I returned home Monday, and wanted to drop you a note of thanks for your continued prayers for our efforts in Ukraine. We (remember my friend Anita came along for this trip), had a very good visit with orphanage directors, and the hospital administrator. Our trip started a little bumpy, but God opened many doors, and the path was smooth.
Our first ‘stop’ was Kyiv, where I met with some contacts concerning purchasing clothing. We placed an order, but later canceled it, due to a cost increase, that were not notified prior to. We then traveled to the region that we are working, where we were met by church members who had a ‘trailer’ for our luggage. We traveled back and forth daily from village to city with Victor (who goes to the Bible school there). Since we canceled the order for the clothing in Kyiv, I spent the 4 days going a major shopping spree! I searched out prices and vendors who would give us a discount for bulk orders. I very BIG thank you goes to the sisters (Lynn and Linette) and especially to their translator, who without her, we could NOT have accomplished our goal. We were able to find a vender who was willing to give us a discount, and we purchased most of the clothing from her. Additionally, we ordered 25 musical crib mobiles, and 8 basketballs and 6 soccer balls (for the village schools). By Thursday we had much of what we needed to start delivery.
On Wednesday, I spent time at the orphanage, and the director and I had a wonderful visit. She graciously allowed us to give the toys and gifts to the children, and photograph their joy. Anita and I were able to spend time with the children, especially the little ones (18 months – 2 1/2). They are still in need of a hot water heaters, and I will be working on the purchase and installation of this, when I return in the winter. I had some difficultly with translation, and didn’t want to ‘tackle’ the hot water heater without proper understanding. We brought gifts for the director, and the workers, thanking them for their continued work efforts with these wonderful children. Overall, things went very well, and they are looking forward to my return. Also, while in the village, each evening we had Bible study. Though very tired, we looked to the scriptures for encouraging words on, striving for Godliness, being taught – who is teaching you – who are you teaching, preserving through difficult situations, the Beatitudes, and the story of Mary and Martha. I do not know how the lessons ‘came across’, as translation was somewhat questionable, but I’m prayerful that I was able to communicate something effectively. We are so very grateful for the wonderful hospitality that the people of this tiny Ukrainian village gave to us.
Thursday was delivery day! We started early, and were off to pick up items ordered. Then off to the orphan hospital, where we were greeted warmly and enthusiastically. It is always very sad to see the babies and conditions they live. But the hospital director seemed very pleased with the crib mobiles, clothing and toys. We are still searching for bulk prices on medicines, and will address this in the next month. We brought gifts of cheese for the workers, and a special gift for the director and all seemed pleased. We were invited back, whenever we are in Ukraine.
Friday, was another big delivery day. We headed for the orphan shelter, and gave out clothing, balls, art supplies, and toys for the 87 children there. The director and workers seemed obviously pleased and a big thank you goes to Lynn and Linette for continuing this relationship and nurturing it. We have sent several boxes of clothing designated for the orphanage, so that the children will have clothes and Lynn and Linette will take the clothes over upon their arrival. There is still a need for larger clothing, which we will send. The director graciously invited us back, whenever we were in Ukraine.
Additionally, we went to an orphanage in this region, and met with the director. When I was there before the director was not there, thus an introduction and explanation of who I was and what the organization is was necessary. The director understood, ‘His Kids (translated, ‘children’) Too!, and was pleased we came. We received a warm greeting, and had a good meeting with the director. We were invited back anytime we are in Ukraine. We sorted the toys by age group, and the huge bag of clothing needed to be labeled and then the children would receive it. We then went room by room and hung the mobiles (which the children just loved), put toys in the ‘playroom’, and visited with the children. It was a very nice visit, and I look forward to returning.
Overall, through your giving, we were able to purchase many much needed things from our ‘needs list’, and have ordered other things that will be picked up by our missionary friends and delivered to the orphanage and hospital. Presently, 12 (this is all the director feels they need) baby walkers are ordered, diapers are forthcoming, medicines are being searched for and a supplemental juice program is being coordinated.
We ended our trip by returning to Dzerzhinsk to spend time with the church there and had the wonderful joy of seeing Natasha be baptized! Then off to Kyiv, where Anita and I took in some sight-seeing of Kyiv. I had some business meetings with a friend and had dinner with a wonderful sister that lives in Kyiv. Overall, the trip was very good, and I believe we met most of our organization goals. I can not thank you enough for your prayers and financial help. I do hope to return to Ukraine in late January for 2 weeks to continue this work.
Please feel free to drop me a note with any questions or comments and I will let you know just as soon as I have the website complete which will be complete with photos.