Monday, February 28, 2011

Hospitality House

I am very excited to use this post to announce a new development in ministry here in Ukraine-- A ministry to house Adoptive families while they are in Kiev!

In the six years that I've been living in Ukraine, I have been given the amazing privilege to walk alongside countless adoptive families on their journey to bring children home.

Through the relationships developed, I often ended up with a couple spending a night or even a week on my pull out couch in the living room of my last apartment. These couples didn't seem to mind the simple living conditions, but instead were grateful for a free place to stay and some English fellowship.

Hanging out with the Bollingers this past summer
This past summer I developed a dear friendship with Jason and Holly Bollinger, a couple from Texas who had a roller coaster of an adoption ride, and as a result ended up living with me for a week to save on cost.  During this time with the Bollingers, the Lord again reminded me how much I enjoy opening my home to adoptive families and helping them get adapted to their surroundings.  So I started to pray about what this could mean for the future.

I knew I was leaving for England for several months, but I began to put this vision before the Lord and asked that if it was His will, He would open the door for me to find a new place when I returned, one which would allow me to accommodate more people, one that would be in a central location for getting around the city AND that He would provide the financial resources to make it possible.

What followed were a series of amazing open doors and a rallying of support from so many resources!

Upon moving back to Kiev in January, I was able to find an adorable, spacious apartment to rent in Podol (a historic part of the downtown) for a great price! Upon finding the apartment I immediately had ministries wanting to partner in what I was doing. 

I had shared the vision for the hospitality home with the ministry I work for, Orphan's Promise, while I was at our headquarters in Virginia in January. My leadership was very excited about the opportunity to minister to families in this way and gave me a green light to go forward.  Orphan's Promise is standing behind me in this endeavor and graciously providing a portion of the rent.

my friend Mary helps paint!
When I returned to Kiev I learned that my church, International Christian Assembly (ICA) also desired to reach out to adoptive families in Kiev and they too stepped forward to offer financial assistance, for the endeavor, a paint team to get me started, and prayer support for families that will stay with me.   In addition, Grace Place, a church in Colorado (from which many adoptive family friends have come) donated a sum of money to help me purchase the guest bed and needed linens to get started.   To say I am grateful would be an understatement!

newly renovated living room!

I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support and the people that have come alongside me to make this happen-- front paint crews, to financial support to remodel help- I am feeling VERY blessed.

It is AMAZING to see God's timing in how this has all come together as well.  Within the first week of living in my apartment, I already was able to host 3 separate families.  Graciously they were willing to live amidst the vast number of boxes and some remodel projects that were still going on!  But we had fun and it was wonderful to see how God was already bringing forward families that were in need of housing and knowing that this apartment could meet their needs.
2nd night in my new home with the Roges and the Pecks.
I have just created a new website devoted to this hospitality home and you can visit that here and learn more well as see a repeat of the above post! :)  I look forward to seeing who God brings my way in the coming months!


Rachael said...

praise God!

Heidi and Felix said...

Thank you for letting Lizzie and me stay on our way out of Ukraine! I had fun helping you put the apartment together, pray that there will be lots of families passing through over the years. Happy that with all the struggles. Lizzie was the first kid through the new place! :-)

Anonymous said...

Моя дорогая! Люблю тебя и у тебя прекрасная новая квартира!!!!! Надеюсь смогу сделать спальню для Кристи так же красиво!! Люблю тебя и обнимаю!

Твоя Ленка

Jonathan and Tara Airhart said...

Wow, this is amazing! We live in Podil too...I love it down here!

Bryna Brown said...

Yeah Karen what an amazing vision and how fun for you to continue to use your gifts to mightily bless others! The living room looks amazing! Blessings to you and all thats ahead!