A trip to Ukraine – learning to step out in faith

Some of you already know this, others will hear for the first time: I am going to Ukraine on Thursday! The writer is going as well, and my mother, and 9 other people too. We are traveling all the way over there to work with orphans at a camp and to show them God’s love.

Let me back up a bit. Two and half years ago the writer and I were living in Massachusetts. I had just finished graduate school and we were contemplating what to do next. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere I could pour out love for other people, perhaps people who didn’t have shoes, food, or a family. We talked about traveling overseas, going to Estonia or Finland or somewhere. We talked about going to Ukraine to work with orphans. We ended up moving to Nebraska for a couple of months to explore where to go next.

All along, God had a plan. While in Nebraska we visited Wyoming and Colorado and settled on moving to Colorado. I looked online to find information about churches in the area and found Grace Place, a church in Berthoud, Colorado. It was very clear on their website that they had a heart for missions. The first weekend we were in town, we attended Grace Place and they announced the purchase of a transition home in Ukraine.

Fast forward one year and the mission trip to Ukraine was announced. Grace Place was partnering with Ukraine Orphan Outreach to send 10 people to do construction work on a transition home for aged-out orphans. I waited for the writer to bring it up, as I’d been praying for his heart for missions for quite some time. On the way home we discussed the possibility of going to Ukraine to work at an orphanage. After praying about it and emailing the missions pastor, we committed to joining the team to Ukraine. We then brought up the trip to my mother and invited her to step out in faith and join us on the trip. She agreed!

Next came the blessing of trusting God to come up with the $5000 needed for both of us to go to Ukraine. One of the things that stuck with me is the idea that God controls all money and that all we need is ask of Him. We received so much support through financial gifts, prayers and items to take to the orphanages – above and beyond anything we could have dreamed of! What an awesome God we have and what a blessing to receive such an outpouring of love from the family of God. Not only did God provide enough money to cover the expenses for the writer and I, but He provided enough to cover my mom’s trip as well!

So now for the trip: we depart Denver on Thursday for Kiev and then board an over night train to Kramators’k in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. We will be attending a church, meeting a pastor who runs a rehabilitation center, spending time at an orphanage and working at a camp for orphans. The original plan was to do construction work on a house that will become a transition house for aged-out orphans, but the legal part of that plan is still working itself out. Everything happens in God’s timing though, and we are along for the ride! We will return to Denver the end of July.

Please pray for safe travel on the entire trip, for the hearts of the orphans in Ukraine, and that God would open doors and hearts for our team while in Ukraine and after we return to the states. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week! (I will try my best to post from Ukraine, but I can’t promise anything. I will definitely have many photos and stories upon return though!)

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