I’m thankful for the many who have been interested in what YOU can personally do to live out love, to exercise “pure religion,” as James labels in his epistle, by caring for orphans and widows in their distress.
Here are some options:
1. Host a child for Christmas. Paulina, Katya’s buddy…
and Olia and Julia, Luda’s children …
… and Mira and Yara, precious cutie-pies …
…are probably all available for hosting through Frontier Horizon over the Christmas Break.
We would love to see them in the Charlottesville area, but really, we would love to see them hosted anywhere. How does hosting benefit the children? Doesn’t it just stir up their hearts for a life they may never have? This is a common concern. Our thoughts and experience with Katya lead us toward a different view. By being in a loving, caring family they get a vision of what “family” is really like. Sometimes hosting families ARE interested and ready to adopt, but often they’re not. Sometimes these children go back to Ukraine and DON’T get adopted, but they have had a transformational experience which will give them a hope and a future beyond life in the orphanage. Somebody in the world cares about them, prays for them, is personally interested in them. Sometimes they are hosted by one family, but meet another family that is ready to move forward with adoption. Sometimes they are not even available for adoption, but hosting gives them vision and inspires them to rise above their surroundings, fix their eyes on the eternal, and NOT become another statistic. Perhaps you’re not in a position to actually host, but would like to financially provide for these children to be hosted. Personally, we’d love to have all of these girls with us for Christmas, so if you’d like to provide the financial support for us to host any or all, we’d accept.
2. Individual Sponsorship. Here’s how you can help the children who are NOT available for adoption. With the guidance of Vinny Rosini or Maggie Scobie, choose a child or two to target. You could choose children you have seen on THIS BLOG. Through Frontier Horizon, you can do a variety of things – provide for children’s individual needs, provide weekly tutoring in their schoolwork, give them English lessons which provides them with a “leg up” in Ukraine, and more. You could also target a promising young man or woman who is about to “graduate” from the orphanage system and help them transition to life outside the orphanage, pay for their housing, pay for their college education, etc. ANY amount of money personally directed to a child or young adult will help them.
3. Come on a trip to Ukraine. See firsthand, with Vinny and Maggie, the life these kids experience in Odessa. With Vinny and Maggie you’ll get into orphanages, meet kids, meet orphanage directors and be able to get a hands-on experience to help you discern what your role is in caring for orphans and widows in their distress. We can honestly say that when you enter an orphanage, you will forever be changed.
4. Provide Christmas Wish Help. By giving just a little money, you can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child. You can provide for them basic needs – a sweater, boots, a hat – and also give them the opportunity to CHOOSE something that they would really like. Choice is quite the commodity for most of these kids who NEVER are able to choose something they would really like.
5. Contribute money for Yuri’s corrective surgery. Yuri was set on fire by older street kids and needs $4000 for reconstructive surgery. You can read his story here and get information on how to contribute for his medical needs.
6. Contribute money for a Greenhouse Project. Here’s one that I LOVE. This project teaches farming skills, provides a more nutritious diet, and meets some of the financial needs of the orphanage.
7. Send sweaters to me for boys aged 8 – 16 years. My facilitator, Alyona, and her husband Slavic, are connected with a ministry that goes to VILLAGE orphanages and provides these children with a message of the gospel as well as their practical needs. While I’m home for our waiting period, I will be gathering boys’ sweaters to bring back to Slavic to give to boys who are in a detention center. If you would like to send boys’ sweaters to me, leave me your email address and I will give you my mailing address. They will need to be at our house by Tuesday, November 3rd so that I can get them packed for my return trip.
8. PRAY!!!!! This is last on my list, but is the MOST important. PRAY for these children that God will establish in them a HOPE and a FUTURE that doesn’t make sense in the day-to-day reality of their lives. PRAY that individuals will come alongside them and demonstrate personal interest in them and inspire believe in them that they are made in the IMAGE of GOD and are INNATELY valuable. PRAY that people will HEAR God’s call to care for orphans and widows in their stress and lay aside lesser things for the eternal JOY of practicing PURE religion in the site of God.
Meanwhile, here I am, in Apartment #43 at Odessa Embassy Suites. Katya has fallen asleep on the cot beside me after a full day of “Mama and Papa” time. My heart is full when I consider the great privilege the Lord has given us, and yet my flesh is weak. So, please, as you pray for ALL the children, pray for one KATERYNA …
and her Mom and Dad.
We need it as we strive to fix our eyes on Jesus, who for the JOY before Him endured the cross, scorned its shame, and now lives to intercede for us.