My time with orphans in Ukraine

17 Apr, 2016 | Ukraine
OM International
Heyden Evans taught the boys in an orphanage in Odessa province how to build bird boxes and brought much joy to these orphans!
In January 2016 Hayden Evans, from Finland, visited the OM Ukraine team. She spent some time with the “new generations’ team” in Odessa, reaching out to orphans.

Hayden shares a little bit about her impressions during this time:

“Russian! (The language was a real challenge)

Another thing that struck me was their diet. As a foreigner is appeared like a really bland food experience, devoid of essential vitamins and other nutrients, lacking freshness and excitement. But just being part of the food experience and eating with the children, the same things as them was in itself a way to bond and understand a little bit more of their everyday life.

For me, being part of a team, each day was packed from 7 a.m. till 11 p.m. (the children came from 9 a.m. till 8 p.m.). Relationships from previous visits being strengthened, new relations being developed and volunteers and kids having fun. Unfortunately our visit was cut short by a day because of an approaching snowstorm. It meant we would have been stranded. I know that everyone was blessed to have been part of this visit and encouraged to become an active part of future outreaches.

My thoughts and our discussions afterwards really brought home the reality of the orphans in Ukraine. Their options are limited and their life expectancy shocking. Again what we would take for granted; further education, developing life skills, ability to survive in the world, having somewhere safe to live, having loving family members, having a salary and eating good food - are all that are missing to an orphan. Especially, coming to the end of his or her time at the orphanage there is a sad fact that they will not live very long for various reasons. This was something that really struck a chord with all of us and bought the question of: How can we help? How can we have an impact on these young lives before they leave the orphanages?

I was really blessed and honoured to serve with these volunteers who have given up their free time to come and serve in the name of Jesus! And I would thoroughly recommend anyone getting involved in any capacity.

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