Old women, young mothers with babies, men and women who were drug addicts, and a couple of older, handicapped men – in total over 40 people live crammed together in a former kindergarten in a Siberian rural village near Prokopyevsk. The building is dilapidated and is barely held together by a few steel beams and steel wire. This illustrious fellowship of God’s V.I.P.s is bound together by a common factor, the deep personal needs that drew them together.

The project is led by two young, committed Russians, Ira and Evgeni. They lovingly care for these people and demonstrate their love practically, first off by offering them a place where they can live, be accepted, respected and loved. The personal history of each is as diverse as you could imagine. Together they offer a glimpse of those stranded on the fringe of Russia’s nascent society.

Through the support of the German Nehemia Team, the local church, which is responsible for the project, was able to obtain a nearby house with about 2000 m2 of living space and more than 40 rooms. The building will be gradually renovated and will offer this community of V.I.P.s a new home. In addition to living space, workshops, a kindergarten and large meeting room will be developed. The old building will become a barn for animals, such as pigs, and be used for growing vegetable seedlings. This will provide opportunities for occupational therapy. The pigsty has already been built. The Nehemia Team will aid and assist the young leaders in developing this project.

Dr. Sabine Auerochs, a paediatrician from Nürnberg and Nehemia Team member, has been working with disadvantaged children in this part of Siberia for a number of years. She goes there each year for several months to encourage and help the workers there.