Giving Thanks for 2018
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” – Psalm 106:1
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Which sounds, tastes, sights and smells of Thanksgiving do you treasure most? Many families, including mine, spend time circling the table sharing stories of thankfulness with each other. As we draw near to this cherished holiday, let’s go around our “table” and reminisce about what we are truly grateful for.
Thanksgiving allows us to look back on the year in joyful remembrance while also looking to the future with hope. As we recall the year at Hope Now, we have many reasons to be thankful. God has truly sustained and provided for us through faithful supporters, sponsors and advocates all over the world. It humbles us to see how He continued His good work in Ukraine throughout 2018. Specifically, we have seen God work this year through:
Donors like you gave new Sneakers for Orphans to provide shoes for 140 kids
Our inaugural English Language Week at Shpola Orphanage was a success
- Building a tennis court and installing air conditioning made improvements at Kompas Park
- The provision of sound medical care for our orphans including Alina’s second facial surgery and Slavic’s hernia surgery
Two successful weeks of Kompas Park Summer Camp where over 180 campers and leaders heard the good news of the Gospel
A faithful Ukrainian volunteer team who mentors and ministers to orphans at Shpola Orphanage every month at our “Wake Up” Christian Educational program
- The acquisition and furnishing a Boy’s Flat in Cherkasy for older orphan graduates
- Purchase and continued construction of our Pre-Independence Home for 10-12 orphan graduates in the village of Khutory
Our partnership with Sophia School and the creation of the Elevate Scholarship for orphan graduates
- Two of our orphan graduates, Vlad and Toma, receiving Christ through repentance and baptism
The kick off of our life skills classes, with our LevelUp:Coding! programming course
- 25 children received new sponsors, bringing the total number of sponsored orphans and orphan graduates to 127 children!
Through these exciting programs and new relationships established in 2018, God has continued to show us His provision and grace to Orphans, Family and Community. We are grateful for the ways He has called us to more holistically care for orphan graduates through our Orphan Graduate Program. As we look to the coming year, we rest in the fact that, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5) And we thank Him for the ways He has protected and provided for His children in Ukraine in 2018. From our family at Hope Now to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Did you know Giving Tuesday is coming up after Thanksgiving on November 27? We will be raising support for our Elevate Scholarship on this global day of giving. Learn how you can raise awareness and support for this scholarship here.
Also in News
Kompas Park: a magical land of strange costumes, endless mosquito bites, injury-inducing games that you know you shouldn’t play but you do anyway, (speaking for a friend...) kids screaming at you for the 100th time to jump on the trampoline, and you have to explain “I’m too old now” in broken Ukrainian, scattered belongings, sunshiny days, tearful goodbyes, and where time moves much faster than normal. There is truly no place like it.
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.
How is school going? That’s a great question and one that I am asked frequently since I left Shpola orphanage school and started high school at Sophia School as an Elevate Scholar. Well, by nature I am very lazy, and I got used to doing very little schoolwork at the orphan school. Even though I was the top pupil in my class, I realize now that I have huge gaps in my education and there are many subjects I need to catch up on. Now, I am a senior at Sophia School, and even though the dear principal Natalia tries to motivate me, I have not had much success. So, I decided that I can’t do this on my own, and I prayed about it and today I received an answer.