Orphan News

A New Home – A New Church

A New Home – A New Church

March 23, 2022

As a child, if you have ever moved across town – or even across country, you’ll remember that unsettling feeling you get when you first step onto the playground or into the school cafeteria.  That’s probably what a lot of our Ukrainian kids are feeling these days.  Moving to an orphanage in Romania, they are definitely the new kids in town.  They do not speak the same language as the other kids.  In fact, the Romanian kids have to be kept separated from the Ukrainian kids (or is it the other way around?) until everyone has had their health checks. 

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Waking up in Romania

Waking up in Romania

March 22, 2022

After our group of 15 arrived in Romania late last night, the older teens and adults that still had energy ate a tasty dinner, had hot showers, prayed together, and then hit the sack!  Imagine the next day starting to wake up at daylight.  For a couple of groggy moments, you savor that peaceful feeling of warmth, safety, and security.  Then comes that strange sensation of not really knowing where you are – when you wake up somewhere new.  Imagine waking up in Romania!  And reality starts flooding in.

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COVID Summer for Orphans

COVID Summer for Orphans

September 07, 2020

In an effort to control the spread of the Coronavirus, this past spring the government of Ukraine issued a nationwide quarantine, closed the border, all schools and orphanages and sent the children “home”. Instead of online distance learning, writing happy messages with chalk on sidewalks and sourcing the cutest mask, orphans were thrown back into the very environment they escaped from. So, what did they do? How did they cope?

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Inna & Lena’s Grocery Delivery

Inna & Lena’s Grocery Delivery

April 27, 2020

One month ago, Ukraine closed its borders and will continue to be on quarantine through May 11.  Since that time, all of the children in the orphanage were sent “home” to their guardians and are supposed to be distance learning for the remainder of the school year. We asked how can we help the children?  The answer was clear and swift – bring food.  So, Inna and Lena leapt into action, bought groceries, made up food parcels and received today’s list of the families that needed them immediately.

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Caring for the Sick and Vulnerable

Caring for the Sick and Vulnerable

April 14, 2020

Over the years, as we have cared for orphans, families, and their communities we’ve encountered an overwhelming and often unmet need. Many orphans face pressing medical needs, including emergency surgeries and life-changing procedures, but they lack the funds to pay for them. While the Ukrainian government may promise free medical care for all, the realities of rampant corruption, poverty, and subpar medical facilities make this promise fall drastically short. 

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A Miraculous Dinner

A Miraculous Dinner

February 15, 2020

A few months ago, 21 of us gathered around a table in the village of Khutory at our Boys’ Pre-Independence Home, “Greenfield”. Over the meal, we reflected on the miracle of God building a safe home for teenage orphan graduates in Ukraine.

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Ukraine: Orphans, A Disturbing Situation

Ukraine: Orphans, A Disturbing Situation

February 03, 2020

Right now, there are over 650 institutions housing 70-110,000 orphans in Ukraine, with the majority of them being “social orphans” who were abused or abandoned by their parents and were placed in the care of others. In Ukraine, the orphanage, known as an Internat, is a mixed boarding school for orphans and children from families living in poverty and is a catch-all for children of every background and need.

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There’s no place like home… especially for an Orphan

There’s no place like home… especially for an Orphan

January 14, 2020

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.

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Unloved boys do not Grow

Unloved boys do not Grow

December 17, 2019

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. 

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Julie almost lands herself in a Ukrainian jail!

Julie almost lands herself in a Ukrainian jail!

July 04, 2019

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...

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A piece of my heart remains in Ukraine

A piece of my heart remains in Ukraine

June 26, 2019

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...

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Charlie comes back for more at Kompas Park!

Charlie comes back for more at Kompas Park!

June 20, 2019

Volunteering at Kompas Park has yielded two of the most eye opening and life changing summers of my life.  When Cyndee Knight brings a team of Americans to Ukraine with her, our job is not to show the kids the gospel and love of Jesus through our words, but through our actions.  So even though I could barely communicate with these children, I was able to form bonds with them that could only be brought about by God's grace and love. 

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