Orphans neglected by society are at risk for addictions and suicide. There are around 100,000 of orphans in Ukraine. According to statistics, only 10% of them will stay away from drugs, alcohol abuse or prison. Another 10% will commit suicide within a couple years upon graduating high school. The common stereotype is that they have bad genes and therefore are doomed to fail. This notion destroys the chance for the majority of them to be adopted by Ukrainians.
Our government sends orphans ages 8-18 to camps where they spend their whole summer, with basic needs covered but without much of a program. Christians from the local church, American counselors and our staff come to share Christ with orphans who do not yet know God. Orphans are drawn to people who deeply care. They desperately need to meet Christ and to learn to lean on Him as their real Father. Local Ukrainian churches continue caring for the orphans year-round.
Orphans have been served in our camps. 7 years into this ministry, we’re so excited to see the graduates going back to these camps – as camp staff! God’s been working though North American mission teams to model it to Ukrainian churches, and in 2014, even though US counselors couldn’t come, 3 Ukrainian churches continued doing camps. When the week is over, the local churches “adopt” the orphans into the church family. Now we see these young people improving their life skills, growing in their strength and ministering to younger orphans.
Get to know closer these orphans,
who became part of local church family:
Natasha entered an orphanage at age 7 and lived the rest of her childhood and teen years in a boarding school. Emotionally and relationally, this life was the perfect example of “survival of the fittest”.
One day at camp Osaulets noticed how a counselor was playing his favorite game – basketball, so he joined them. He was beat by… a girl! This made him start a new friendship that led to a church family.
Sergey met church one summer at a camp and what attracted him was music. A worship leader started giving him guitar lessons and also mentoring. Now Sergey plays in a worship team at orphan camps.
Come for a week to spend time with orphans and introduce them to their real Father.
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