage for furniture and building repairs and to yet another orphanage for athletic equipment and programs. FORO has also made arrangements to continue its support of the "What's Cooking" and for "Arms of Hope" programs with the assistance of our colleague Russian organization, Deti Nashi. The most exciting program currently under development is FORO's plan to present a Bible School program at one of our favorite orphanages. More information on this new program will be forthcoming. Thanks to all who have helped make these new projects possible. If you wish to make a financial donation to assist FORO undertake these projects, you can do so on our website. 

Journeys of Joy 2013 Informational Meetings Scheduled
Have you ever considered being part of FORO's summer visit program, "Journeys of Joy"?    If you are interested in being a mentor to a Russian orphan or helping the program in other ways, then attend an information meeting in February.  Three sessions are currently scheduled:  

February 6, 2013 – Northpoint Church, 3708 West Laskey Road, Toledo, OH 43623 at 7:00 PM        
February 17, 2013 - Trinity Lutheran Church, 4560 Glendale Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614 at 1:00PM
February 21, 2013 – McCord Road Christian Church, 4765 N. McCord, Sylvania, OH 43560 at 7:00PM
Now is the time to think about making summer 2013 the most memorable summer of your life!


FORO Friendship Trip 15 A Success
In Fall 2012, FORO representatives travelled to Russia for Friendship Trip 16.   The team visited ten orphanages, assessed status of on-going programs, met with government officials and observed first hand current needs of the orphanages where FORO works.  Much was accomplished and relationships in Russia strengthened.  For more stories about this trip and some of the children encountered, "like" FORO on Facebook to view some of our past updates.


"Jesus Loves Me..."
Journeys of JoyThat's a concept that most Russian orphans do not comprehend because they most likely have not been presented the Gospel.  And, if they have, life may have taught them that they are not loved or else they would have a mama and papa.  "Journeys of Joy", FORO's summer visit program, seeks to correct these impressions in the hearts of those children who come to America.  "Journeys of Joy 2012 "ended last week.  During their visit, the children were presented the Gospel directly through Vacation Bible School held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo.  And, they also witnessed love in action through the kindness and affection received from their hosts.  The below video, taken during Vacation Bible School, illustrates that the message FORO is trying to convey to these children is being received.  

Thanks to all who have helped FORO offer the 2012 "Journeys of Joy" program.  We are already thinking about a program for 2013.   But, this program along with FORO's other work, requires on-going financial support.  Won't you consider a donation, or arranging a speaking engagement or hosting a FORO introduction party to help?  If you want to discuss more, please contact us.  

Yes, Jesus loves these children.  They are weak but He is strong.  Yes, Jesus loves these children.  The Bible tells us so!  


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Making a Difference...One Child at a Time

For the last several years, FORO has worked with a wonderful team in Russia to implement a program called "Arms of Hope". Through this project, leading child development experts in Russia have provided training on modern caregiving techniques designed to help combat the effects of instiutionalization in very young children. Recently, our team in Russia provided a detailed report on the progress of the program. Here are some highlights:


Currently, over forty volunteers recruited from the local church are meeting with children at least twice a week at five different baby homes in the Nizhniy Novgorod region. Our team reports that at the orphanages where the program has been in place the longest, the children are responding very well to the attention they are receiving from the volunteers. The children have formed attachments with the volunteers and they no longer play without emotion, but rather with smile, attentiveness, and eye contact. At one orphanage, the children selected to participate are children with significant health concerns including children with fetal alcohol syndrome While these assignments are a real challenge for volunteers and progress is likely to be slow, it is perhaps the only therapy that these children will ever receive.


Data concerning the project is continually being collected so that scientific analysis can occur. But, the positive effects of the program are already being experienced and lessons are being learned. And, wonderful stories are beginning to emerge. In coming updates, we will share some of these stories. The "Arms of Hope" program is making a child at a time.


Thanks for helping to make this program possible.


Arms of Hope to Continue in 2012
We are pleased to report that "Friends of Russian Orphans" will be continuing the "Arms of Hope" program again in 2012 with the help of our Russian colleagues at the non-profit organization, Deti Nashi. "Arms of Hope" is one of FORO's most ambitious undertakings. Through this program, leading child development experts help train both caregivers at specific b...aby homes as well as volunteers in modern techniques concerning child development and attachment issues. The risk of cognitive, emotional and physical impairment is extremely high for children in orphanages who lack proper stimulation, contact and even human touch. Through this program, our trained team of Christian volunteers supplements the activity of the caregivers and provide one-on-one interaction with very young children. Through the consistency in interaction with the volunteers, the children in this program have a much better chance of minimizing the potentially devastating consequences attachment disorder and developmental loss.


FORO to Fund Cooking Program in Shatalovo Orphanage. 
This new project evolves from the "What's Cooking" program.  At the Shatalovo Orphanage, "What's Coking" has been so popular that a number of the youth expressed interest in pursuing cooking as a career.  But, without more training, equipment and experience this would not be possible.  FORO has stepped up and in 2012 will be establishing a cooking studio and a teacher to train these young people in cooking which hopefully will help them become self-sufficient and become employed in the future.


Pastor Timothy Carr joins FORO Board of Directors.
Pastor Tim Carr, Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio, has joined the FORO Board of Directors. Pastor Carr and his wife, Catherine, are the parents of three children and are in the process of adopting a young boy from the Arkhangelsk region of Russia whom they encountered as a result of the FORO "Journeys of Joy" program. Pastor Carr's passion for orphan care, his spiritual guidance, and his solid judgment will add a rich dimension to FORO's leadership. Thanks, Tim, for joining the team!!!


Journeys of Joy 2011
For the third straight year, FORO has arranged for orphans from the Arkhangelsk region to spend part of their summer in NW Ohio.  From July 15-August 1, nine children from the orphanage in Sol Vichgegodsk visited Toledo.  Trinity Lutheran Church served as their "bunkhouse" and the children were matched were host families who mentored and cared for the children during their visit.  The children participated in the "Big Jungle Adventure" vacation Bible school at Trinity and also visited Imagination Station, the Toledo Zoo, and the Toledo Museum of Art in addition to enjoying picnics, visits to parks, bike riding and of course, swimming, swimming and more swimming!  This program has truly been life changing for the children and their mentor families. Thanks to all who helped make it possible.


Journeys of Joy 2011 Journeys of Joy 2011



FORO Featured on TV 
FORO the the 2011 Jounreys of Joy program have been featured in several recent television news reports.  Click here to view these reports.



Academic and Health Awards Granted. 

FORO is helping the orphanage in Sol Vichegodsk promote positive life choices through academic and health awards.  This program has been developed by the new director of the orphanage.


Literary Club Receives New Books. 
The reading club at the Velsk orphanage will be receiving new books, thanks to FORO.  Literature and reading have always been an important part of Russian life but many of the books at the orphanages are old and outdated.  FORO is glad to be able to provide more contemporary selections for the children to enjoy.


FORO to Supply New Water System at Baby Home

FORO is working with a baby home in the Nizhniy Novgorod region to provide a water purifiation system.  The orphanage is located in Dzherinzsk, identified as one of the most highly polluted cities in the world.  The orphanage is home to many disabled children for whom the need for clean, fresh water is even greater. 


Orphanage Improvement Activity

FORO is working with two insitutions on much needed bathroom facilities.  At one orphanage, FORO is installing showers where currently only limited bath facilities exist.  In another location, the director has requested help in constructing partitions between the stalls in the communal bathroom.  FORO believes this is an important project in helping adolescents maintain the privacy and dignity for children whose self-esteem is frequently very low. 


New Dima Program Project

The Dima Project is FORO's medical assistance program.  FORO has agreed to fund the acquisition of two special gurneys that will enable an orphanage with many disabled children to be transferred more easily throughout the orphanage.  This may enable profoundly disabled children to get fresh air and to encounter different surroundings than they otherwise might have. 


FORO to launch "Journeys of Joy" 2011! 

After a successful program in 2009 and 2010, FORO intends to proceed with a third summer visit program this July.  "Journeys of Joy 2011" will be similar in format to the previous programs (click here).   Please pray for the success of this year's "Journeys of Joy" program.




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