May 2018

“Restoring Young Lives…and a Farmhouse”

Where: Ternopil, Ukraine

Who: Orphans / Families

What: Vulnerable Children, Trafficking

How: Sponsorship / Housing

Our February newsletter highlighted the Zagrotsky family, their farmhouse, and how they rescued three brothers sold by their mother into sex trafficking. After their story appeared, support streamed in to help them renovate their house.

Shortly after that January visit, they moved out of the city into their farmhouse. When our Ukraine office called them about the unexpected financial blessing, Natalya asked if they could use the money to buy a van instead. She shared, “we sold our car to buy the farm, but now that we are here, I have so many doctor appointments that we really need a van.”

We notified some supporters that the family had bought a van instead, and that we left the ultimate decision up to the family. (within reason) Now, fast forward with me to our recent visit in April.

Ruslan picked us up at the train station. “The Lord gave us this van,” he exclaimed. We climbed in and I wondered what he meant.

“You called to tell us about the financial support, and we asked about buying a van. The very next day a family from church came to visit. They said the Lord told them to give us their van!”

After a 30 minute drive we arrived and walked in to the small home. Ruslan found an envelope and handed it to me. “Jeff, here is the $7000 you have given us so far. We saved it because we were not sure what to do. Can we still use it for the house?” he asked.

“Of course you can,” I said. “This money is from Jesus! Sponsors have given it to help you with your renovation.”

We hugged and laughed and that is when we met their newest little girl. Yes, today their little biological daughter Katya has a new sister, rescued from an orphanage. Natalya seldom put her down. She needs constant care, and Natalya is certainly willing to give it.

Family Update (Ruslan lost his job)

Ruslan and Natalya, like many other Christian foster families in Ukraine, live their faith every day through their love and care for these children. Their three boys Viktor, Russ, and Nik, rescued from sex trafficking, all need surgery to repair physical damage done to them by their abusers.

Their little girl is physically handicapped. Her brain function has not been determined yet. Natalya is a woman of faith, however, and an inspiration to everyone in her church. Ruslan shared that he lost his job due to his company downsizing, and they gave him a nice severance payment which allowed them to do more work on the house.

Prayer Requests

Natalya asks that we pray for wisdom for them. Right now they have guardianship of the three boys and little Sasha. The physical mistreatment happened before they rescued the boys, and she worries that the perpetrators may try to take the boys away from her if she asks the city government for medical care.

Once they adopt the boys there will be no medical benefits available other than paying privately. Often the local authorities are part of the problem due to corruption, not part of the solution. Thus, they are unsure how to proceed. Their other prayer request is for a new job for Ruslan.

Farmhouse Update

Ruslan does most of the work himself with help from men at his church. The house needs insulation installed and plaster on the outside walls, plus they would like to build out the upstairs into two bedrooms. They are so grateful for the support and asked me to thank their supporters.

See the newest photos of this amazing family at:

Your support of Mercy Projects is used to help families and children in need like them. As a partner with Mercy Projects, you are restoring and changing young lives for Jesus. Thanks for all you do.


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