Here is an update of my recent ministry overseas, especially with ministry to the orphans and homeless children’s in Odessa, Ukraine.
On Sunday November 3rd I was in Central London ministering to the Salvation Chinese Church in a combined service for Mandarin & Cantonese speaking believers at St Margaret Patten Anglican Church, near Tower Bridge, London. I’ve known many of these Chinese believers for two decades and have found them so diligent in their witness for Christ to the extent that they have planted a number of daughter churches in different areas of London. It’s been marvelous seeing them reach out to, and care for other national cultures in the multicultural City of London.
On Tuesday November 5th my manager, Sasha, and I flew to Odessa, Ukraine to minister to the Orphans & Homeless Kids at the House of Hope, and check on the health of the brain damaged baby orphans before the next icy winter sets in. We were joined by long-standing friends, Dr Brian and Jacqui Collings of Perth, Western Australia, who have had a long-term interest the Orphans and Homeless Kids of Odessa.
Brain-Damaged Baby Orphanage
This little girl was born to a HIV mother and because the mother was HIV positive, she was supposed to get a c-section done. But that wasn’t done, and the mother went to labor herself. The child suffered great brain damage during the birth. As a result, this poor child has been in this orphanage for 9 years. The greatest needs of this orphanage are simple day-to-day running supplies, like medicine and diapers. We went directly to a big superstore and bought a huge supply of pampers for them.
In the babies’ bottles of nutrients, they are washing and re-using again and again the disposable feeding tubes in their bottles. They should be disposing of these tubes and using new ones each time, but they can’t afford that cost. Each disabled child is being specially fed about 4-6 times per day. That means 70 feeding tubes a day are needed. Each tube costs around $20 per day. We will endeavor to meet this need. We were also able to purchase the medicines which will be delivered shortly. Dr. Brian and Jacqui Collings were outstanding in suggesting the precise medicines that the babies would need. They also brought an essential item (which the nursing staff raved about) for measuring rapid changes in the baby’s arterial oxygen and the pulse rate, especially at night.
I asked to see the needy babies we had met earlier this year – little Artem who’d had heart surgery, little Sophia who’d been abandoned in a cemetery at birth, a little fellow who’d had brain surgery, and little Petr who needed to have his chest massaged regularly to keep him breathing – the senior nurse was touched that I remembered these children personally. How could they ever be forgotten?
It was an absolute delight personally delivering the knitted blankets that very special ladies’ groups in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, had made personally. I asked the staff if we could photograph them wrapping the babies in these beautiful blankets. To which they said, “You brought the blankets – you deliver them personally.” What a privilege that was.
Children’s Cancer Hospital
Our visit to this needy hospital bore amazing fruit once again. Dr Nikolai explained that they can only function on a yearly budget that the government provides. Most of that budget is being used to purchase medicine. Which leaves them very short of daily operating materials, such as IV serum to boost the children’s immune systems and other basic materials. For these items, they have to rely on outside support, which we have supplied in the past. Again Dr. Brian and Jacqui Collings were in their element in understanding and analyzing just what this clinic needed these young cancer patients. We’ll do our best to help them, as Peter Emelyanov, our local manager and the hospital chaplain, will be able to lead many more sick children and their parents to Jesus.
Disadvantaged Children’s Orphanage-School in Troits’ke, east of Odessa
About 1.5 hour’s drive east of Odessa is an Orphanage-Boarding School that has 96 developmentally disadvantaged kids. Some go home on weekends, but many stay there permanently. Because the children in this institution are not recognized as full scale orphans, they are not eligible for orphan’s support. The local government doesn’t see them having a great future and therefore gives them an insulting support each month – $115 in total per year as a budget to buy medicines and hygiene toiletries for all 96 kids, and $2450 per year to pay for all their shoes and clothes. Their main need is medication, clothes and shoes.
House of Hope Homeless Kids Centre in Odessa
Please pray for the funds we’ll need to fulfil our budgets for the children’s health and the urgent completion of the extensions to the House of Hope (Homeless Kids and Orphans Centre) in Odessa, Ukraine. The extensions on the eastern side of the building are progressing with the basement area nearing completion and the concrete floor of level one being installed. Then level two will be underway. The finer finishing work, that takes much time, will need to be done very precisely. This needs to be completed for the 47 new orphans who will be taken into the House of Hope very soon. We were asked to provide Bibles, for a large number of orphans, at a school where the local team was ministering, as well as the new intake of orphans. We set aside $2,500 for 400 Bibles at about $6.25 each. Peter contacted a wonderful supplier (whom our webmaster had found) who supplied us with 730 quality Bibles. What a wonderful provision.
Peter & Olga Emelyanov
Peter, our local manager, has problems with both of his knees, and struggles to get moving every morning. He was told that the cartilage in both knees is worn out and his ligaments are torn. The last time he had an MRI scan, he was told that he would need to have an operation on both knees, which might cost $5,000.
He can’t afford to be incapacitated or crippled as he is desperately needed as the main manager of all these avenues of service and the key man directing the extension work on the House of Hope.
House of Hope team clean up the Brain Damaged Babies Orphanage
I’ve just heard that a team of homeless young people from the House of Hope went to the Brain Damaged Babies Orphanage to clean up the place, mow the lawn and play outside with the kids. A wonderful gesture from discouraged youngsters helping disadvantaged babies. So Christlike!
On Friday 8th November we were supposed to fly out of Odessa to London (Sasha flying to Germany). However due to heavy fog, no flights could get in or out of Odessa. We had to overnight in the city and fly out the next day on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. That rather cramped up the rest of the program and make things more strenuous, but I’m sure the Apostle Paul and his teams had it much worse.
Ministry in the UK
On Sunday 10th November it was my privilege to preach at the morning service of the Deal Pentecostal Church, near Dover in Kent. Pastor Paul and Margaret Fermor and this wonderful older congregation have been warriors in the faith, and long-standing friends over many years. They have certainly created a legacy of their faith that has impacted this little coastal city.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and your wonderful partnership in the gospel.
Dave & Margurita Smethurst
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