Monday, August 15, 2011

Orphan Victory Foundation: Father's House

Hmmm? So, what is Orphan Victory Foundation? It's a ministry that has been growing in mine and Rick's hearts since before we even fell in love with Liza. During our adoption process the dream became bigger and eventually we met with someone to talk about how to get it started and make it "real". That was a little over a year ago and OVF has really just been a name that gets junk mail at our address and a dream in our hearts that we just haven't known where to begin with or felt we didn't have the time to devote to "right now". I'm going to dedicate a page on my blog to share more about OVF in the next few days, but for now I want to talk about a ministry in Ukraine that I hope OVF will be able to walk along side of.

Just recently we were given the opportunity to partner with some friends of ours in helping a Christian run orphanage, Father's House, in Kharkov, Ukraine, get back on it's feet. I'm excited about partnering with Shane and Diana Lewis and Room for One More Child to help keep Father's House running for all the kids who call it home.

Shane wrote a blog post back in February telling just a little of the needs that Father's House was facing at that time, and since then things have gotten worse. You can read Shane's words, and see photos of some of the kids, here. I wanted to share one of the comments left on his post just a few days ago by a lady who has personal knowledge of the ministry and the people who run it.
"Hi Shane,
my name is Luba Stefoglo, and I'm daughter of Mikhail Scherbinin, president of the Charitable Fund Children Assistance Center "Otchiy Dom". Juliana Khorolskaya, orphanage's director, asked me contact you. She said that you visited "Father's Home" and even wanted to adopt few children, and know about their difficult situation. As you may know, in previous years the orphanage was mostly sponsored by few private people (me, my siblings, and few other relatives), and now we’re experiencing big financial difficulties and had to stop our support. So Father’s Home is being forced to shut down and send the kids to government owned orphanages. That’s an absolute catastrophe for the children as they love and are used to loving, accepting and encouraging Christian atmosphere, as well as enormous heartbreak for everybody who works there because they have been building this for years, love the kids and want them to grow into happy, God honoring people. Well, I don't think I have to tell you what a wonderful place Father's Home is, and that every one on their staff truly has a heart for serving the Lord and orphans. In order to stay open, they need somebody to provide for their operating expenses."

So, what can we do to help? Room for One More Child is collecting donations to be held for Father's House and sent to cover the monthly budget each month. You can donate by going here and clicking the big button that says "click to donate now", then when you are directed to paypal and log-in you can choose the amount of your donation and in the notes section make sure to mark that your donation is for "Father's House" in Ukraine.

Right now the biggest need is to take the financial strain off of them so that they can concentrate on the children in their care. Eventually, though, the goal is to open a transition house for the kids who age out. After that the dream is to have housing that can accommodate short term missions teams and even adopting families. But, for now we have to start at the beginning and that's keeping the doors of "Father's House" open.

To stay open the home needs $36,000 to operate for the year. In order to do this we are looking for 36 people who will be willing to sponsor the home at $100 a month. If you can't do a sponsorship on your own consider partnering with a friend or even with a group of friends. Or sponsor at $25, $50, or $75 a month. Ideally we would love to have 36 people sponsoring at $100 a month in order to ensure that FH stays open and there's even some cushion for those unexpected expenses that come along, but we know that there are folks who want to help but can only do so in smaller amounts and we gladly accept any and every donation to help Father's House keep operating.

Ok, so just to recap, here are some bullet points. Cause I tend to get confused and if anyone else reading this can relate... well, you prob need the bullet points too.

  • Father's House is a Ukrainian Christian run orphanage in Kharkov, Ukraine
  • They are in danger of shutting and sending all the kids to state-run orphanages
  • They need $36,000 a year to operate
  • With 36 sponsors at $100 a month we can keep them open
  • Donations should be sent to Room For One More Child here (remember to note it's for Father's House)
  • This is a great way to see James 1:27 come alive in your own life. 

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