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HFTN UKRAINE is a non-profit organization that has been helping the orphans of Ukraine since 2004. We get to know the kids from different orphanages in the Summer Bible Camps. Most of them receive Jesus as their Savior there and we don’t leave them after they get back to the orphanage. We visit them every weekend developing closer friendship. Our precious volunteers teach the kids English and reading, photography and computer skills, teach them how to cook, do puppet shows, dramas and arts and crafts projects along with the kids. They help orphans to get to know their loving Father and try to meet the individual needs of the kids. It can be possible due to the help of many wonderful people who have a heart for orphans and support our ministry. We go to 2 orphanages on a weekly basis and touch about 200 orphans. We do picnics, sport events and birthday parties. Every Christmas time we do Winter Camps right in the orphanages. It encourages kids to follow what they had learned in Summer Camps. The following summer we take the ones who have been trying to live a new life to the hiking trips to the mountains which is a great adventure and discipleship training for them. Our goal is to help orphans grow into good members of society, to become mature in faith and to add some joy to their childhood. We keep supporting them after they leave the orphanage. The Destiny Center for the orphan students is our facility where Alpha Course, English, photo and other classes as well as Bible lessons are held. Their personal needs are often met there: they can get some necessary dishware, clothing and some good advice. Some of the yesterday’s orphans have already become volunteers in our organization. Their lives had been changed through the Destiny Center ministry and they enjoy helping younger orphans because they know from their own experience how important is to be loved and to feel that there is somebody who cares. Together we help the orphans of today – the leaders of tomorrow.
Ruslan and Anya first met thanks to Destiny Center ministry. Anya is the older daughter of Natasha and Costia Kuzov, the administrator and the speaker at our Alpha courses. Ruslan graduated from Orphanage No. 4 in Kharkiv in which Destiny Center began its work. Ruslan has graduated from Kharkiv National Law Academy and now works with Dorcas International, a Christian relief and development organization. He also helps many orphanage graduates pro bono with various legal issues. Ruslan and Anya are part of our team ministering to children at Bogodukhov orphanage.
Ruslan and Anya got married in September of 2015. In May of 2016 Anya became pregnant with their first child. There were no problems during pregnancy but on the 35th week, at the third screening the ultrasound showed suspected hydrocephalus and underdeveloped cerebellum. The repeat checkup confirmed this terrible diagnosis. A decision to give birth via C-section was made. On January 5, 2017 Anya gave birth to a boy they called Mark.
After an MRI scan the leading neurosurgeon in Kharkiv they consulted said that Mark needed a ventriculoperitoneal shunt — a medical device inserted into the brain cavities to relieve excess pressure on the brain caused by fluid accumulation. The price for this shunt system alone was approx. $1970, plus Ruslan has had to pay for a set of medical supplies for the surgery (about $120) and Anya’s and Mark’s hospital stay ($20-$35 a day). The total expenses have exceeded $2500. The family had to borrow this money because they didn't have it. On January 18, 2017 the doctors performed the VP shunting procedure on Mark. The surgery went well, and Mark is in recovery now. He will be undergoing monthly MRI scans in the immediate future.
If you can help this young family with your prayers and donations, it will help them go through this challenging period of their lives. Any amount will be appreciated.
Iryna with her daughter
It took us about a month to prepare for the Christmas Party for moms-orphanage graduates with their children, but it was worth it. This time we did is together with Kharkiv Christian Church and it was great! 16 young mothers and 18 children (1-6 years old) got a tasty and nutritious meal, lots of fun and games, gifts and the most important - a Christmas story as a part of the message on why Christmas is a family holiday. Thanks to the donations of our Ukrainian friends the children got sweet gifts and bright Bibles for Children. The church presented the guests with interactive advent calendars and thanks to our Canadian donors we could buy the mothers nice body care cosmetics. The Sunday school teachers of Kharkiv Christian Church did 90-minute Christmas program for the children which allowed us to spend quality time with the mothers. For some of them such events become turning points - and that's exactly what we are praying for. One of the moms had been going to leave her children and their father and go to Poland and work and live there. After listening to the message and talking to our volunteers at the party she decided to stay with her children and their father.
The last winter camp in Bogodukhov orphanage
In all countries and cultures gifts for Christmas are a commonoccurrence. It is the same in Ukraine, as well. As Christmasapproaches we look for gifts for our relatives and friends, visit alot of sales, spending a few days. People who are really giving notonly take care of their loved ones but also bring gifts to children inorphanages, old people in hospices, the poor in the streets. This isthe true meaning of Christmas, and we feel great in our hearts when wedo this. But there is one important thing which Christ entrusted to usto do. Even the most expensive gift will not be able to compensate forthe lack of time spent with children who were deprived of theirparents' love. Every year during Christmas holidays our team spends 4days with orphans in orphanages. This year we are preparing a camp for41 children at Bogodukhov orphanage. 10 volunteers will present afascinating program, giving the children their love and attention. Butthe team needs finances for this camp. You can make a donation that willbecome your Christmas gift for these children!Your Donation of $35 will help 1 orphan to enjoy interesting and useful activities with our volunteers during four Christmas days.
Vika and Vitaly
Along with 18 refugee children, two teenagers from Zmiev orphanage: Vika and Vitaly got a chance to spend two weeks in the Christian Summer camp in Hungary. What an adventure it is for them to go to another country (for the first time in their lives)! The camp has a great program for teenagers based on God's word. The camp provides free accommodation and meals and there were some people both in Ukraine and abroad who paid the fees for international passports to be done, but we still need $100 to pay for their insurances and to buy them train tickets to Hungary. If you can contribute to giving these orphans a chance to have the most fascinating vacations in their lives, please donate to this project at hopeforthenations and send us a message that you did it.
Don't let them freeze
We had had the list of children’s needs along with the list of their sizes ready and as soon as we got the money raised through the Hope for the Nations’ project 12 Days of Hope, we immediately went to the market and bought as much as we could buy for $1060. Your donations allowed us to provide:- 80 warm blankets for the children in Bogodukhov orphanage. (Our volunteers spent there 3 nights during winter camp and said it was freezing cold in their dorms at night)- 36 pieces of underwear for boys and girls in Zmiev orphanage.- 17 pairs of winter boots for the boys in Zmiev orphanage.
We distributed the gifts among the children and they were so thankful for this blessing! Some kids in Zmiev hadn't been able to go outside because they hadn't had winter boots.
An exciting story happened to us on our way back from Zmiev orphanage. It proved to us once again how much our Heavenly Father cares for these children. We had just left the orphanage and pulled up at the local food store to buy something to drink as I'd left the thermos flask with hot tea at home. In the store we bumped into the two boys, graduates from Zmiev orphanage, who we hadn't seen for several months. They were wearing light spring jackets even though it was -5C and quite windy and running shoes, so worn out that they even had holes! The socks of one of the boys were soaking wet. We had two pairs of winter boots left in our van and, believe it or not, they fit the boys perfectly!
But it took us up to 10 minutes to persuade the boys to make the exchange – their old boots for the new ones - as they couldn't believe it was no dirty trick, just a blessing from God. We wanted them to leave their old shoes with us, so that they wouldn't sell the new boots. In the end, Sasha and Nikita walked away in the new, dry, warm and good-looking winter boots, knowing that it was God who took care of them.
Kids from Zmiev orphanage
All the kids from Zmiev orphanage got together to spend time with our volunteers who came to visit them last Sunday. Our team played with the kids, then did a Bible lesson and at the end gave them sweet treats they brought. We can see how much these kids look forward to every visit of the team.Destiny Center volunteer Lyuda offered to do a training course for other volunteers that is aimed at teaching them how to do inductive Bible study on the topic of prayer.She and several other volunteers had been to a training seminar which took place at the Azov Sea, Ukraine right after our Summer Camp and they found this seminar to be very effective and useful. To start this course in the orphanages we'll need to buy workbooks for volunteers and children which cost $5 for a piece. We're hoping to provide at least 80 kids from 2 orphanages with these workbooks. It'll make $400. We'd also like end our lessons by giving some soda and sweet treats to the kids which will cost about $2 for a person. The course will be going during all academic year - 7 months, because we visit orphanages once a week. So, the food for the whole course for 80 kids will cost $1120. We want to do this course in the orphanages because it'll teach the kids to pray, to study the Bible on their own and it'll also make our weekly visits to the orphanages more structured and effective. If you'd like to take part in changing lives of the orphans of Ukraine you can donate here for this project. Each and every donation counts for these kids.
Bags and slippers for kids
The kids from Bogodukhov and Zmiev orphanage have a need. They don't have bags to carry their things when travelling and summer slippers. Their old ones have become worn out and the state doesn't provide for new ones. The orphanage staff asked if we could help. The cost of a travel bag and a pair of slippers is $15. We'd like to buy them for 60 kids. If you'd like to help, you can do it here
Circle of orphans in Zmiev orphanage
Everyday practical needs of Ukrainian orphanages are huge and can’t be met until the corruption in the country is done away with which we hope for and fervently pray about. The bad news is that it takes time. And many of the kids’ needs are urgent. Taking care of these needs is a great way to show God’s love to orphans and their teachers and dorm monitors who have to survive on their pitiful salaries and cope with the daily challenges of bringing up children of risk while having little to no daily necessities. They have no necessary medicines or funds to buy them, no laundry or dishwashing detergents, ancient kitchenware and housewares. We talked to Zmiev orphanage staff and put together the list of the most vital needs of the kids. If you’d like to make a life of a child better you can do it by donating to this project. (It’s better to buy these things here rather then ship them over from abroad. Buying local things will be cheaper, easier and more suitable).
The list of needs is here:
Medicines (18 positions) - $480
The underwear, socks, tights, toothpastes, toothbrushes for girls and boys – 50 pcs of each item - $500
Sanitary pads – 20 sets - $50
School supplies - $250
The plastic basins (5-6 liters), the buckets, kettles, saucepans, scoops, plates, cups, graters, kitchen knifes, cutting boards, wooden steels, kitchen chemicals, glass cleaners, brooms, liquid Whiteners, trash bags, bulbs, taps, liquid nails – $650
One of the Destiny Center orphan students, Vanya Pivovarov who got baptized a month ago, is going to have a laser surgery in order to break up into pieces a one-centimetre stone in his bladder. The surgery costs 5000 grivnas which is $625 not including medicine. Vanya has spent 2 weeks in the hospital so far and they had to put off the surgery several times at first because Vanya had to do some urgent paperwork for the college he had just entered and then till he collects all the money to pay for the surgery. We believe that even under such circumstances Vanya can feel God's love and care because many team members visited him in the hospital and everybody has been praying for him. Team members raised some money for him and he had some of his own, but he still needs $575 to be able to pay for the surgery and all the medicine. If you would like to support Vanya, you can donate here.
Half of the kitchen
Half of the kitchen units for cooking projects at the Destiny Center is already there. We had orphan students helping to transport and assemblepieces of this furniture and all of us could feel this atmosphere of friendship and family, something they couldn't have as kids in the orphanage.We're starting Alpha Course in Fall and both we and the students are eager to see this furniture completed and our kitchen looking as a kitchenshould. The doors for the lower part and the top cupboards are the part yet to be done. You can join us in this project by donating for theseparts of furniture and if you ever come to Ukraine we'll welcome you at the Destiny Center with tasty dinner!
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