Sept 1, 2016
Imagine being a beautiful, healthy 8-year-old girl with an ugly scar tearing across half of your face. That is our Alina – a lovely and bright girl, who is unable / unwilling to fully smile. I met Alina at Shpola Orphanage 2 years ago, and have been trying to make her smile ever since. For the past couple of days, she has not stopped! That’s because we have found a plastic surgeon who will perform her facial surgery “completely free of charge.” Even in cases of orphans, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so a donation to the hospital is expected – but we are overjoyed that the surgeon is willing to help this girl.
God brought all of these details together in such perfect timing! The surgeon’s grandchildren attended the Sophia School camp we held this summer, and I met his daughter – who happens to be acquainted with my dear friend Olga. Previously, I had shared with Olga about how Alina was viciously attacked by a dog at a young age. The village doctor did what he could with the materials he had at hand, but Alina was left with a very severe scar. She and her 2 brothers come from a broken home living in poverty, and the 2 oldest children were sent to the orphanage.
Olga introduced me to this surgeon, Vladimir Ivanovich, and he is very keen to do the surgery immediately! Perhaps it is a slower time for him, but he is coming back from his vacation on Tuesday to perform it! This couldn’t happen at a better time, because Alina’s American sponsor, Denise W. is here in Ukraine meeting Alina for the first time. We have juggled our schedule around a bit, and have made arrangements for Alina and her mother to travel to Cherkassy and stay in the hospital for several days. Denise, Olga and I will be there to make sure everything Alina needs is provided.
The hospital is in desperate need of repairs and some renovations are currently taking place. New bedding, equipment and supplies are on the wish list that Dr. Ivanovich has given me. To help with this and other medical needs, just click the link and donate to Medical on the Donate page. Thank you and God Bless.
Depending on which “official statistics” you believe, there are between 70,000 – 100,000 orphans in Ukraine living in about 750 institutions. This is a huge number. The Ukrainian government is doing its best to reduce it and is in the process of developing a foster care system.
But life is not about numbers; rather the children behind those numbers. Children who need our help. Children like Andrei.