Dog Therapy, Kids on Motorcycles & More!

By Becky Gonzalez, Director of Global Outreach
Highlighted Global Ministry: Children’s Hospice, St. Petersburg, Russia

For 11 years, BelPres has been connected to the Children’s Hospice in St. Petersburg, Russia.  It is a palliative care institution for children and adolescents under 18, suffering from terminal illnesses those with a short life expectancy, as well as children and adolescents who suffer from potentially fatal diseases, whose recovery is possible but unlikely and whose life span can be many years.

Children’s Hospice offers active and comprehensive care, which includes the physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual spheres of aid. The basic attention is focused on providing the best possible quality of life and comprehensive care for the whole family.  They operate beautiful, comfortable facility for rehabilitation and palliative medicine. It has become a model for establishing similar health and social care services in Russia. 

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain,
but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

They had a full month of October with several exciting visitors!  Governmental officials, motor-cycle “gangs,” animals from the zoo, and a performing arts troop!  See pictures below of some exciting events from the fall.

Russia_1Russian President’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Mr. Pavel Astakhov, visited the Inpatient Facility of St. Petersburg Children’s Hospice.

Russia_2Pavel Astakhov helped one of the hospice patients, realize his dream to ride a motorcycle.  He contacted members of the biker club “Night Wolves”. Within an hour they arrived at the hospice and patients & parents immediately gathered around to sit on motorcycles and take pictures with their owners. The excited patient got fully dressed in biker’s equipment and had a ride in a motorcycle sidecar.

Russia_3A visit from the curative education and arts center “Arevik”. This center cares for children with disabilities. They arranged a wonderful concert, full of professionalism and exciting songs and dances!

Russia_4Visit from “Association for Support and Development of Canine Therapy” and the Leningrad Zoo.  Patients saw rabbits, a rooster, a boa constrictor, an owl, and even a skunk. Dog “therapists” provide love and affection to patients and families.*Note: You can help provide services like this to children in need by supporting pet therapy through the BelPres Alternative Gift Market.  Click here for the Russia area page.

For more information on Children’s Hospice, click here.

An Impact Team from BelPres will travel to Russia in May of 2015 and will visit the Children’s Hospice along with several other Russia ministries.  Contact for more information.