Pro life ministry 2

Last week I introduced you to Hope Ministries. This week I am going to share a lot of what the girls learn while living in the village. One of the first things they learn is how to love and take care of their baby. They are very grateful for this as most of them don’t remember having parents. They learn how to plant and take care of a garden. Everyone in Ukraine has a kitchen garden. If they don’t have any land they plant in pots on their porches. It is very important to them so they can eat what they raise.

The first mother and baby to live in the house
The first mother and baby to live in the house

In the village there is a lot of land to plant and take care of a big garden. They are taught how to raise and take care of the different vegetables they plant. The ministry bought the original seeds and from that time on it is up to the girls to have enough to plant the next year. The girls can bring their kids outside and watch them play while they plant and weed and take care of the garden. There is also a root cellar to store the vegetables in during the winter.

But of course a garden is not all you need. It helps to have meat to eat. So Svetlana has a farm where they raise pigs and goats. The goats serve two purposes. They milk the goats for milk to drink and then of course slaughter them for eating. Pork is the main meat over in Ukraine so the pigs are also quite important.

Learning to handle goats
Learning to handle goats

The house they live in is so much nicer than what they are used to. It has four bedrooms and when completely full has two girls to a room with their babies. It also has running water but no toilet facilities. They have an outhouse and if they need to shower they can go to Svetlana’s house.

Another mother
Another mother
Another mother
Another mother

The vision doesn’t end there. Svetlana would like to buy more land or more houses in the village. But the houses that have been abandoned need a lot of work or need to be torn down and a new place built. The vision is for each girl who finishes the program to become the head of another house to train girls with new babies. The girls are excited to be a part of this program. It teaches them so much and they don’t have to go back on the streets.

Wanting to buy this to build another house for more girls.
Wanting to buy this to build another house for more girls.

This ministry is very near and dear to our hearts. We have learned to love Svetlana and Marina but also the girls and their babies. We are thankful for people with a vision and this is truly another God given vision to help his people.

Marlee saying goodbye after a visit.
Marlee saying goodbye after a visit.

Loving to help people,
Jan

Pro Life ministry 1

When we lived in Ukraine there was a ministry we worked closely with other than the Widow’s House. It was called Angelina and is now called Hope. It was one of the two ministries that was pro life. This ministry had a unique approach.

First of all I must tell you that children raised in an orphanage never learn life skills. They go to school and learn reading a writing and stuff like that but they are never taught how to make a bed or cook a meal or do the dishes. Absolutely nothing practical to live outside the orphanage. At age eighteen they have to leave the orphanage. They are not prepared to live at all. So a lot of the girls turn to prostitution mostly for food and a roof over their head. Continue reading

My friend Kodra

When we lived at the Jesus House of Prayer in Jericho one of the things we did was give out food packages to people who needed them. There was a fence around the house and we locked the gate at ten at night and didn’t open it until after breakfast in the morning. This was mainly so someone didn’t come asking for something in the middle of the night. Continue reading

Difference in schools

As I drive in my home town I look at the schools. It seems like we are trying to make our schools more beautiful. As you drive by the newer schools they are so inviting. It is not like that in Russia. When we were there we visited many schools and they all, and I do mean all, look alike. I wondered how the children learned because they looked so dingy. When we went to Ukraine I discovered all the schools there looked just like the schools in Russia. Continue reading

Summer camp Ukraine style

When we lived overseas we wore many different hats and did many different things. When we lived in the village we decided to have a summer camp for the children of the village. Now in the former Soviet Union camps are a very big thing. It isn’t camp as we think of camp here in the states. It is more like a day camp. It is a place where the children come, have fun and learn about Jesus’ saving power. We were friends with a group from One Mission Society who were ministering in Kiev. We contacted them and asked them if they would come and hold a camp for the kids in our village. Continue reading

Crazy things like cars

odds and ends 025When we lived in Chervonoarmeysk, Ukraine we simply had to have a car. It was a town of about five thousand people and had a couple of small grocery stores and one restaurant with a limited menu. The biggest town was about an hour away. We had worked with a church in Zhytomer and the pastor of the church helped us find a car. The church also helped us keep it legal so we had all the right stickers. Continue reading

Living in a tent

I wrote some time ago about the Bedouins. They are a nomadic group of people who live in the Israeli /Palestinian area. They are neither Israeli nor Palestinian. However, most of them are cultural Muslims because that is what has been in the area for a long, long time. We had a couple of Bedouin ladies who came to the Jesus House for the Bible Study. Continue reading

Funeral in a different land

Living overseas introduces one to a whole new culture. When we lived in Chervonoarmeysk (also known as Pulin) we attended a funeral. One morning we heard that a woman and her son were hit and killed the night before while riding their bicycles home. The daughter of the woman came to the Widow’s House regularly for computer classes. We figured we needed to pay our respects so we went with Nadia the teacher of the computer classes. Continue reading

Jamaica is beautiful

I will say that Jamaica is a very beautiful country. The people are really loving and friendly and even though I had a hard time because of the heat I am so glad I got the opportunity to minister there. The ministry house was lovely but had no screens on the windows. When night came and you had to have the lights on, of course the bugs were drawn to the light. But those are things you manage to live with.

The view from the mission house
The view from the mission house

When a team volunteered to come build a house the cost of materials and food was included in the amount of the trip. The ministry would see that all supplies were purchased.

The people who were chosen to have a house built for them also had to participate in the building of the house. The ministry provided all the materials and all the meals including lunch out on the work site. The teams worked from eight in the morning till five at night Monday through Friday. At the end of that time the house was finished.Image_00133

It was always a big deal on Friday when the team leader presented the new owners with the keys to the house. On the day before the presentation the team would go out and buy things needed to keep the house clean. At the presentation the owners were also given the cleaning supplies.

Presenting the keys of the finished house to the new owners. Note cleaning supplies.
Presenting the keys of the finished house to the new owners. Note cleaning supplies.

All of the team members were from one church and a lot of them were youth groups. There were a lot of different denominations that came down. The love for the Lord was evident in all of them. We had five different teams while we were there.

A finished house
A finished house

Before I finish telling you about Jamaica, I want to say cool is a relative term. When they told me the house didn’t need to be air conditioned because it was in the mountains, it didn’t mean much to me. If it was any cooler it would have only been a couple of degrees and of course the humidity was still at one hundred percent.

Both time and laundry time at a typical house.
Both time and laundry time at a typical house.

I am so thankful to have had this experience. The people will always remain in my heart. For people who have so little they are a joyful and loving people.

Thanking God for experiences,
Jan