Ministry Van

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Whether it’s a wheelchair delivery, food packets, stroke rehabilitation, mobile medical clinic, visit to the orphanage, summer camp, Night to Shine prom, picking up volunteer teams from the airport, repairing homes for people in need, our summer picnic, or our Christmas visits, our van is essential to getting the job done.  The van helps us bring hope to the forgotten of Ukraine.  That is why we have begun a gofundme campaign for a new van.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/replace-old-blue-new-van-for-ght

To read more about why we are doing this campaign, please read on.

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Our current van has brought wheelchairs to different regions all over Ukraine.  For the 12 years we’ve had it (we bought it used), we’ve put over 250,000 miles on it doing ministry.  That is ten times around the world worth of ministry miles.  Sadly, a few times over the last few years, we’ve had to put some of our programs on pause as we are waiting for the van to be repaired.  The time has come to look for a new van. This is the van we’re dreaming about, to fit more wheelchairs and more people, to do more ministry!

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This larger van will help us be able to take more wheelchairs, especially on trips to new regions, where we are training new churches and charities to do what we do.  It will help us to pick up teams from the airport and take children with special needs to events, without having to always hire a van and driver.  This van will be used every day for amazing ministries.

Here are just a few videos to show how this van will be used.  The first is our wheelchair ministry.

 

 

 

The van also acts as Santa’s sleigh, here is a video of Pastor Kostya and Olga from our office visiting a lady who received a wheelchair from GHT.

 

 

 

 

Our van helps us to put on special events like Night to Shine, a prom for children with special needs sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.  As well as our annual summer camps for children with disabilities.

 

 

 

A new van will be a huge blessing for God’s Hidden Treasures and the people to whom we minister.  Please consider supporting our gofundme campaign!

The link to our gofundme campaign is here.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/replace-old-blue-new-van-for-ght

 

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Celebrating Two Years!

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With joy and thanksgiving we celebrate two years of our “Church of Hope” or “Церква Надія” (Tserkva Nadeeya) in Ukrainian.  It is a celebration of two years of joining in worship, singing praise, preaching the good news that Jesus our savior has paid our ransom and given us the hope of eternal life by his glorious grace through faith. That’s right, two years of praying for one another, being there for each other, growing together in faith.  More importantly, it is two years of a handicap accessible church, a place where those who are often most forgotten, have a place to call their own, a place to hear of God’s unending love for them.

Young or old, male or female, wheelchair, walker or cane, it doesn’t matter, we all love to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, with a few fun hand motions to go along as well.  The Church of Hope is a place for everyone.

We ask you to join us in prayer that God would grow His church in Ukraine.  That those who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ, those who are isolated and alone, would hear about our Church of Hope and join us.  Please pray for wisdom for us as we consider buying land in Bila Tserkva, to build our own church building.  We thank you for all your support and prayers.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Summer Recap v.2

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Summer is an amazing time for God’s Hidden Treasures. During the months of June and July we host a number of teams from the US, run two summer camps for children with special needs, a VBS at the local orphanage, and a picnic for people with disabilities.

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Impact from Southern California has been sending us mission teams for many years to help run a VBS for children at the Boy’s House orphanage.  We spent the week singing worship songs, playing games, doing crafts, teaching Bible stories and sharing Christ’s love with these children.

The weeks following camp we held our annual picnic in the park for people with disabilities.  Even though we had some rain that day, no one went home.  Everyone stuck around to enjoy the food, fellowship, worship, and of course, the talent show.

The last big event of summer was our summer camp for young adults with special needs.  Helping run this camp was a team of Ukrainian volunteers, many of whom were former campers along with three Americans from Iowa.  God worked powefully in this camp, bringing peace into the hearts of youth who have been through some serious hardships and traumas. The stories from some of our new campers truly broke our hearts.  Life hurts, but God heals, and we were amazed to see God’s power to mend hearts.

Along with these special events, we continued to deliver wheelchairs, rehabiliate stroke victims, visit people in their homes, bring food packets, give financial aid, and much more.  We even had a chance to repair the leaking roof of a women who lives alone in a single room with no gas or running water.  All these things are possible only through God and the support he provides through churches and individuals like you.  We want to thank you so much for all your prayers and for partnering with us in our mission to reach the forgotten in Ukraine.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Summer Camp Vol. 1

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That’s right!  It is June, so we kicked off our first camp of this summer.  25 children along with 25 moms/dads/grandmas joined an incredible team of 7 from the Sending Place in California, along with some of the GHT staff for an amazing week of camp.  Every day we joined in worship, Bible studies, crafts, games and so much more.  Each child and parent experienced the love of Christ every day.

One of the things that makes this camp special, is we invite some of the children from Eastern Ukraine.  This is the third year we’ve had a group from Kramatorsk and the surrounding area.  It has been a wonderful experience getting to know these children and their families and build relationships with them.  They look forward to camp all year long.

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Grace with Misha, Vika, Masha and Nikita, all children from Kramatorsk

Another reason this year was extra special, is for the first time we invited two students from the school for the deaf to join our camp.

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Albina, Diana along with their teacher Oksana came to our camp for the first time.  Although three way interpretation of going from English to Ukrainian, to Ukrainian Sign Language was a challenge, it was so beautiful to watch.  God truly worked to show his love to these wonderful young girls.

We continue to pray for more opportunities to do ministry with the children from the school for the deaf in Bila Tserkva.

 

God is truly amazing.  He has been faithful every year at camp, and this year was no different.  The best part is, it’s just the beginning, we look forward to our camp with the Boy’s House orphanage next week, followed by our picnic and our camp for the older youth.

Please keep God’s Hidden Treasures and all our ministry this summer in your prayers.  Thank you and God bless,

GHT

New Opportunities!

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Last month we held our second Night to Shine prom for people with special needs.  Our hope was this year’s event would be even bigger.  We had 75 guests last year, and this year we had 90!  We were excited to have many new attendees.  One child who was too young for last year’s ball, cried when he saw all the photos online and he couldn’t be there.  This year, when he received his invitation, he was smiling from ear to ear.  The night was full of good food, red carpets, limo rides, dancing, talent, and so much more.

The best part of our evening, is when every guest was crowned the king or queen of the ball, because that is how God sees them each and every day.  Through Christ we are all heirs to God’s kingdom.  The crowning ceremony involved a big confetti drop and lots of smiles and hugs!

Probably, the most exciting story from our Night to Shine event involved a group who came for the first time.  As we looked to invite more people this year we reached out to the school for the hearing impaired in Bila Tserva.  Ten students from the school joined us at our ball.  They had an amazing time and they told us  it was a night like none other.  Following the ball we visited the school, to find out that it really wasn’t a school, but more of an orphanage/boarding school for children with hearing impairments.  Many of the kids live at the school year round, some get to go be with their families on weekends, some only during the summer, some don’t have families to visit.

Since in January we had the opporunity to take children from the Boy’s Oprhanage to the waterpark in Kiev, we thought why don’t we take the kids from the deaf orphanage on a trip as well.

We had a blast at the waterpark.  We enjoyed many different water slides, but nothing topped our one hour game of tag in the wave pool with the kids.  It was the first time at the waterpark for these children, and their eyes lit up seeing all the slides and pools and decorations.  When they got home, they were writing on Facebook, that it was a day like none other!  Of course, no trip to Kiev would by complete without stopping at McDonald’s!

We’ve been so blessed to get to know these children.  I look forward to spending more time with them.  We’re even hoping for the possiblity of doind a VBS in the summer with some of these kids.  We’re always excited to see God opening new doors for ministry.  Please be praying for these children, for God continued blessing on our outreach, and for all the ministry of God’s Hidden Treasures.

God bless,

GHT

Winter events!

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The last few winters we’ve been blessed by gifts from the Friends of Norway organization, to plan trips to Kiev for children from the orphanages as well as kids with special needs who attend our camp.  This year we took these two groups on a joint excursion to a chocolate masterclass and indoor water park.

Lviv Master’s Chocolate did a free masterclass for 10 of our kids from camp.  They were able to cut their own shapes of chocolate and decorate them.  They even were able to take home their delicious chocolates in a basket made of chocolate!  Every child enjoyed making chocolates just as much as they did eating them!  After we finished they even offered every guest a free cup of hot cocoa.

Following the masterclass we went to the water park with children from the Boy’s House Orphanage.  It has been a very snowy winter this year, so nothing quite like swimming and water slides in the middle of winter.

We were thankful to have some wonderful volunteers who helped carry the children in wheelchairs in and out of the bus as well as helping out with swimming at the water park.  Time flew by but everyone really enjoyed it.  Of course no trip to Kiev would be complete unless we went to McDonald’s!

Ukrainians love McDonald’s and our kids really enjoyed their Happy Meals and Big Mac’s.  We were so happy to organize this Christmas/New Year trip for the youth.  Lillia, Valeriy and Sergei from our office did a wonderful job organizing this outing.  God has blessed us tremendously to do special like this the last few winters.

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We look forward to all the amazing things God has in store for us this year.  Please keep God’s Hidden Treasures in your prayers.  We are just a week away from our Night to Shine celebration.  Please pray for Nita as she travels in the US and speaks at different churches.  Thank you for all your support.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

 

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us here at God’s Hidden Treasures!  As many of you know, it is a Christmas tradition for our office here in Ukraine to go and visit all the new people who received mobility aids from our organization the past year.  Through our wheelchair distributions and stroke ministry we know many shut-ins throughout Bila Tserkva and the surrounding villages.  A visit from Father Frost and the Snow Maiden is just the thing to spread Christmas cheer and the joy of Christ.

Lillia and Ira from our office put in countless hours on the phone organizing these visits.  Vadim our driver maps out the best course each day to visit all the homes in one region of the city.  Of course, along with our staff, we have many volunteers who play the role of Father Frost and the Snowmaiden.  Often they visit around 20 homes in one day.  We are so thankful to have so many wonderful people willing to bring joy to others.   Many of the visits are full of joy and smiles, others filled with tears and being an ear to hear about their life problems.  Whatever the situation in a home, our volunteers do a wonderful job spreading joy.

Father Frost never comes empty handed.  To every home he brought a gift bag of sweets and a letter of Christmas greetings from God’s Hidden Treasures.  Of course in Ukraine, Father Frost never just hands over presents, they have to earn it by singing a carol, or reciting a poem.  If they’re a little too shy or can’t remember any, then we all sing together.  Every person we visited was so thankful.  Many times they commented how wonderful it is to have an organization that doesn’t forget about people like us.  People can often feel forgotten and alone, but what great hope we find in scripture, that God remembers His people.

Psalm 115:12 “The LORD remembers us and will bless us:”

Merry Christmas one more time from all of us here at God’s Hidden Treasures!

 

 

Fall Fun!

One of the reasons we personally deliver wheelchairs to peoples’ homes, is so we can see their living situations and needs.  If family or friends came to pick up the wheelchairs for them, we might never get to meet and develop a relationship with those we want to help and we wouldn’t know what’s going on in the home, or how we can help.  Sometimes we encounter needs so great, we pray, ‘Lord what can we do to help here.’  Last winter Tonya visited a home to pray for a lady who lives alone, no family or friends to help.  She walks around with a walker, and her home had severe needs.  The walls were falling apart and so thin, it was freezing in winter.  She can’t afford the electricity to run an electric heater.  We prayed about what we can do, we visited this home with one of the American teams who came this summer and we put together a plan.

 

This fall, after our crazy busy summer, our staff and some workers put up ply board to strengthen her walls, as well as painted to make it look much nicer.  We even had some money leftover so they redid the window frames as well.  After they finished, you can see the difference!

 

Her house looks much better now and we know it will be a huge blessing for her this winter.  We are so thankful for those who gave donations so we can help in a situation like this.  Also we are thankful for staff members like Tonya, Valeriy and Alexei who are so wonderful at projects like this.

This fall we are busy delivering wheelchairs. vising stroke patients, and doing prayer ministry.  We are visiting the orphanages again after summer break,  and we continue to worship together at the Church of Hope.

 

Here are some photos from the Valoshka orphanage, you can try to guess who has more fun, Scott or the kids.

 

This week Nita had a chance to visit with students at the University of Akron who are currently working on improving the stroller wheelchairs used by parents here in Ukraine.  .

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Please keep this team in your prayers, we’re very excited about what they’re working on.  In other exciting news, our chef Olga gave birth to a healthy baby boy in August and Alyona Leonov (Stuzhnaya), one of our volunteers and former campers gave birth to a healthy baby girl!  Praise the Lord!  Thank you for all your prayers and support.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Summer News!

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What a summer!  It’s only early July and so much has already happened.  Summers are always jammed packed with ministry here at God’s Hidden Treasures but this summer has been something special.

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At the beginning of June we were blessed to have Dr. Jim Witty, come to Ukraine to teach a seminar on helping people who’ve experienced psychological trauma.  Jim founded Care Corps. International and has traveled to many countries in the midst of war and conflict to teach local religious leaders how to minister and help people with PTSD.

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Dr. Witty was accompanied by Dr. Ted Hole and Doug Bradley.  They taught two seminars.  One in our city Bila Tserkva and one in the city of Kramatorsk in Eastern Ukraine.  Our staff, local pastors, psychologists, and other lay people involved with care ministry attended the conference.  They were blessed with Biblical teaching on the ministry of presence, and how to care for people with Christ’s love.  We look forward to working with Dr. Witty and Care Corps. Int. again in the future.

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In the middle of June a team from The Sending Place in Northern California arrived for our first summer camp for children with special needs.  We had an amazing team of 9 people who gave their whole hearts to the children of Ukraine for the week long camp.  God worked powerfully through the testimonies of this team, sharing how God was faithful even in very difficult times.  Every child and mom learned about Christ’s love for them.

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On the final night of camp Nita shared a message that God knows and loves each an every one of us.  Every camper received a medal and each mom received a certificate from their child.  As always, it was a very heartwarming and emotional night.  The kids and moms will never forget this team.

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At the start of July we had another wonderful team of seven people from IMPACT  arrive for out VBS at the Boy’s House orphanage.  The boys enjoyed a week of Bible studies, worship songs, games, crafts and so much more.  Each child heard about Christ’s love for them.  Each member of this team used their own unique gifts to love and minister to these boys.  It was so neat to see how much they connected with these youth, at the end of the week nobody wanted to leave.

 

In the morning they ministered to the boys and in the afternoon they spent their time ministering to people in their homes with our wheelchair, stroke rehabilitation and vistitation ministries.  This team from Impact has been a tremendous blessing.

Summer is far from over.  We still have another team coming this week for our second camp.  Our picnic is Wednesday July 11th.  We need your prayers!  Rain has been forecast for Wednesday.  Please pray that God would hold the rain off and that everyone would have a beautiful day to enjoy in the park.

We thank you so much for your prayers.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures!

Mobile Medical Clinic

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On Tuesday, God’s Hidden Treasures hosted a mobile medical clinic in the local village of Cherkas.  Our Doctor Tamara and Nurse Olya visited with many local patients who came in for free checkups.  For many of the elderly in the villages, it is very hard to get to the city to see a doctor.  Having the opportunity to be examined, receive basic medical care, and get basic prescriptions is a huge blessing for people living in the village.  Olga and Tamara both helped instruct many diabetics on properly checking their blood sugars, using their insulin and managing their diets.  They also instruct the village social worker on how to use glucometers and help patients with diabetes.

 

God’s Hidden Treasures hosts one or two mobile medical clinics every month in different villages around Bila Tserkva.  Along with our medical staff, Tonya and Liliya also came to pray with patients who were interested, and offer free Bibles and children’s Bibles for people to take.  Both of these ladies have huge hearts and do a fantastic job ministering to  people who’ve dealt with many hurts in their life.  God works powerfully through this ministry in the village.

 

At the same time as the mobile medical clinic, our van drove around for two wheelchair distributions in the village, and our newest staff member Valeeriy, visited 3 homes to pray and encourage people who have received mobile aids from us in the past.  Our hope is to stay involved in the lives of every patient we help.  Many of those who attended the mobile medical clinic had come the last time we were in this village.  I heard many people thanking Dr. Tamara and Nurse Olya, and how much they were helped by their last visit.  Ministry like this is happening year round at God’s Hidden Treasures.  Please keep all of our staff and the people they minister to in your prayers.

Currently we have a very urgent prayer request.  Our staff member Ruslan,  who is one of our wheelchair mechanics and one of the three boys Nita adopted from the Boy’s House Orphange, his son Roma has been and in the hospital in Kiev for over two weeks.  He has some internal bleeding, but the doctors still have not found out what is the cause.  Please pray for wisdom for the doctors that they would be able to find out what the problem is and find a treatment.  It has been very hard on Ruslan, as his son and wife have been at the hospital in Kiev for over 2 weeks.  Please pray for Roma, who has been in a lot of discomfort with weeks of IV’s and different treatments.  Pray for the mother Olya, who has been having to live in the hospital for over two weeks now.  We will send out more information once we know more from the doctors.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.  Here are some photos of Roma.

 

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures.