Ruslana’s Story and Camps in 2022

We have received notice of families in our Ukraine program in desperate need.  It seems life’s circumstances compounded by isolation because of Covid-19 restrictions, are taking a real toll on many families.  These stories are real and symbolic of many families in our program. 

We are also looking forward to welcoming group mission trips in 2022.  In times of trouble and crisis, people need the hope of the Gospel.  Thus, we are going to do everything we can despite Covid-19 restrictions to conduct camps and group trips in 2022.   

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

Ruslana’s Story

Ruslana comes from the southern part of Ukraine and is the mother of two children, 8-year old Adelina and 10-year old Mikhaylo.  She comes from a very difficult childhood.  Her son has never met his father.  After giving birth in 2011, she moved a few hundred miles away to a small town near Kyiv and found a job as a sales girl in a local shop.  She eventually met a young man and they had Adelina together.  Tragically, he left very soon thereafter.  Like many mothers in our program, Ruslana became a single mother raising two kids on her own.  She is resourceful, loves her children, yet life has not been kind to her.

Ruslana works hard to provide for her children Myhaylo and Adelina

She found another job working with the communal housing department.  This local government job provided her with a room.  This means she lives in a dormitory room with a shared bathroom and kitchen in the hallway with other residents.  She doesn’t complain as this provides shelter for her children.

A woman named Natalia lives in the same town, happened to meet Ruslana and invited her to church.  Ruslana gave her life to Jesus and today loves the Lord and attends the church regularly with the children.  They are very active in the children’s club.  The local church is a source of strength for her, but her medical and financial expenses have piled up.

A Desperate Letter from Ruslana

Her daughter Adelina is active at church and wants to be a judo wrestler

“Last summer in August 2020 my daughter Adelina fell from the bicycle and injured her upper jaw and the front tooth with the root not formed yet,” Ruslana wrote. 

“The treatment turned out very expensive and consequences were revealed many months later.  I asked her father for financial help with the dental expense but he moved to Slovakia permanently and has a new family.  He sent some money but marked it as alimony (which he had not been paying). 

“As a result, the government made this as income to me and I lost my subsidy  (a welfare payment of $75 month).  My utilities for heating and electricity are $85 per month.

“We live in a room at a dormitory of 16 square meters (150 sq feet) and it is provided by the employer.  We can live there as long as I work for the communal housing department.  I cannot afford an apartment.  If I do not pay for utilities they can evict us from the room.  I don’t have relatives and live alone with my children.  I am worried that I will lose our room.  With medical, dental expenses, clothes, food, and school supplies, I need help.”

We Want to Help Ruslana and Other Families Like Hers

We would like to encourage Ruslana and surprise her by paying her utility bills and other expenses for the next year.  She has nowhere else to turn for help.  There are other families in her situation as well, and support for the As Needed Fund allows us to respond to these needs as they arise. 

Join Us Next Year on a Trip

Where do you want to go?  Our exciting destinations include camps in Ukraine, visiting families and the farm in Armenia, serving in Kosovo, or a beach camp in the Republic of Georgia.  Check out our website for updated information or send us an email to add you to the interest list.  Most trips will take place during July and August. 

Armenia Update – The Cows Are Funded

All 42 cows are funded.  Thank you!  Now we are searching for additional pasture land and working on fencing, construction, and infrastructure.  Please keep praying for this project as we search for additional acreage