A very intense and extremely eventful year has come to an end. We would have never thought that our country would change so much in only twelve month, that war and fear of war, refugees, soldiers, people with wounded bodies and souls would become part of our every day life. In this special time our faith in Jesus Christ gives us confidence and hope. We find comfort and encouragement in the Bible and in fellowship with friends. Your support, interest and concern are such a blessing to us. We want to take the opportunity to say a “BIG THANK YOU” to all of you especially in this Advent and Christmas time.
Despite of all the negative development in Ukraine, which is visible for example in the massive devaluation of the Ukrainian currency, rising prices and regular electricity shut down, we have to say that 2014 was a year of many joyful moments, a year of small and big wonders. Many of you were part of this in words and deeds.
In this letter we want to share some of these moments with you, for which we are especially thankful at the end of the year.
When we started our first day care center in Odessa in January 2001 we could not even imagine that in the period of only fourteen years we would grow into a community with over one hundred people. It’s such a blessing to see the kids develop. Many of them have become young adults, who have learned to take responsibility for themselves and for others: Lena and Alexandra for example are leading independently the third day care center, and give the good things they experienced during their childhood now to the children in Petrivka. Mischa and Aleksey are volunteers in the UK and work in social institutions and churches, others study at university. Some became soldiers in the Ukrainian army and one young lady recently got engaged and will get married next summer. For us it’s so precious to see that the seed, that was sown into the life’s of these kids is now bringing good fruit. On the other hand we enjoy meeting and involving new families into our projects. During our summer camp in July 2014 we had the possibility to bring most of our kids and youngsters together for a whole week. Without a doubt this was the highlight of the year, because we could see the past, the present and the future in a group of almost one hundred people celebrating being one big family.
Motivated by a very impressing summer we decided to celebrate New Year 2014/2015 together with our youngsters. Together with young people from Moldova, Germany and Ukraine we will spend five days in Uzhgorod. We recognized that in these times of insecurity and fear it is extremely important to build a strong community amongst us. An atmosphere of stability, security and mutual understanding helps to have hope for the future and attracts new people to join. Often during the last months we had people looking for contact and friendship, that we did to know before. Some of them look for financial help, because of the rising prices and falling incomes. But many just say, that they like the special, peaceful atmosphere in our day care centers. We are thankful that we always have enough money to prepare a healthy lunch for our kids and support some families regularly with food packages. There are some rumors that from January there might be no more money for the free school lunch, now available for kids from 7 to 11. If this is gone to happen this part of our work will become even more important.
In November we received fifteen tons of humanitarian aid from Germany. Hopefully, we will be able to distribute them from the end of January to the needy and poor people in Odessa and Odessa region.Furthermore, we are looking forward to four Christmas parties with Christmas plays and presents. Besides our traditional Christmas parties in our day care centers with families and kids, we will go to celebrate with the residents of a home for elderly and also with refugees from the east of Ukraine. So much ahead and we are excited what God has prepared for 2015.
At our website www.hope4kids.com.ua you can find new pictures taken in 2014 and informations and articles about our ministry.
I want to close with a word from the Bible, which accompanied and encouraged us during the whole year:
Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Thank you so much for your support and love!
We wish you and your families a blessed New Year!
Slavik and Nicole Borisuk, with Sarah and Rebekka and the “Living Hope family” in Odessa