At the end of August, I spent fourteen days in the village of Froonza, Crimea with a family with thirteen children, two of whom have physical disabilities. I had met fifteen-year-old Vanya six years ago. He has been in a wheelchair for the past five years and has had little or no therapy since that time. With massage and the use of a muscle stimulator that we provided, his leg swelling was reduced and he felt his leg muscles were responding to the stimulator. I’ll visit this winter to check on his progress.
Seven years have come and gone since I moved to Ukraine, most unaware what plans God had for me. He opened three doors to minister to children in two cities in the first two years. During the past five years, two of those doors have opened wider, and additional doors have opened. Marganets orphanage, our first outreach mission, has four additional ministries that we are supporting: computer, massage, music and dance, and the drug and alcohol prevention program. In the same city, we began a program to cloth children in the Transition Home. A door opened in northwestern Ukraine at the Dobromel orphanage. We began to support this program that Pastor Volodya has been operating for eight years. This year we would like to add two more hours of massage to the program in Illichevsk. The city of Illichevsk, population 62,000, has much bigger needs than we can handle, but we want to do our best to help the children.
Two years ago, we began a Christmas fund raiser to provide money for these six additional programs, to be supported on a yearly basis, instead of adding them to our regular budget. So far, we have been successful in raising the money needed to operate the programs. They touch the lives of four hundred children in some direct or indirect way.
The October newsletter will launch the 2009 Christmas fundraiser. I will detail each ministry and share some of the results from each. These children are growing beyond a maintenance level of existence. It is because of your support that we can supply what the children and staff need to enhance rehabilitation, learning and social development. We have brought them all a long way in these seven years. Let’s not drop the ball. Let’s continue to love these children through these programs of clothing, education, and rehabilitation.
There is so much need in the world, particularly for children. But how do you know what children to help? I know the children that I am to help because God shows me. If you want to help children anywhere, ask God to show you; ask Him to give you peace about what He shows you. Our children and staff are thankful to God for all that He has provided. They wait, believing that God will continue what He started seven years ago.
Blessing of love and healing,