Summer blog 2014

 

Hello friends of Bearers of Love, 

First of all, thank you for your concerns about our friends in Ukraine. We are touched by the many people who have asked us about the situation in Ukraine. You know by now that we aren’t going this year because our pastors in Ukraine have told us not to. They say the situation is too risky and the Canadian Travel Advisory said the same.

However, our programs continue as our workers there keep feeding the homeless, encourage drug addicts to change , bring supplies to orphans and live their daily lives in constant fear of civil war. Our work is mainly concentrated in Eastern Ukraine . Dnepropetrovsk is within striking distance of many trouble-spots.

We are now in a new phase of ministry. There are many refugees fleeing the provinces of Lugans’k and Donesk.Many, many refugees have gone to Dnepro and our pastors and friends are aiding these poor people. We have continued to send many new items that are requested. All our boxes are getting through and we are very thankful. Our financial help is also being received and 100’s of people are being fed and clothed.

We have also received some sad news that 2 pastors who were helping the refugees were shot and killed by the pro-Russian separatists. Although we didn’t personally know these 2 pastors, our hearts are broken because we strongly believe in the work they were doing. Keep praying for Ukraine and its people. We , as Canadians, are priviliged and it is our duty to help innocent people, Bearers of Love receives donations all year long. Now more than ever, let’s reach out and help our friends in Ukraine.

Thank you so much

Mike and Sue

 

 

Blog #3 July 17-22

 

Today , the 17th was special again because we visited the orphanage for handicapped children. We’ve been coming here since 2004. Many of the children are now teens and have grown so much. Many photos were taken, Pastor Yuri’s church kids put on a drama and we had special games and crafts prepared for the kids.

At noon, we visited a place where many 6-7 year old kids actually ran to us for hugs. They were dressed in their best clothing as if welcoming special guests.  It was a really  a heart-warming moment. I (Mike) spoke to the children while holding a little girl who rested her head on my shoulder. The director thanked us for the little time we were there. She said it really does make a difference for these children.

Thursday July 18:  A 5 ½ hour train-ride to Kiev in a comfortable new train. Left Dnepro with many tears and great memories. Pastor Ruslan picked us up and arrived in Korosten for supper and our stay is in a Bible College dorm with bunk beds. (I’m getting too old for this- Ha Ha) .

Friday July 19: Visited the village orphanage that we’ve been supporting. Gov’t has helped with new windows but  faucets and toilets are badly needed for Sept. We’ll support with these necessities so the 180 children will use water in a proper fashion. Off to village of Irshantz where we did a day camp. Our team members played games with the children and did crafts. Each child left with one or more gifts. We later found out that the kids told their parents about us and the parents were amazed that everything was free and gifts were provided. All part of ministry!

Sat. July 20: Family Day in Korosten. The Canadian team partnered with Freedom Jam team (Korosten) and despite 3 rain showers, families were entertained with songs, games, crafts, clowns,face-painting etc. This is something new in Korosten.

Sun July 21: Last full day in Korosten. Besides eating well, we met up with the Freedom Jam kids for a time of games and devotion. Sarah DiFrancesco gave a “from the heart” lesson on God’s never-ending love. Many responded to her invitation for salvation. Many new friendships were built and those crazy Canadians are at the end of their journey exhausted but fulfilled.

Mon. July 22: The day was spent in Kiev taking in the sights via a walking tour with our friend Vladimir. It’s a beautiful city , old European style with a ton of history. Met up with Andrei’s family (he and Tanya were at our banquet last year) . They’re doing well. Had a Ukrainian meal  together catching up with news.

Tues. July 23: Homeward bound.  Our team members were quite amazing. All 10 of us were involved with this mission trip, each according to their strength and ability. The people of the cities and towns we visited were touched by our presence. They said they were blessed and honored to have us. They should only know that it was we who were blessed and honored.

We’re home, tired but with a sense of accomplishment. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts.

God bless Canada and God bless Ukraine.!

Blog #2 July 13-16 2013

IMG_2872

Wednesday, July 17th 2013

Sat. July 13 was another hot but special day. Baptism at the river saw 23 people change their lives for Christ. Mike was honored to be one of 5 who baptized. This is an annual event for us but one we look forward to the picnic never ended-food and games. The people are fun-loving, generous and very good-natured. Finally, we rested at night.
Sunday’s 3 1/2 hr. service had everything. Worship here is very different. The singing takes on a physical aspect. People sing with passion and are never still. Matt and Michael did 3 songs and many people told us how touched they were. Daria and Bryan gave 5-7 min. testimonies and I’m sure they hit some heartstrings. Mike preached on BEING A SERVANT FOR JESUS. There was Holy Communion and a time for salvation. Then we went to Pastor Yuri’s home to celebrate his and Alla’s 22 wedding ann.(Bronze for them).We were over 40 people eating again. Ukrainian food is delicious , very tasty.
Monday was back to work, so to speak. A 3 hour ride to Krivoy Rog to see Pastor Sergei was worth the trip. We ended up at an orphanage where the boys played soccer with our guys on a very hot day. Our boys were great and have left great impressions on these young teens. There were 5-6 teens who are really spectacular players. Our girls kept busy with their girls. Our young ladies are quite a team. They feel at home anywhere and have planned the activities with Sue. Every child got a t-shirt and other gifts..Pastor Sergei loved our team and guess what? More food. We got home late but we now have more new friends. The photographer we bought the camera for took lots of pictures and will send them to us soon. His photography business is doing really well.
Tuesday we were back to the 1st orphanage (Thurs and Fri.) and we bought 18 Happy meals and 15 hamburgers for the staff. Great celebration!!! Kids were so happy but the workers were amazed that we thought of them also. They said that they are never included. They told us later that we brought love and hope to their shelter. Will definitely continue to help this place. Then in the afternoon our team members were part of the feeding program. They had the opportunity to give out part of the meal to about 30 homeless people . We saw an old broken-down house where some of the people sleep. Unbelievable! Matt and Daria left us for Kiev. From there , we bought toiletries for the 8 drug rehab residents and visited 2 centers. Bearers of Love money has renovated them and the people are living in better conditions. Met a young woman once in sex traffic . Her life has completely changed. She has gone back to school, studied law and is now a leader in her church in Kiev. She is training at the rehab and will open one through her church once her training is complete . There is always more work to be done but we are pressing on to help as much as we can.
God bless!

Ukraine Mission July 2013

IMG_2935

Saturday, July 13th 2013

July 9- 12, 2013
Dear friends,
We left Tuesday, travelled all of Wed and after a 23- hour plane and bus drive from Montreal to Dnepro, we arrived at our apts. What an adventure but that’s another story. Before we realized anything, it was Thursday . So Thursday and Friday were similar days. Out by 9:30am, over to the 1st institution of about 30 children who are in a holding pattern for 3 months. We fell in love with them. These are kids of irresponsible parents. They are taken away by the authorities for a better life in an old building with shabby grounds. However our young men played soccer with their boys and replaced 2 old torn soccer balls with a new one. Our girls did crafts indoors . The children fell in love with the team and want them to come back again. They said they will be waiting for us. We are looking into how we can help them.
Onto the 2nd orphanage(2 days also) where there were younger kids. We played games, crafts, English lessons etc. Both places wanted us back. They truly enjoyed our visits and are all waiting for our return.
We met an older couple visiting their great granddaughter at the 2nd orphanage. The old man was crying because in his 73rd year he is taking care of a 3- year- old, whose mom ( his granddaughter) was 14 when she gave birth . Their meager pension cannot allow their great-granddaughter to live with them. Puts our problems in perspective, doesn’t it? Both afternoons were spent teaching English to some children and one adult from the church. Erica prepared and lead all the lessons while we were all her teacher’s helpers.
Late Friday afternoon, we went to visit the young adults with physical disabilities. These 8 friends along with 2 older men were ready at the entrance for us. Our team members were touched by the outward emotion and joy from these poor people. We hugged them like long-lost relatives. Their disabilities are overshadowed by their love and attitudes.
After only 2 days, our group has been overwhelmed by what they’ve seen, the people they met and the conditions of these institutions. Yet we all love the children and people… and that is what we’re here for.
Saturday is baptism day for over 30 people followed by a picnic and games. We’ll be in a park outside the city and the baptism is in the river. Sunday is church day. Mike will be preaching, Daria and Brian will give their testimonies, Matt and Michael will be participating in the music and it should be exciting.
Exit Blog #1- Keep us in your prayers.