Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day Five - Ukraine Trip

Day Five now, another visit with Zina at the orphanage. They really have the best interests at heart with all of the children. We are given free range at the internat and come and go freely as we please. We hang out everywhere with Zina after she is done with classes for the day. Heidi brings a volleyball which we give to Zina and we play "pass the ball" with her and a few other kids for the rest of the afternoon. Heidi comments to me that she can't understand how a mother wouldn't cherish seeing the joy and happiness of Zina and that her mother is missing out on her childhood. I think we are missing out and I would love to hide her in my luggage back to America. She is our daughter now and she tells everyone at the orphanage that we are her family and parents when she introduces us. She makes a slip-up and apologises to me when she called my name today. She said, "Felix, oops, I mean Papaska" and my heart soars. Hopefully, the good work we did today will help get her home sooner. Everyone there including the staff, say she is our daughter. Rimma, too. They all want us to adopt them.

On Sunday, we met Zina's caretaker and orphanage Mom. We see her again today and see welcomes us like we have been there all along. On Saturday we will meet Zina's other caretaker. The way it works is that there are two caretakers for Zina' groupa, all in the 5th grade. The boys and girls go to class together and have a common dayroom where they study, do homework, play video games, and do cross-stitch. The girls share one bedroom and the boys share another. One caretaker lives with them Sunday to Wednesday, the other Thursday to Saturday. They eat three times a day and on weekends they sometimes take field trips, walks, go to a movie, or a carnival ride. The orphans get free passes to the buses and events, so they pay nothing. The caretakers go with them on these excursions.

Zina has to do homework and get ready for dinner and bed. SO we take off to out next appointment with AGAPE. They take us to a bible study at Technical School #6 - a boarding school for underprivileged youths and former orphans. It is here that Heidi and I see the most need, the most pain, the most neglect. These kids are struggling to get a foothold in society. All are learning a trade to get jobs. This is not an AGAPE school and they are on thin ice most of the time with the school officials. They come once a week and conduct a church service/Bible study for the kids. The officials permit them entrance and we are warned that we can't overstay our appointed time. I see most of the same kids that came to the bible study in Kherson on Monday night. I speak again that night and give a little message. Kids are coming and going as most are not interested. We meet a kid that we saw Monday night named Andrea. He is really interested in us and our mission and asks tons of questions. My heart goes out to him.

Did I mention that AGAPE has a van and goes and gets theses kids, sometimes 50 miles away or so, and takes them to these events. Or, AGAPE goes to them. It is the AGAPE van and driver, Vanya, that we get rides from all week. They are happy to do it. We will make a donation to them at the end of the week. We get home at around midnight and we are exhausted. DO you see now why we could not post all week. As we learn, all week will be like this. God said come and see your girls, but he also had an ulterior motive. He wanted us to minister to his Ukrainian Angels. A job we are happy to do.

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About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.