August 25, 2012

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5

Ruslan (7) plays with my iPhone while Vlad (10) looks on.

Today I had the privilege of picking up a van load of our local orphans north of Kiev.  It was great to travel and visit with the director and her assistant, very gracious and respectable individuals.   The 11 kids had just finished 2 months of ‘youth camp.’  Can you imagine, 2 months!  The camps, a left over from Soviet times, are a place where the nations youth were shipped off by the thousands.  They aren’t as popular now among today’s Ukrainian families, however they serve to house the nations +30k registered orphans until school starts in the fall.

In the lobby of the kids dorm, a blaring TV show plays - Something about this picture captured my day.

The “Sanitorium” was overgrown with weeds, buildings extremely old and worn down.  Popping out from the shrubs were some young little bodies, white eyed and excited to see some recognizable faces.  The kids don’t know me well, I’ve tried to serve behind the scenes supporting different events and providing the van.  With Genya and Julia now back in the states (they lived in the village for a year), the opportunity to directly help and build relationships was put before us and we felt it was the Lord.

Ruslan was my bud for the day, showing him how to eat soft serve ice cream.

The trip back was interesting.  The kids, all very well behaved, are not used to travel.  In fact, beyond the 2hr journey to summer camp, most of them hadn’t ever traveled that far in their life.  Half way back, several of the kids started to throw up.  Fortunately the ladies had prepared them each with a bag.  Like stewardesses preparing a flight, the ladies were instructive and I thought over-reactive in their approach to group travel.  I am sure glad they knew what they were doing!

Upon returning the weary bunch to the orphanage, just 10 minutes from our house, I was able to just hang out and play with the boys for a bit. Six of them rushing to their bedroom, claiming their bunk before someone else tried to.  The girls raced to the shoe pile, and began to sort through and find ‘their shoes’, as well as look for any new supplies.

If you are interested in Ukraine’s orphan situation, and some startling statistics concerning their future, please visit our friends website – www.biblesfororphans.com. You can also donate towards the cause, a worthy one.

This orphanage is on the first floor of the school that we are attempting to put Brent, Tucker and Clark into next week.  In a couple of weeks I’ve invited the kids to come to our house on the weekend to play on the trampoline and cook out.  They are extremely bored all weekend – my heart goes out to them, sweet kids, so valuable to the Father.

Here are their names, let’s pray together for them and their parents.  Most of these kids can’t be adopted, stuck in court processes, and / or parents have substance abuse issues and taken away from them.  We’ll be learning and documenting their specific situations as time progresses.

Vladamir – 10 and sister Tanya (9)
Ruslan – 7
Halia (13), her sister Yulia (7) and little brother Kolya (5)
Nazar (8), sister Sveta (6), and Anton (5)
Vanya (9)
Ira (12)

Yesterday celebrated Ukraine’s Independence… although one could argue it’s still struggling to realize it.  Our town has a little celebration, I’ve blogged a few times about it.  A few years back we played some country and gospel music on stage!  That feels like a long time ago.  Here are a few pictures from it.

We had the police behind Brent here, impressed with his shooting skills! Go Xbox!

Thanks for checking in!

Sincerely,
Bruce & Deborah Crowe

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