Русский | "Orthodox Churches in Northern Manchuria" Harbin, 1931, pg. 23-24
English Translation by Igor Radev

House of Mercy

Head of the House
of Mercy, Bishop Nestor

In one of the more tranquil, quiet corners of Majiagou, almost purely Russian in spirit, the House of Mercy is placed on Battalion Street. The House of Mercy is also very quiet, and this spirit is probably more prevalent here than in some other places. However, behind the tranquility of the hospice, a vibrant and intense life is hidden.

Here, calmly, almost unnoticeably, just like the wheat in the fields, children's souls are growing and coming of age — fifty two orphaned girls. Also, here, like candles slowly burning down, live many old men and women, sick people, who were left behind in the life race.

Gate at the entrance
to the House of Mercy

The children are being educated, so they attend school. They study the same subjects we all went through during high school, with the exception maybe of English, that international language of modernity, as well as some other things, which we haven't studied in our days, but are nevertheless useful in a person's life. In the iconography and painting studio attached to the House of Mercy, the girls are working and by their children's hands the beautiful images meant to adorn the church are being created. Having in mind how many icons, how many churches have been destroyed in their native country, it seems that in the future they will have a lot to do. They will be needed by our Motherland. The headmistress of the House of Mercy, who had received numerous awards both in Russia and in Harbin for her handiworks, teaches the girls to make wonderful embroideries. In the kitchen, the children are taught cooking, and in their spare time, they play in the small garden belonging to the House of Mercy.

Children of the orphanage
by Bishop Nestor

In these horrible, difficult times, which we are now experiencing, maybe it is most hard and frightening for such unlucky and disadvantaged people living in hospices. The maintenance of the House of Mercy isn't cheap — around 1500 local dollars (yuan) per month, and nowadays it is ever more difficult to find money.

The protégés of the House of Mercy with every passing day are becoming more and more numerous. People almost every morning come in throngs at the doors of Bishop Nestor's apartment with their petitions, which are so varied but at the same time so similar, insofar they all speak of distress, need and despair. However, day by day the funds are growing thinner, so the means to help these unfortunate people are less and less available. Destitute children, who are to be found everywhere on the streets, on the pavements, near the fences, in the inns, are now in their hundreds, and almost all of their names are contained in the enormous pile of petitions on Bishop Nestor's table, within the lines written with tears and blood by the mothers themselves, or sometimes the fathers too, and more often by good people, who are not able to be of sufficient help themselves and cannot keep silent. All of these people are asking assistance for the children, and also the eyes of the children brought to the House of Mercy speak of indescribable suffering and hardship, and are therefore in need of compassion and kindness.

With guests at the church festival,
House of Mercy. Among the guests:
Trustee of the shelter GD Antipas,
Fr. P. Christmas, Fr. N.
Voznesensky and SG Zhalnin

If there is within us faith in God, if we truly love our Motherland, then we shouldn't forget even for a second the unfortunate children of our city. In these terrible times, through which we are living now, it is not only out of our superfluity we should give assistance. Each of us is obliged to share with the children our own loaf of bread, share all of our livelihood, since only with our tireless help of each other, the care for the growing children, we can preserve our Motherland and her sacred culture for the future generations.