Every season I would go to Ukraine for 2-3 weeks, taking aid in suitcases, until I figured out how to navigate shipping boxes of aid overseas.  Each time I would go to Ukraine, more and more orphan facilities would seek me out and ask to be a part of our humanitarian aid program.  When we started in 1998, we served approximately 400 orphans in 2 facilities, and by the beginning of 2014, we were serving in 28 orphan facilities with over 5300 orphan children.   Over 5 million dollars in aid was shipped in to a variety of hospitals and orphan facilities to be given away to their residents.  Our policy is, and always has been that we do not provide funding, but we provide tangible aid to be given to those in need.  Despite all the hassles of shipping such large quantities to a foreign country, there is a level of accountability that a charity must have to be credible, so that donors know what you are doing with their funds, thus, when I would travel to Ukraine, items were purchased and taken to the facility, but money never given to any director or worker at any facility.   I have even had directors tell me, ‘please give me the aid when there are other people present, as I want people to see, I’m not taking this for myself.’  This type of accountability is important, especially in a country where people are selling used clothing and shoes at the open market, directors and workers could easily take aid designed for children, and sell it at the local market. 

Throughout the years we continued to help people in Ukraine, and assist with many, many adoptions of orphans, who would have never had a forever family. During those 16 years serving thousands of children, afforded me the opportunity to meet hundreds of people in Ukraine; orphanage directors, workers, pastors, mayors, chief of police, hospital administrators, political influencers, business executives, principals, teachers, and many more.  Lovely people, and wonderful relationships that would be the ‘glue’ that would bind us together when times got tough.  And did they get tough, and always in the back of our minds, was the knowledge that the Lord sent us to Ukraine, for the sake of 1….

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