After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all special social institutions, homes for the elderly, mentally ill people, prisons, and boarding schools for orphans were in distress: they were hardly heated, had poor food and worn out clothes. In the view of all this, in 2000, we started to visit a boarding school for children with light form of mental backwardness that is situated in the village of Novozhelannoe that is 40 km away from Donetsk. Having friends in America, we began to ask their help to restore heating system, to replace old windows many of which did not close, to buy new beds and mattresses. Simultaneously, together with a group of young people from the “House of the Gospel” church, we conducted a Sunday school regularly in that orphanage.
Since 2003, we have been able to take on sponsor’s monthly support almost every child from this orphanage.
In a couple of years, together with the “Gethsemane” church (Donetsk), we started the same ministry in other boarding schools in Donetsk. Before the beginning of the war, a group of Christians conducted Bible lessons and various programs every week there, took the children out to the countryside, brought children to church for services. Each summer during ten years, we took 25-30 children from this orphanage to Christian summer camps. It was a good ministry but with the beginning of the war, it has been stopped as the children were taken out of Donetsk to Ukraine.
Currently, the work continues in one boarding school in the Novojelannoe village, which is on Ukraine territory. The other two orphanages (in Donetsk and Bryanka, Lugansk region), that received the help through our ministry, are now inaccessible since they are located on the territory beyond Ukraine’s control.
In parallel with the work in boarding schools, since 2001, we have been working with the sponsorship project for orphans and children, who are in extreme need for various reasons. Every time we visit churches in America, we bring with us the forms of such children that contain a photo of the child, contacts and brief information about the child and the circumstances. This is a long-term project. To support one such child, you need to donate $35.00 each month. Receiving these funds, we buy food in Ukraine, make personal food packages and visit each such house. Through this ministry, we want to achieve three main goals:
- Provide a poor family with food for 2-3 weeks
- Support a child with a prayer (mention the name of the child in daily prayers)
- Bring the Gospel to the child and those who are near him.
If the family has special needs, debts for housing, nothing to warm up, needs medicines, we try to help this family with these needs.
Together with other eight people, we hold this ministry in our region. Each of us serves to 60-80 children. In total, about 600 children are supported in the Donetsk region (about 180 of them live in Donetsk, Makeyevka, Snezhnoye, Gorlovka.)
If you would like to know more about this project and wish to be a part of this ministry, you can contact us or to the employees of the Slavic Missionary Outreach:
- Alexandr Pronin: (916) 832-0025 (for Russian speaking people)
- Charlotte Collins: (229) 263-5587 (for English speaking people)