Ukraine Mission July 2013

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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.