In all of my experiences, one theme has stuck in my head, has burned within my heart, and made more sense to me than any other. It is the theme that Young Life, a Christian outreach for youth, stands upon. It simply states that you must win the right to be heard before you should begin to share with others what is most meaningful to you.
I have been told that talking about God in the government orphanages in Ukraine is against the law. The children may go to church in the city, but preaching on the property is not allowed by law. For the past seven years, my organization, MUCH, has been meeting the humanitarian needs of these children. We have won the right to be heard. But how can we capture the attention of the children on the orphanage grounds, to get them to join us at church, off the orphanage grounds.
Last September, MUCH started a Drug and Alcohol Prevention program at the orphanage. Olga, from the charismatic church in Marganets, meets with the children once a week during the school year with this program. This summer, the youth from the Baptist church in Marganets began to visit the children, starting with a concert. These two representatives are building relationships with the children. They are living examples of Christian character for the children to follow.
In the Ukrainian orphanage system, the children are all lost souls, broken hearts and minds, waiting for true direction, for someone to reach out to them and care. It is unfortunate that so many are reached out to by the wrong people, people of crime, prostitution, drugs, and control. In Matthew chapter nine, Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
It is a long process, but we are seeing the children respond to our love for them. I have personally seen eight children from the orphanage system attend church during my visits. They are hungry for answers. They are young minds wanting to be filled with good thing. They are the plentiful harvest, waiting…