Retired Firefighter Visits Sponsored Family

Tom Roth with his sponsored family. The father Oleksiy is in a wheelchair.

Oleksiy and Lesya Blaschinskyi, who live in a small two-room apartment in Kiev with their three children and grandmother, have faced many struggles, and hopelessness. After years of drug and alcohol addiction, Oleksiy was dealt a devastating blow when a debilitating condition caused him to become wheelchair-bound.

In 2004, Oleksiy found the Lord, started attending church, and was completely rehabilitated from drug and alcohol abuse. He met Lesya at church and they were married and then blessed with three children, daughters Angelina and Ulyan, and their young son Phillip.

Recently one of their sponsors, former firefighter and paramedic Tom Roth from Salem, Oregon was able to visit the family for the very first time. He says it was amazing to see first-hand the hope that sponsorship brings to families like these:

“It was very special just to be there and see them face to face. I loved their smiles and our conversations. I really feel a connection that I could never have gotten just through letters.

“Their hospitality was amazing and it just showed their appreciation for their sponsorship. They are really grateful for the small amount they receive from us. Oleksiy is doing his best to be a faithful father and husband. He designs websites for a living. This makes it all the more special to support a family like that.”

Tom concluded by saying, “I knew there were a lot of needy families in Ukraine, but I didn’t realize how far the small amount I give goes. Mercy Projects is bringing good news to the poor, caring for widows and orphans, and helping those who are needy. This reflects God’s heart, and that is why we have supported this ministry for so many years. I think they are responding as Jesus would!”

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