September 2018

Scholarships Make Dreams Take Flight

Kyiv, Ukraine – Many years ago a single Ukrainian mother came to our Kyiv office and asked for help for her daughter, a sponsored child at that time, to attend college.

“We can’t afford it,” she said. “Our sponsors have been so generous. Do you think they would want to help?”

This request was the beginning of our Student Scholarship Program. Our goal was to identify strong Christian candidates for higher education, and assist them in developing into strong followers of Christ in their adult lives. Sponsors then continued their sponsorships, offering these students a small annual scholarship. With the help of MP sponsors, hundreds of young people have received scholarships lasting four years.

When students apply for a scholarship, they know that they are not guaranteed any money. They apply, and then wait in faith, believing that God will meet their needs. They often work small jobs to save money if possible, and usually try to live at home or with other family members. The scholarship support is either paid directly to the school for tuition or students are required to use it
to purchase books, supplies, and transportation.

As these young people learn to walk in faith and see God meet their needs, they feel like the sky is the limit for their hopes and dreams. After college is when their dreams take flight. This was literally the case for Olena who is now fulfilling her lifelong ambition to become an airline flight attendant.

To see what Olena has achieved is even more remarkable when you know what a difficult childhood she had. She was raised single-handedly by her mother in a modest apartment with her four siblings—three brothers and a sister.

While dealing with the trauma of her father’s drinking problems and her parents separating, Olena also had to come to terms with having congenital problems in her legs. Her left foot was deformed and her right leg is 4 cm shorter than the other. She had surgery, but the
problem persisted. Her allergy to wool and some medicines also worsened the problem.

The turning point for Olena came when she started attending our camps. During the next 12 years our team saw an incredible transformation in her life.

Our camp director and student coordinator, Yana Glushko, recounts, “I remember Olena in the camp as a child and then as a student. It’s like two different people. She became such a responsible person and determination became her character. I also noticed her growing in faith during these last years.”

During this time, Olena began to dream of going to university and seeing the world but she knew there was no way her family could afford to pay her tuition.

Thanks to her MP scholarship, Olena embarked on a four-year degree at Ukraine’s National University of Transport. During the last few years she also managed to work part-time and started working as a translator at MP camps.

“When I was a child I always dreamed of coming back as an interpreter to our camp. When I did, the experience I got there was priceless and helped in my future profession,” she said.

After four years of hard work, Olena graduated from University of Transport and was overwhelmed when she was hired by Qatar Airways.

Olena explains, “I always had a dream to travel and my pastor’s preaching was one of my main motivations to start doing something so that my dreams became reality. He used to preach that there are no boundaries for God and nothing is impossible.” Olena now works full-time as a flight attendant.

“I am very glad that I can see the world, do interesting work, and be useful. I am so grateful to those people who believed in me, supported our family for so many years, prayed for us, and helped financially. I thank God for you, Mercy Projects! And I am so happy that I have a wonderful profession today and can support my mom and family.”

Broken families, single mothers, at-risk children—the effect of sin in our world is great. The effect of God’s grace however, is deep, transforming, and eternal. As a sponsor with Mercy Projects, you are directly impacting lives of both children and parents with the grace of God.

We know you have a choice among ministries to support. Thank you for supporting Mercy Projects. Your support means the sky is the limit.

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