It’s Impossible Without You

Natalia walks this dirt road to take Maria to the Hearts of Love center

A note from JeffOn a recent trip to Ukraine, I visited the Hearts of Love Center together with Pete Wooding from our UK office.  We heard about Natalia’s story and visited her home.  She shared about carrying her daughter Maria on her back, walking to the Hearts of Love Center a few miles away.  I had been grumbling about testing for Covid-19 before my departure and after arrival, and quickly realized how trivial my complaints were.  She was not complaining but was just sharing how important it is to her to have sponsors and the support of the Hearts of Love Center.  Recently at the center, several mothers of handicapped children have found Christ. 

Natalia and Masha in the home her father built before he died.

Download Newsletter

“Hello, my name is Natalia Budinchenko and my daughter’s name is Maria.  We call her Masha,” Natalia said.

“Masha is my 5th child.  When she was born, I had never seen a child with Down syndrome.  I didn’t know any parents who had children like this.  At the hospital, they told me that most parents give their children away to a government orphanage that specializes in children with handicaps.  They said that there are very few children like this in Konotop.  They assumed that I would not keep the child.”

How did you find the Hearts of Love Center and what was your impression of it?

In the hospital, they told me there was a public rehabilitation center for children.  I went there and it was terrible.  But while I was there, I met another mom who told me about the Hearts of Love Center.  She said that there is a wonderful Center here in Konotop where they actually teach the children.

“My husband died 1 ½ years ago from cancer.  I thank God for how He provides for us. I don’t think about what I don’t have, but I am grateful for what I do have.”

Masha needs heart surgery soon.

Masha was 6 months old when I visited and the center was not nearly as nice as it is now.  Lena, the director, accepted us as if we were her children.  She took a personal interest in us.  They offered physical therapy to Masha to help her learn how to walk.  A Christian team came and brought her a walker and special boots that correct the feet.  Before she was 3 years old she learned to walk!

“Masha is in kindergarten now.  She doesn’t like it but she loves the Hearts of Love Center.

“I am so thankful that our sponsors help us and our children. It would be impossible without you.  Look at Masha, she is happy and her disability is not so obvious.  Lena and her staff are with us and we are not alone.” 


We are grateful for your faithful trust and support.  As Natalia said, “It would be impossible without you.”