Most Americans’ understanding of Ukrainian or Russian orphans is through their exposure to a ‘Hosting Program,’ where 15-20 orphans are brought to the US for four to six weeks, to live with American families interested in the possibility of adoption….or they know of someone who has actually adopted.
ORPHAN GIRL WATCHING BIBLE LESSON AT BAKCHESSERI ORPHANAGE, UKRAINE
I believe families who go to the sacrifice and the expense (some estimates $35,000+ to adopt a child from Ukraine) are HEROES …..REAL HEROES for rescuing an orphan.
But according to the U.S. State Department statistics, 610 Ukrainian orphans were adopted by American families in 2009, and 450 Ukrainian orphans were adopted by American families in 2010. For the past five years, an average of 525 Ukrainian orphans were adopted by American families according to U.S. State Department statistics.
With 108,000 orphans living in state-run orphanages in Ukraine, and another 6,000-12,000 being placed in the orphanage system each year, hosting programs and adoptions affect less than one-half of one percent.
WHAT ABOUT ALL THE ORPHANS LEFT BEHIND? WHAT ABOUT THE 99.5% OF ORPHANS THAT WILL NEVER BE ADOPTED?
That is the focus of New Life Ministries’ work with orphans in Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia.
TO SEE PICTURES FROM OUR ORPHANAGE WORK IN A MUSIC MONTAGE, A DUET WITH LENNY LEBLANC AND KELLY WILLARD, CLICK HERE
Since 1998, New Life Ministries has been developing a comprehensive strategy to work in-country, within the state-run system, to make an eternal and physical difference in the lives of THE 99.5%...THE ORPHANS LEFT BEHIND.
Our work is founded upon raising up & training nationals to reach orphans in their own countries. A team of national staff & volunteers has been chosen & trained for the task at hand. This ministry approaches our task on several fronts:
NATIONAL ORPHANAGE MINISTRY TEAMS—Every month during the school year, September through May, orphanage ministry teams travel to and minister at state-run orphanages with which we work on a long term basis. Teams minister in Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia, and these weekend trips focus on a topical Bible lesson which includes music, puppet theater, pantomimes, and more; small groups where the lessons are discussed, a passage connected to the lesson read out of the Russian Illustrated Children’s New Testament, and a time of prayer is offered; crafts and games, important relationship building time for the orphans and the staff/volunteers.
BIBLE CAMP FOR ORPHANS –Throughout the year our national teams are looking for the orphans at each orphanage who are the most serious and active. Those orphans are then invited to attend our Summer Bible Camps, where they are further discipled in a more serious, 24/7 environment. In addition, LIFE SKILLS lessons are taught filled with practical aspects of every day life and what they will face once they ‘age out’ of the orphanage.
DENTAL CLINICS FOR ORPHANS-Led by Raleigh dentist Dr. Gabriel Rich, dental clinics are sponsored at our cooperative orphanages, giving orphans both preventative and corrective attention. Already, three of our state-run orphanages have been covered.
MATERIAL HELP FOR THE ORPHANAGES –We have also been able to help meet the material needs of the orphans and orphanages and have completed projects that have included installing toilets, renovating showers, providing hot water, clothes, winter boots, kitchen equipment, industrial washing machine, etc.
SPONSORSHIP OF TRANSITION APARTMENTS FOR ADULT ORPHANS—Our ‘Fresh Start’ program takes adult orphans who have ‘aged out’ of the orphanage system, but who have shown that they want to seriously continue to pursue their spiritual, personal and educational growth, and places them in a transition apartment, provides what is needed for them to continue their education (food, clothing, medical, utilities, school tuition and supplies), and supervision and mentoring by one of our full-time staff.