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Hello family and friends,

July is a hot one in Illichevsk, 90 F in the shade with high humidity. But then, everything is relative, isn’t it. I got some good exercise walking around Marganets when I visited the orphanage during the first week of July. And have I got some stories about that week! See International Riot in Marganets and Promise, Provision, and Progress. For those who don’t have access to a computer or the internet, the problems in Marganets began in a bar and were not politically related. It was all contained prior to my arrival. The other story refers to the concert that the youth of the Marganets Baptist Church gave to the children at the orphanage and the Transition Home.

While in America, I was given three sets of items to bring back to Ukraine to give to our children. I had a great time watching the enthusiasm of the children at the Transition Home. First, I gave them the stuffed animals that Jenny Renner, National Champion in synchronized trampoline competition, provided for them. Next, the picture story books written in English and Russian, from Jessie Bullock and Kate Bullock Price, captured the imagination of the children. Finally, the children from Lighthouse Christian School in Pompano Beach, Florida made bookmarks for our children. The bookmarks were filled with colorful designs and messages of love. My Marganets translator and I took pictures and videos of this great event.

My big surprise happened one evening as I was out taking a walk. There were so many militia patrolling the city, I felt quite safe. All of the sudden, a young man walked up to me and said, “Prevyet!” That means “Hi” in Russian. I replied the same. Then he said, “It’s me, Bogdan!” I made the connection, and we began to chat as we walked. Bogdan was my first translator in Marganets seven years ago. He was twelve years old at the time. We met up with his wife and his second child, six months old, and walked across town to his parents’ flat. What a wonderful evening. After a short visit, his mother, his wife, and he walked me back to my street. What an interesting evening.

Progress can be seen in different ways. MUCH has accomplished many things in the past seven years. The big building blocks have been relationships. These are the keys to progress. In Marganets, we have built relationships with the orphanage administrators, and the children. Recently, we have been reaching out to the churches to help us. The youth group concert for the children at the orphanage is what I see as GREAT PROGRESS.

Blessings of love and healing,


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