Little 4-year-old boy adopted in Latvia
Our local managers and teams in Latvia and Ukraine, who do so much practical work to help the orphans in Eastern Europe, never cease to surprise me with their creativity and compassion. These teams of young people visit the orphanages regularly, providing concerts with spiritual value, and take them all sorts of goods we’ve been able to provide—bedding, clothes, medicines, vitamins and supplements, dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers and educational requisites. They also let me know the needs that the children have. We have one team in Latvia and two in Ukraine that are indispensable for the work of the ministry.
At this time of the year we try to give our teams financial gifts to help them with their own needs and enable them to buy their children gifts and have a Christmas meal. They really are God’s servants and therefore worthy of reward. Please pray for them and stand with us in helping us to meet their needs. They never tell me about their needs but I find out through my very observant managers.
One such couple is Vladimir and Elina who have served and ministered to the orphans and the poor for years. They have two happy little daughters. Vladimir and Elina have made so many visits to the orphanages over the years and have always been accepted and loved by the orphanage directors and the children. On their visits to the Likumi Children’s Home, near Jekabpils, they noticed a little 4-year-old boy named Martin who had been abandoned by his mother and brought into the care of the orphanage. Unbeknown to me, they began to work through the procedures to adopt little Martin.
Last month I received this wonderful photograph from my manager, Sasha, who said they’d been successful in officially adopting Martin. They had to pay quite a lot but the costs were minimal compared to the expenses a foreign family would have to pay – lawyer’s fees and international flights. The day arrived for them to collect Martin and it was just like a blessed knitting of souls. The little girls love him and have such fun together. We will stand with them for expenses they might not be able to meet, such as unexpected medical and educational costs.
Please rejoice with us and this precious Latvian family who are experiencing their first Christmas with their new son, and brother for the daughters.
Little Ukrainian Boys – Home for Christmas
Here is a tragic story of two little boys found in devastating circumstances in icy cold winter conditions in Ukraine.
Little 3-year-old, Sasha lost his parents in a car accident and was placed by the authorities in the Street Kids Centre. He just sat all day and cried, thinking his parents were coming to fetch him. He couldn’t conceive that they had died. At least he received love, care and warmth in the Centre. He was told the wonderful gospel story, and we were trusting that he would derive some element of healing. At the time, I thought, “This is all so grossly unfair. What could we do to help ease his sorrow and prepare him and other children there for a future with the Lord.”
Our manager recently found out that Sasha had three other brothers who had been discovered in another orphanage. A poor family in the area felt pity for these children and adopted all four of them. Although they live in poor circumstances, they are all together, in a warm home with loving, compassionate “parents”. God has a wonderful plan for these children in spite of a tragic beginning. This keeps us motivated to help such children.
Around the same time, little 4-year-old Viktor was found wandering the streets for three weeks in -30C weather looking for his father. His mother had died and his dad had disappeared. He was taken into the Street Kids Centre but wandered around like a little lost soul. He too was cared for very lovingly and had the love of Jesus shared with him.
We found out recently that he was moved to one of the local orphanages nearby. Unbeknown to us, behind the scenes, his grandmother had been praying and searching relentlessly for him. Through some miraculous connections, she found him and took him into her home.
He now lives with his caring grandmother in poor but very Godly circumstances.
Two lost little boys, once crushed by life’s tragic circumstances, are now “home for Christmas” in caring homes, with the hope of a better future.
Latvia & Ukraine Orphans Christmas Gift Projects
Our managers are preparing for the Christmas Gift Project this year to provide gifts for hundreds of orphans and street children. They will take Christmas gifts to sick orphans and the children of many poor families in their regions.
The children will each receive gifts of fruit, candy and educational toys. Since some of the street children are sick they will meet with them separately from the other children because of their illnesses. The Slavic Christmas is on January 7, so the orphans don’t mind their gifts and party meal in January.
Older children will receive gifts of new sweaters/jackets and personal toiletries. They are normally very happy to enjoy the fellowship with the teams.
The disabled orphans have such beautiful smiles on their faces as they wait for their gifts. Our teams enjoy fellowship, share the love of Jesus with the children and pray God’s blessings on them for the New Year. The Slavic new year in Ukraine is on January 14, so we’ll spread out the visits through to mid-January.
Disabled Orphans need warm blankets
It is very cold at present with heavy snow but the local team in northern Ukraine will take blankets to the village orphanages in the north near the Chernobyl radiation zone. Our manager has an old van that’s not very reliable and they struggle to get through. All the travelling they do in a faulty van – I am amazed . The last time they were there we supplied blankets and quilts in different colours to brighten their lives.
Orphans Christmas and winter activities
In spite of the heavy snows and icy cold weather, our local team workers try to ensure that the orphans and the poor children are happy and learning in their situations of need.
In the activity classes the children are taught how to share their faith in Jesus with others with visual aids like the “Good News Glove”. Once these children have grasped the practical simplicity of sharing the gospel with others, you can’t stop them. They become bold and outgoing in sharing their faith, I pray we can keep that childlike boldness and simplicity in our witness for Christ.
Christmas is a wonderful season for sharing the gospel with unchurched people. At least at Christmas people are thinking more about the Christ-child who was born in Bethlehem to grow up and become the Saviour of the world. Let’s take wise advantage of this season and help lonely people to receive Christ and find their place in the eternal family of God.
We pray that you’ll have a very peaceful and safe Christmas, and that 2017 will be a wonderful year with harvests of blessings and answers to your prayers. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers, generous giving and wonderful partnership in the gospel. Your support has helped hundreds and hundreds of needy children to come to the Lord, to be kept alive and healthy, and be prepared for a future destiny in their little lives.
We love and appreciate you.
Dave & Margurita