Giving hope to the vulnerable
There have been many special occasions associated with Grace Baptist Church, Odessa, Ukraine but this one was exceptional. The tenth anniversary of the church orphanage was celebrated at the Black Sea Campsite. Almost all the children who have lived in this lovely Christian environment over the past decade came along. Many of them already live independently and have families and children of their own. On this day they came to remember the past and say thank you to all who cared for them over the years.
Dima Sarchuk was one of the first boys taken into Grace Shelter and is so grateful to God for permitting him to be a part of this Christian community, as it was there he came to know the Lord. Dima’s parents left him at the hospital after his birth. He was adopted, but then sent to a state orphanage where he stayed until the age of twelve. It was when he had health problems and required surgery that he began to search for God. After two years at the Shelter he trusted the Lord as his Saviour. He is now married to a believer and has set up a Christian home. How different everything could have been for Dima!
Work continues on the Transition House. There are legal age restrictions on the Shelter which force young people to leave at 18. The Transition House will give hope to young people over this age where, under the supervision of houseparents, they begin to live independent lives. The first floor is finished and the second floor is near completion. Peter and Lidia Dovbya, the houseparents of the first group of children in the Shelter, will move very soon into the Transition House with their now grown-up ‘family’.
Recently Pastor Bandura expressed the Church’s desire to carry on this great ministry. “We continue to pray eagerly for a new group of children to add to the Shelter as a new family. There is still a great need to help orphans and as a Church we are willing to respond to the need and continue our ministry to them.” God has certainly answered their prayers! A couple, Andrew and Inna Dovdnya feel called of God to replace Shelter houseparents, Peter and Lidia. They will be responsible for a new family of 20-30 children. Meanwhile, Vitalii and Luda Suhotskiye continue to care for a small group of orphans in the shelter.
Through SGA’s Children’s Ministry Project we maintain our support for the Shelter houseparents, the general running costs and also funding for the completion of the Transition House.
What a future you faithful supporters are giving to these children! What a prospect they have as they surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, exchanging their absolute sorrow, rejection and homelessness for the joy of being accepted, provided for and above all assured of Christ’s riches for time and eternity!