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.
Here I am on the airplane from Amsterdam heading home to Atlanta, and I want to write down a little memory of camp before I forget it. It’s so hard to think of individual moments because the entire week at Kompas Park was momentous.
I remember it was my team’s time to go to the beach. When we got down to the river, I was asked if I knew how to kayak. Sure! Two of the girls, Larissa, and Marina and I, went out in the kayak...
When I think about my time as a volunteer at Kompas Park camp, it is very difficult to narrow my thoughts to one event that would describe my experience. I could have never expected the connection I would make with each of the children in my group in such a short period of time as well as the impact we would make as a group.
The most poignant moment to me occurred on Wednesday evening as the boys in my group were preparing for bed...