Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sweet Reunions...

Tonight was a great night of getting some of our graduates together with our current residents at the TLC. The kids often see each other and our graduates drop by frequently to visit, but with me (Andrew) living in the Kiev area, it was special for me to see them and get caught up with what they are doing now.

Here is an update on a few of our graduates...

Boris Muhin - Boris is working as an electrical repairman for the steel company Azovmash. This is a company located on the far side of Mariupol (about an hour by bus from the TLC) so he does not visit often. He is earning about 1,600 Grievna a month (a little more than $300US).

Boris lives in the dorm at the factory and works nights. When he isnt sleeping in the day, he tries to visit the TLC, especially because he is dating Julia (a current resident at the TLC). He continues to attend worship on Sundays at church.

Natasha Serdukova (not pictured) - Natasha LOVES her job. She talked about it the whole time we were together today. She works on a computer assisting the main accountant at Azovmash Steel Factory. She is making 800 Grievna per month (about $160 US). She lives in "Hope House" along with Nina Agarkova. "Hope House" is the independent living center (apartment) which Jeremiah's Hope owns and rents to our graduates each year.

Nina Agarkova (not pictured) - Nina has returned to school this year. After earning her diploma in remodeling, she decided to study accounting. So, she is living in "Hope House" with Natasha S. and studying at the Technical School to be an accountant.

Victor Razuveyev - The TLC really started because of Victor. Andrew has known him for 12 years and wanted to provide a home for him after his time in the orphanage. With Andrews move to Kiev, Victor has struggled with feeling left behind. The two communicate by email but Victor has struggled to find his way. He works for a window installation company and makes about $150 US a month. He rents a small 2 room apartment with a friend.

Please pray for Victor as he is not coming to church and has started to drink a little.

Mealtime at the TLC...

When the TLC first opened four years ago, dinner was one of the main focuses of the day. It was a time when all of the kids were able to sit down together as a family. For many of the orphans living in our facility, this is the first time they have experienced living like a family.

Since we moved to the Kiev area earlier in the year, I (Andrew Kelly) have missed eating with the kids at dinner time. This weekend, while visiting, I cooked dinner on Saturday night and really enjoyed the fellowship at the dinner table. We had salad, pork chops and mushroom sauce.
I do not miss cooking daily for 20 people!

Sergey & Sergey at the table.

Nina (TLC graduate), Yana and Natasha S. (TLC graduate) waiting to pray.

Marina, Misha, Yan and Maxim awaiting dinner.

A Saturday at the Transition Living Center....

Many people have often asked me what a typical day at the Transitional Living Center is like for the kids. That is truly a hard question to answer because every day is different and our kids are involved in so many activities.
However, this weekend, while visiting in Mariupol, I made it a point to chronical Saturday with lots of pictures. Here are a few of the best pictures to share with you what today was like...

After lunch, Marina and Julia dressed up
and went to the theatre to see a play.

Tanya Burak, Director of the TLC, came over after lunch to give Misha (10 years old)
his reading lesson. He is just now starting school and learning to read.

Natasha M. spent the day doing her laundry.
It was hung all over the house and outside on the line also.

Natasha S., a graduate of the TLC, stopped by because she has been sick
and just wanted to be "at home."

Anya and Yana spend time helping Alexandra and I
make applesauce for winter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Christmas for Kids 2008...

Each fall, Jeremiah's Hope partners which churches and Christians in the US to collect small Christmas gifts as a part of our annual "Christmas for Kids" program. Christmas for Kids was one of the first ministry outreaches to the orphanage in Mariupol and is now done at several orphanages each Christmas.

It is once again time to start collecting our gift bags ready to ship to Ukraine in time for Christmas (which in Ukraine is celebrated on January 7th).

If you are interested in participating, it is easy! Simply take a gallon sized ziploc bag and put the following items in it:
  • Small or Medium ADULT T-Shirt (solid color - no writing or pictures)
  • Pair of socks
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Comb (no brushes)
  • Pack of 10 or 12 blue or black pens
  • Box of 16 crayons
  • Roll of Mentos or Life Savers (if loose candy - no more than 12 pieces)
  • Beanie Baby
  • $5 bill - to go towards shipping

All bags are to be collected and prepared for shipping no later than November 1st. Please contact Andrew Kelly for more details:

Misha Begins His First Day of School...

Late in the spring, Tanya Burak (our administrator in Mariupol) received a call from Social Services for the City of Mariupol. They were in need of a place where 10 year old Misha Komov could live. We have blogged before about Misha and how his mother had neglected to care for him and never enrolled him in school.

Over the summer, Tanya and some of the TLC kids worked with Misha to teach him some of the basics of how to read. On September 1st, Misha was enrolled in school and at the age of 10, began 1st grade!

Here is a picture of Misha dressed for opening day ceremonies at the school. Thank you to Tanya for preparing Misha for this day. So many of us take education for granted, while others in the world never get to experience it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ugligorsk Orphanage - Birthday Club

Once a quarter, Jeremiah's Hope hosts a "Birthday Club" for the children who live at the orphanage in Ugligorsk (about 30 minutes from Donetsk). Ugligorsk Orphanage is home to over 300 children, many of whom have slight mental or physical problems.

Today, Tanya spent the day celebrating birthdays for this quarter. Each of the children were treated to cake, soft drink and a small gift honoring their birthday. Julia, one of the TLC residents, also went to Ugligorsk to visit her brother who lives in the orphanage there.

The Orphanage in Ugligorsk, Ukraine.

Some of the children holding up their small Birthday gift.

Julia (TLC resident) and her brother from Ugligorsk.