Our Mission trip to the Ukraine was a success! Much was accomplished and the foundation for further advancement has been set. Our Mission was simple: Develop the region’s businesses so that they can prosper and support their churches. The churches will in turn grow and prosper, and be able to develop schools for the orphans who are currently lost spiritually and educationally. During our trip, we specifically focused on helping to develop businesses in support of the trade school programs offered through the New Hope Center.
As our first order of business, we conducted an outreach luncheon during which my good friend Dave Balinski (Regional Director CBMC Central Pennsylvania) spoke on the topics of “Asking Good Questions” and “Developing SMART goals.” He closed the session by asking the most important questions that we all need to answer.
Besides the significant interest in the topics, there was also receptiveness to the invitation to consider the claims of Christ. We thank our incredible interpreter, Olga Rubel, who interpreted our English presentations into Russian and helped us deliver our message.
Dave and I visited a Christian Trade School which had just opened within the past few months prior to our visit. We were greeted by the first seven attendees of that school. Each of the students, all orphans, is fully engaged in career training and the Bible. At first, the students were very reserved, but as we shared our hearts with them, they warmed up.
The most difficult aspect for me personally was the realization that these teens never had earthly parents and will never understand that bond and security. In fact, it took me several weeks to get my arms around it. After randomly crying on the flight home, and then enduring several days of a heavy heart, I realized how hard it was on me emotionally.
But what saved my heart from further pain is that although they are absent an earthly father, they have one through their savior Jesus Christ.
You see, sometimes, even when you have an earthly Dad or Mom, you really don’t because they never loved you or respected you like God does.
We are plagued with kids that have parents who are incapable of loving them and helping them to develop to their potential.
So if you are in that circumstance, know that you have the greatest Father for eternity – a father who will never let you down, God our Father.
In Zaporozhye, we immersed ourselves into the culture. We ate with, shopped with, participated in Bible study with, and enjoyed companionship with a wonderful variety of people in a very short period of time. It seemed everyone around us was enamored with the U.S. and current events. And it seems the whole world continues to watch us to see how we will be leading the world into the future. Will our approach be principled? Moral? Will it reflect the foundation that the U.S. was founded on? Will God’s hand remain on us?
We had an incredible time meeting with a couple, Yura and Tanya, who recently started a Boys home to help male orphans as they leave the orphanage at the age of 15-16 to start their lives on their own. Their selfless dedication to helping these boys was breathtaking. For a young couple to do what they are doing is such a beautiful gift.
In addition to the luncheon, I presented an all-day seminar to over a dozen attendees on how to create a “Kingdom-minded business.” The seminar was based on my recently published book. I also spoke on the idea of “Servant Leadership,” which generated interest to the point of me being asked to speak in a local church the following morning!
During our stay, our host Vova (Vladimir Kiyanenko) was gracious and extremely informative about the culture, the business climate and the orphan situation. I am very grateful for his hospitality and look forward to partnering with him in the future.
So in closing, over the next few months Dave and I will be strategizing how we can take our next visit to the Ukraine to the next level. Hopefully advanced marketing and networking will help us increase seminar class size but also help to get the message out about how these few people are making such a great impact on Children’s hearts. Want to help? Contact us, I would love to have your support and commitment moving forward.