Belarusian Church launches first “bus of mercy” in Brest

Brest, Belarus, August 20, 2019   

The Brest Diocese of the Belarusian Orthodox Church launched a new charitable project on Sunday—a mobile mission that will bring help to the needy.

Following the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop John of Brest and Kobrin celebrated the rite of consecration of the new “bus of mercy,” which will be the faithful assistant of the Orthodox “Mercy” service for years to come, reports Online Brest.

The new mobile charity service is the first such project in Belarus.

The Orthodox Mercy charitable foundation has been helping the poor and needy in Brest for several years already, fulfilling the Lord’s commandment to love our neighbor. The service began with a handful of volunteers from the Orthodox brotherhood of the local Church of St. Nicholas feeding the homeless on weekends with their own funds.   

Abp. John later blessed the service to expand to a daily operation, with the six main churches of the city providing food one day a week, while the original brotherhood continued to cover Sundays.

The food was initially transported by the volunteers’ personal vehicles, though a minibus was recently purchased with funds raised over the course of a year in all churches of the Brest Diocese. Now the “bus of mercy” delivers food to the homeless daily and also provides clothing, shoes, medicine, and other items, in addition to assistance with legal documents and medical examinations.

The Novosibirsk Metropolia of the Russian Orthodox Church also operates a “bus of salvation” that offers a warm place for the homeless during the harsh winter nights.

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