Shpola Grads

A hunk, a chunk, a drunk or a monk? Life after quarantine...

A hunk, a chunk, a drunk or a monk? Life after quarantine...

October 12, 2020

How did seven of our Orphan Graduate Girls manage to get through the COVID-19 pandemic while living in our Girls Flat? Just like the rest of us, adjusting to a new lifestyle during a pandemic was not easy. As a result of staying home most of the time, the girls began to feel helpless physically and emotionally. Read how they learned and grew from this life-changing experience!

Read More


Marina's New Design on Life

Marina's New Design on Life

April 21, 2020

One of our orphan graduates wants to give you an update! You may remember Marina was in the hospital about 3 years ago when she had plastic surgery on her neck and legs to remove painful scars she has carried since childhood. She has some great news to tell now!

Read More


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.

Read More


UPDATE!  Vlad’s thankful journey – from Businessman to Builder

UPDATE! Vlad’s thankful journey – from Businessman to Builder

January 29, 2020

Eighth grade can be tough – especially if you’re a lanky 17-year-old, who can’t really read or write.  Coming from a broken home of alcoholics, violence and poverty, Vlad arrived at the orphanage not ready to learn, but to survive.  

Read More


Elevate Scholar Update!

Elevate Scholar Update!

December 04, 2019

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. 

Read More


Motherhood is bittersweet

Motherhood is bittersweet

September 01, 2019

Moms are allowed to cry when they send their kids off to college.  I did, that’s for sure. Yes, several years ago, I helped get my son and daughter get settled into their dorm rooms.  I scrubbed the tub, made their beds, put everything in its place and generally fussed over them. It’s a bittersweet time to be savored.  Well, more sweet than bitter actually. I loved it.
I didn’t think it would happen again, but yesterday it did – in Ukraine ...

Read More


Elevate Scholarship: First Semester at Sophia School is Almost Complete!

Elevate Scholarship: First Semester at Sophia School is Almost Complete!

December 18, 2018

Joy to the World! Over the past several months, God has brought an exciting partnership and program to Hope Now – the Elevate Scholarship. This scholarship allows orphan graduates to finish their high school education in a Christian school in Cherkasy while living with Christian host families. If this is your first time hearing about the scholarship, please read more about it on our recent blog post, Elevate Scholarship Gives Hope.

Read More


#MyGivingStory: How my Pulled Heartstrings Led to Sponsorship

#MyGivingStory: How my Pulled Heartstrings Led to Sponsorship

November 15, 2018

With his head bent low and hands in the pockets of the suit he wore earlier in the day for his graduation from school at Shpola Orphanage, Vlad contemplatively walked up and down along the tall grass in the woods away from the celebratory bonfire and smores everyone else was enjoying.  The sight of him pulled at my heartstrings.  Was he thinking, "This is the only place I have been provided for and felt safe.  What now?"  Did he feel frightened and forsaken?

Read More


Elevate Scholarship Gives Hope

Elevate Scholarship Gives Hope

September 28, 2018

Most adults can look back and fondly recollect an experience, person or even a gift that positively influenced our lives. Maybe it was your parents’ sacrifice that enabled you to receive an excellent education; perhaps it was a coach who encouraged you to never give up; maybe it was a particularly hard time in your life that led you to depend on God; or possibly it was a gift from a complete stranger that set you on the path to where you are today. However, most orphans in Ukraine do not find themselves in positive circumstances or surrounded by supportive people. Because of the isolation and social rejection that many Ukrainian orphans face, they are not privy to the social resources and networking opportunities that many of us have had.

Read More


The Plight of Orphan Graduates in Ukraine

The Plight of Orphan Graduates in Ukraine

September 21, 2018

When you think of the country of Ukraine, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of the Russian conflict, delicious chocolate, or harsh winters and fur hats. For one moment, we’d like to draw your attention to the lives of seven siblings who live in Ukraine - the Pikuyev children. Although each of these seven kids is unique and gifted in their own way, their story is unfortunately very similar to many other orphans in Ukraine. For many years, the Pikuyev children lived in a home with both parents, a surprising fact for many people who first hear their story. 

Read More


Created to love like Jesus, but I’m still learning how

Created to love like Jesus, but I’m still learning how

July 27, 2018

I was thrilled to return to Ukraine again this summer to serve at Hope Now’s Kid’s Camp. I wanted a break from my normal routine and to be with my Ukrainian friends again. I desired to be in a different culture and to see the children I’ve gotten to know over the years. I was excited about the normalcy of going to Ukraine again in the summer. But I wasn’t necessarily ready for conviction…


So often I fail at loving people the way Christ calls me to. I am quickly thrown off by my own selfish desires, focusing on my own agenda rather than the needs and wants of others. Truthfully, as Christ followers, we should be constantly in a state of loving others. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to dislike people who are different from us rather than love them. But Jesus told us to literally love our enemies (which is way easier in theory than in practice, but yet I am called to do this). He modeled what real love looks like; He is love. If I’m honest, I fail every day at loving people like Jesus did.

Read More


College Visits for Teen Orphans in Limbo

College Visits for Teen Orphans in Limbo

November 20, 2017

In Ukraine, after the 9th grade, children living in orphanages age-out or “graduate” and hopefully move onto a new institutional setting.  We say hopefully, because education beyond age 16 is not mandatory, and many kids without a support system or even the most basic help simply disappear into a street life of gangs, prostitution, drugs or worse.  Recently, we discussed the disturbing situation of orphans in Ukraine

Read More



Facebook Updates



[powr-social-feed id=c611b71a_1488475712]
Platinum Seal Amazon Smile