Former DFW Resident Now Living in Russia Experiences the Blessing of Giving

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Douglas Waybourn can testify to this wholeheartedly as he experiences it first-hand since making the decision to relocate from Dallas to Russia to help orphans in need.

“What a blessing it is to give back! Not only the receiver is blessed, you are too—and maybe you receive even more!” Douglas shared. “I try to practice giving back, and at times it will require you to give up certain things. I’m thankful to the many Allies supporters who have, to help these children.”

Having grown up an orphan in Russia himself, Douglas, whose birth name is Zhenya, fully understands what it’s like for young children to be without consistent parental care and love. He was already 14 when he and his brothers were adopted by Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn and his family from Arlington, Texas.

Douglas’ work in Russia has not been confined to Orion. Recently, he travelled to an orphanage south of Voronezh. The orphanage, which is 7 hours away by car from Orion, suffers from severe neglect.

“The sole purpose of the trip was to bring joy and smiles to the children there,” Douglas recounted. “The children live just as they did during the Soviet Union: no showers, run-down housing that’s literally over 100 years old, a washing machine that dates back to the 60s. I remember these things from my early life in the orphanage, and it’s unbelievable to me that they’re still around.”

Douglas was accompanied by Sasha, a frequent volunteer who he met in a previous trip, his childhood friend Vitalik, who is based in Moscow, and others. All in all, there were eight members of the volunteer party, including two stylists who gave the children haircuts. Clothes, books, school supplies, soccer balls, a set of table tennis, and snow shovels were also distributed, along with candy—100 pounds worth of it!

“We actually had a list of what the children needed, and I thank God Allies in Youth Development was able to provide,” Douglas said. “We played table tennis and drew pictures with them. The children recognized me from last October, so they ran to meet us. Our prayer now is that there will be a volunteer group who will go there on monthly basis.”



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