From Jeff – Our ministry to at-risk children in Ukraine means strengthening families, encouraging single mothers, sharing the Gospel and helping the poor. The Hearts of Love Center is unique, however, because they focus on children with special needs. They accept all children regardless of their handicap. The local public schools often refer families to them. About 55 children attend classes and receive help each week.
In other words, when the limited public resources have been exhausted, weary parents bring their child to the center, hoping for an answer. The center receives no government support and relies completely on the help of our faithful supporters. Lena, the director, is the chief cheerleader and family counselor, as well as school director, employer, problem solver and prayer warrior.
“I am infinitely grateful to the Lord for you…”
I received this letter from Lena a few months ago and wanted to share it with you. With the help of a Canadian organization, along with Mercy Projects, Lena organized a summer trip to the Black Sea. This immense undertaking, during the time of Covid, was deemed by some to be risky and foolish, yet she felt compelled this was what God desired. She invited families with handicapped children from the center. However, she also invited families with traumatized children from the war in eastern Ukraine. They filled a bus with almost 50 people and drove to the sea. Lena writes:
This summer we had an extremely rewarding experience for our children and their mothers going to the Black Sea. It was a true test of faith. We also invited children from the frontline zone of Avdiivka. These children have spent their childhood in a war zone, in basements, hiding from gunshots. Our combined group was very complex. We had children with disabilities, their mothers, and the kids from the Avdiivka war zone.”
A summer of miracles
“Most of the children, and their parents, could not swim and had never seen the sea. Combine these thoughts with the coronavirus, and terrible pictures were drawn in my mind. I wanted to stop everything and not take these risks. But in the depths of my heart, where the waves of anxiety and doubt did not reach, there was peace and tranquility. Some people thought I was crazy because the risks of this trip were great. The Lord truly gave us His peace.”
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SOURCE: Mercy Projects