Friday, July 12, 2013

Homeward bound...with 9 little friends :)

This year marks the 3rd year of helping to organize a hosting trip in partnership with Window to Hope- a hosting program a friend of mine and I started at my home church in Washington.

This year we will be bringing 9 kids-- all of who arrived in Kiev today!  We head to Seattle tomorrow where we will be for the next 4 weeks staying in host families.  (My host family just happens to me named 'mom and dad' :))  It is truly a privileged to get to bring these kids home with me as it is not only a chance for the kids to experience another culture and the love of a family, but it exposes these families to the needs of orphans world wide.   God has done some amazing things through this program already and I can't wait to see what He will do this year.

From the moment the kids got off the train today they were a buzz with more questions about what America will be like. 

My favorite conversation of the morning was with our youngest traveler, Pasha:

Pasha:  So you'll be with us on the plane tomorrow, right?
Me:  Yes, Of course
Pasha:  So you know how to speak American?
Me:  Yes, Of course I do.
Pasha: Wow! So you know a lot of words then?
Me:  Yes...a lot of words....
Pasha:  Wow...

I found it very endearing that he was surprised that the American spoke 'American' :)  It seemed like I may have earned some points for being 'smart!' :)

We had fun exploring the city center, playing in the fountains and visiting a children's museum.  And then where better to finish the day???


They're choice.

So I guess their first McDonald's experience won't have to be in America afterall! :)

Stay tuned for more news in the coming weeks! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Special guests

3 weeks ago we had a special group of CBN donors descend on Ukraine.  I say descend, because when a group of 40 people arrive as your 'guests' it can feel like quite the entourage of people! :)

I was privileged to help coordinate this trip that was organized to show some of our top donors the projects they are helping to support in Ukraine.  This was my first experience organizing such a large event--and a traveling one at that!  The trip was a mixture of touring and service projects and a chance for our partners to learn more about the work of CBN and Orphan's Promise in Ukraine.

exploring the beauty of Kiev.

It was a FULL 10 days too! While our special guests were in Ukraine we were able to dedicate a water well at a Kiev Children's Home (Father's House), host a children's festival at our medical clinic that services the poor of Kiev, travel to Western Ukraine and help construct a children's play ground at one of the gypsy camps we work in, and meet and pray with numerous families. 

well dedication at Father's House

face-painting at the children's medical clinic

food distribution in one of the communities
The poverty in these gypsy camps never ceases to astound me.  Though this group of partners only spent one day doing physical labor and meeting with families, I am comforted in knowing that our team on the ground remains-- daily meeting needs in this community.   We have a school that is teaching 180 kids- who prior to attending these classes couldn't even read or write!  And the kids are getting lunch provided 5 days a week!!  This is HUGE for this community- where many struggle to feed their children each day.

Children's program in another gypsy community

Please continue to pray-- we still need funds to expand and grow--- one of the biggest needs being the building of a new school facility which will allow us to educate more kiddos.