By Alena

I was young, but already knew that I if came to God and left my strange friends, it should be interesting. I just wanted to hear God, to know that all this is real. I started ministry at 19. It started with prayer and tears. As usual I was terrified about my calling and felt that it will take a lot of sacrifice. My ministry was gathering people to visit orphanages in the village, 120 km from Kiev.  It was not easy, but I had a wonderful team of people, Yarik and Sasha, and God gave us clear direction.

For example, I usually called to the director of the orphanage on Monday and tell her that we will be there on Saturday. On Friday I felt that I need to call her again. My first thought was that maybe they have excursions or some inspectors will come and it’s better to postpone this trip. The director told me that we can come, but they just accepted 4 new kids, 4-6 years old, and they really need clothes for them. For me it was a big challenge to find clothes. But after a few calls people from church brought me clothes and shoes. I like it, because I didn’t want to solve this issue, and don’t have so much responsibility, but every time when I said “okay God I will try”, He did this.

But the real experience I had when l start to visit Herson region with Association Emmanuel, very poor village – Kalinovskoey. A long time ago this village was not poor at all. People raised animals there and in Soviet Union times it was a big collective farm. But there was probably no time to build a road. And even today buses go from city to village through the fields sometimes, because it’s better than that road. There were two orphanages in that village, but now just one. It’s bad for that village to not have a lot of kids in orphanage, because people need to place for work. So it looks like business. For kids they have some necessary, but not good, education. And if somebody does not study well he can stay in one grade for a few years. If they misbehave teachers send kids to the mental clinic for a while. Also children can just go to college in the next village. The director from the collage and the director from the orphanage have a deal, and this is about big money that the government gives them to do the best for these kids. Everybody knows this. How they act with each other is awful, but how our government treats them is terrible.

This place will be always very special for me. People pretend to hide their eyes when they see such injustice. I want to hide my heart sometimes, but every time I visit the kids I want to stay in that poor village forever. Not only me has this feeling. A lot of missionaries, who visit that place don’t want to return home. One girl lives there already 9 years.  In 2016 I organized one trip to help kids who were about to graduate the orphanage. I wanted to give them some new shirts, bags, books, to make a picnic to talk about how to manage time and money. I felt also that it was from God and I needed to pray for somebody particular for health. It was not an easy project and when I counted how much money I needed for this I cried. But it was from God and everything was perfect.

At that time came one missionary from the USA. One person joined me from Lviv and we did a lot of work but not with our strength. It was of course not everything I planned but probably better. For example, on Sunday morning I wanted to make a little bible study and little kids asked me this. But on this morning I appeared at the orphanage and the older girls pulled me to the room and started asking me how I was making money, how I found a place to live, and how I build relationships. In this case, I was glad that my life not so easy, because I have a lot of stories, when God would not allow me to be hungry on the street in a foreign city. In the evening I prayed for a few girls and one of them couldn’t completely open her eyes during the day or when it’s bright light at room. That girl asked me to pray for her eyes. She just said: “will it help me” In few months I came to visit the kids again but I was already in college and it was not a pleasant picture. The kids who just graduated were dirty and drunk. The girl that received healing with her eyes laid down with one boy in front me on the bed.

I don’t know how I really can help them and sometimes it’s painful. But I know that God is doing something for these kids and we need give our miserable resources for this job. We have our responsibility, but it’s just few percent from 100%. Like with the story about how Jesus fed the big crowd with just a few fishes.