Merry Christmas from our family to yours! I just returned from Ukraine where I was once again humbled by the extraordinary sacrifice and commitment of our house parents in our Transition Homes. Day by day, week by week our house parents work with teen orphans who are hurting and need the support of a parent as they try to navigate through life. Our house parents treat these kids as their own… showering them with love, treating them with patience, encouraging them yet protecting them from a society that has discarded them. They sacrifice privacy and peace and quiet to give these kids something they crave – a chance to be part of a real family. When these teens come to live in our homes, most are afraid for their futures. Our house parents teach them
they are valuable, they are loved, and that God has a unique plan for them!
As I watched our house parents handle situations with the teens, it was evident to me they love the kids, and love what they do! But the tension on their faces reveals something else. House parents Tonia and Vova worry about the imminent threat of war, as Mel and Ruth’s Houses are located only an hour from the fighting. For them the ever-real fear of having to evacuate comes with a new set of worries – old and unreliable vehicles. At the moment, things are quiet (thankfully!) but tense. All of that could change in an instant. Meaning… they would have to quickly pack up, gather the kids, and relocate to a safer region of Ukraine. Unfortunately, our current van only seats 9 and there are 20 house members! House parents Vova and Tonia fear someone could get left behind. It’s a thought that weighs heavily on both of their hearts.
We need to purchase a larger van. Yes, safety is our biggest concern, but a larger van is necessary for other reasons. Currently, it takes two trips to get everyone to church. Additionally, we can’t take the whole group anywhere, so some kids have had to stay home and miss out while others get to go places. The cost of a used, 15-20 passenger van is approximately $25,000. Would you consider contributing even a small amount towards this need?
Please help us this holiday season! Let’s give Tonia and Vova peace of mind knowing they have a way to escape the clutches of war, and our kids are never left behind again!