Sunday, January 25, 2015

Zhovten 1-24

37!!! SAY WHAT??!!? 37! It is a record number of volunteers that headed to the Zhovten orphanage on January 24th. There was not even one spot left for a volunteer who wanted to join the team. What can we say….this team (mostly from Yuzhiny) loves to see the kids in Zhovten. They are committed and have genuine relationships with the kids. They arrived at the orphanage just before lunch and stayed til late in the evening. The program was a Christmas play that was written and performed by the volunteers and children. Yes…we are still celebrating Christmas here in Ukraine! It’s a holiday that just keeps on going! Christmas is on January 8th in Ukraine, so we aren’t so late in celebrating. First the volunteers started by dressing in costumed scenes of Christmas. Next the kids divided in groups and had the task of showing the Christmas story through the eyes of the animals in the stable, through the eyes of the palace of Herod, through the eyes of the angels, through the eyes of Joseph and Mary, and etc. Each team made their presentation and the children, orphanage staff, and volunteers all enjoyed the performances. It was a long day of performing, but in between their were plenty of snacks and time for conversation.

Then came the gifts! The children got exactly what they had ordered. The team asked them some time ago what they would like and then they went on a hunt for those things. People from the Yuzhniy chruch and even the city council of Yuzhniy got involved by donating soccer uniforms.
Three special moments that they team leader would like to share are these….One boy opened his gift of a big truck and exclaimed, “It was the dream of my life!” Another child while listening to a song/prayer for Ukraine closed his eyes, folded his hands, and prayed. The last special moment was when a few volunteers brought the gift to a little girl that was in the infirmary. She opened her doll with such joy. The orphanage staff member said it was the first doll the girl had ever received. The girl begged for pictures and asked that they were sent to her mother. Please pray for this dear girl and that she will feel not only the love of volunteers, but the love of God.

It took a long time to say goodbyes and to get the team on the road! It was a great day and all were encouraged and blessed. Please thank God with us for the team that visits the children in Zhovten!