Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New House Parents for the TLC...

Meet Valik and Anya - our new House Parents!

Valik and Anya joined our staff at the beginning of the month as our House Parents at the TLC in Mariupol. Valik is a long-time member of the Left Bank Church of Christ in Mariupol and Anya has been a member of another congregation near Donetsk. They were married this fall and togehter have been pursuing opportunities to minister to orphans. With the kids at the TLC knowing Valik so well from church and Anya's previous experience working at orphanages teaching Bible lessons and doing outreach, it seemed like a perfect fit. We welcome Valik and Anya to our staff.

Valik and Anya will be replacing Alexandra and Sveta who had been taking turns serving as House Moms. They both feel they could no longer keep up with the teenagers and most especially the boys! We love and adore both Alexandra and Sveta and appreciate their amazing service to the kids and the Lord this past year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ruslans Baptism...

Ruslan is a young teenager who has been living at the Transitional Living Center in Mariupol for several months. Ruslan was placed with us by the city Social Services office while they determine what is in his best interest.

What is in Ruslans best interest? A relationship with Jesus Christ! After several months of attending worship and studying with Gennady (one of the preachers in Mariupol), Ruslan decided that he DID want a relationship with Jesus and he was baptized on November 30th. Vanya Moroz, a graduate from our TLC, assisted Gennady with the baptism.

Gennady talking about Ruslans new walk after his baptism.

Gennady presenting Ruslan with a Bible.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ministry Begins at Ivankiv Orphanage...

Andrew and Jenny Kelly moved to Ivankiv in late April of this year to build a Christian camp for orphans. Through their relationships with local church members, Andrew and Jenny were introduced to contacts at the the local orphanage.

The orphanage in Ivankiv is rather small compared to most in Ukraine. It is home to 40 children, split evenly (at the current time) between 20 boys and 20 girls. The children are also NOT schooled at the orphanage, instead they are incorporated into the local Kindergarten and grade school system. This is not the usual way orphans are educated.

The front of the orphanage in Ivankiv, Ukraine.

This is the bedroom for the younger children at the orphanage.

One of the bathrooms at the orphanage.

This week, Andrew and Jenny, along with Dr. Jeff & Donna Crain, missionaries in Kiev, Ukraine, visited the orphanage to begin making plans for full-time ministry to the children there. They met with orphanage director, Galina Vasilevna, and she was VERY open to Jeremiah's Hope coming on a weekly basis to hold Bible studies/discussion groups with the children. Please be praying about this new ministry opportunity!

Jeff & Donna Crain, Jenny Kelly and Galina Vasilevna

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quarterly Birthday Party at Ugligorsk Orphanage...

Yesterday, Tanya, along with TLC residents Julia and Marina spent the day celebrating with 54 children who had their birthdays in October and November at the orphange in Ugligorsk. Of that number, 15 were younger children and 39 were older.

The spent the day being a blessing the kids. They came bringing birthday cakes and drinks for the festivities. They also gave each of the kids a small birthday gift. The girls got a small stuffed animal. The younger boys received a hot-wheels car and the older boys received a chocolate bar.

For most of us, this does not seem like much, but for these children, this is probably the only acknowledgement of their birthday.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

TLC Kids Receive a Great Gift...

This week, the kids living in the TLC received a great gift. A box arrived from a donor in Florida containing BRAND NEW winter coats and school backpacks full of supplies. The kids have never received such nice coats. They will be warm when they are walking to trade school through the winter.

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: akellyukraine@gmail.com

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.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Meet Maxim...

Meet Maxim Artemuk, a 17 year old orphan from Dzerzinsk, Ukraine.

Max moved into the TLC this week and will be studying the profession of a welder over the next two years while he is in trade school.

His mom is in the process of losing her parental rights. He spent the last 10 years in the orphanage just because it was more convenient and easy on his mother to place him there rather than caring for him herself. He has an elder brother.

If you would like to sponsor Maxim, please contact us at donations@jeremiahshope.org

The 2008 TLC Graduates...

We are pleased to announce the graduation of five of the teens living in the transitional living center. These five teens have overcome many obstacles to reach their dreams.

Back Row L to R: Boris Muhibin, Vanya Moroz, Sergey Mamai
Front Row L to R: Nina Agarkova and Natasha Serdukova

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Our Mariupol Staff...

We are very proud of our staff in Mariupol. Together, the four ladies provide round the clock care for over a dozen teenagers. Their tireless efforts are often unnoticed by the teens they serve and by others around them.

Tanya (left) serves as our Coordinator of Mariupol Operations. She oversees the administrative side of the ministry and attends to the educational needs of those living in the TLC.

Julia (2nd from left) works Mon-Fri from 9 to 5. She assists with the preparation of lunch each day and also with monitoring the kids chores throughout the week.

Alexandra (3rd from left) is our main House Mom. She works all week, 24 hours a day meeting the needs of the kids. Her role involves mothering, cooking, cleaning and mentoring.

Sveta (right) is our relief House Mom and works 2 seperate days each week to give Alexandra a day off.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Child Sponsors Needed...

With summer comes changes to the group of teens living at the Transitional Living Center in Mariupol. This month, five of our teens will be graduating and moving out of the TLC. These young adults will begin their first job in their new professions and we will continue to mentor and work with them while they get used to life on their own.

With their departure, we will be bringing new kids into the TLC and keeping some of the current kids. With the arrival of new kids, we are needing to find new "Child Sponsors" who would be willing to contribute $25, $75, or $150 a month to meet their needs.

If you would be interested in helping provide for the needs of one of these teens, please contact Andrew at akellyukraine@gmail.com .

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Meet Misha Komov...

Meet Misha Komov, a ten year old boy who was recently brought to live at the transitional living center by the local authorities. After spending a couple of months in a hospital, the Mariupol Department of Social Services asked if Jeremiah's Hope could care for Misha while they go through the lengthy process of removing him from his mothers custody.

His mother is in the process of loosing her parental rights due to heavy drinking and child neglect. Besides Misha, she has 3 other children (2 are older than Misha) and is supposedly pregnant again. Nobody knows who the father is (or fathers are) for any of these children.

The city administration has just recently issued a birth certificate for Misha. His mother has never took care of it. Misha has also never gone to school, so he cannot read or write.

The staff of the TLC in Mariupol are taking the time to teach Misha his alphabet and some basic counting skills.

Misha will remain in our care until the court decision about whether his mother is fit to be a parent or not. This process might take months and we ask that you be praying for Misha.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TLC Kids Get Creative on Garage...

The local church leaders in Mariupol recently asked us to paint our garage which sits on the church property. The leadership had no idea how artistic our teenagers would get...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

5 Teens Graduating from School & Leaving TLC...

Two years ago, a group of teens moved into the TLC to begin the next phase of their lives. Over that time period, they have studied various trades in local trade and technical schools and now graduation time is fast approaching.

At the end of June, five teenagers will graduate from trade school and will begin yet another new phase of their lives. Natasha Serdukova, Boris Muhibin, Sergey Mamai, Nina Agarkova and Vanya Moroz will leave the transitional living center and will begin new jobs and lives as young adults.

We are very proud of these 5 teens and congratulate them on their accomplishment. We pray God's continued blessings upon their lives!

Nina Agarkova and Sergey Mamai dressed for church one Sunday.

Vanya Moroz reading his Bible.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Thank you for visiting the Jeremiah's Hope blog for orphan outreach!!

It is our hope to better facilitate communication between the ministry and its supporters by using this blog to relay news on a regular basis! We hope that you will find these brief updates encouraging, inspiring and a blessing.