Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hope for Orphans - Ukraine without Orphans by 2015

They came from many different towns and villages. Some traveled for hours - others just across town. What brought the over 500 people together this weekend in Kiev was an emerging vision. Empowered with the call of God's word to take care of orphans, dreamers came with a dream - Ukraine without Orphans by 2015

Christian organizations, church leaders, Christian family centers and foster and adoptive parents came together for the first Alliance National Conference. The goal of this conference was to issue the call for churches to step up and care for the thousands of children living without parental care in one of the 88 orphanages scattered throughout Ukraine or in other devastating life circumstances.

Much like sister movements in the United States  (i.e. Christian Alliance for Orphans) this Ukrainan movement could very well change the face of child welfare in this country. It was an incredible privilege to be part of this remarkable movement.  It is hoped that the Alliance in Ukraine will be a model to other countries on how the church can impact the lives of orphans.

 Ruby Johnston, co-founder of ILDC, told us of this adoptive father's incredible story of child rescue.

                            Coffee break time between workshops.
 Ruby, along with staff member and translator, Anya, challenged the groupto consider the power of networking.
 Our book. "Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child" has been translated into Russian. We were asked to do a book signing on Friday evening and had the opportunity to present an adoption workshop on Saturday. What a gift we have been given to serve here.
The ILDC staff in Ukraine, l to r - Max, Oleg, Anya and Vika are pictured with the leaders of Co-Mission, an incredible resource organization located in Ukraine, Russia and the US.

We leave Sunday afternoon for our final work week overseas and will be joining our family just in time for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Great Day with Ukrainian Social Workers and Foster Families

This week finds us in a different place, so different from Krygzstan, but in many ways the people are the same...kind, gracious and open. We have been training at the ILDC headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine. ILDC, the International Leadership and Develpment Center was born out of the work of LAMb International and its initiative is to impact the system of child welfare in this country.

Today, we started a two day training called, "Wounded Children, Healing Homes:How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families." It is adapted from our book by the same title. We find that foster parents and adoptive parents struggle with many of the same issues around the world and it is our hope, that in one small way, we will encourage them and help them.

Today was almost too much fun...thought we would share a glimpse of the day...please click on this link to see the fun!


At the end of this week, we have the privilege of attending and speaking at the "Ukraine Without Orphans" Alliance National Conference.  Church leaders and laymen are gathering from all over the country  are stepping up to their responsibility to James 1:27..taking care of orphans....It will be an awesome event.

The journey continues...home in 10 days...eager to see family and friends

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saying Good-bye for Now

Saying good-bye to our very special friends in Krygyzstan is always difficult.  On Friday evening, we all gathered at Lynn and Ruby's apartment for a dinner together. They are already gone and it wasn't the same without them. 

Pictured here: The Wright family, Talent and Acel and family, (our foster family for Dayspring), Natalia and her friend, Sergai and some extra young people. We missed our team leaders, Lynn and Ruby as they had already left two weeks ago for work in Ukraine.

It is Sunday evening, and we are sitting in an apartment in Kiev. We are here for three days of training and then an incredible adoption conference, put together by the church leaders in this country. We are excited to be a part of it.

Our journey continues...