Bringing Christmas Joy

As some of you know, Christmas Day is January 7th in Ukraine.  On the 5th we had an opportunity to take 30 kids from the Boy’s Orphanage to visit the Roshen Chocolate Factory in Kyiv, Ukraine.  We rented a bus and made our way to the chocolate factory.  Take a look.

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The kids enjoyed all the chocolate they ate on the tour!!  Then they would enjoy even more deliciousness as we went to the big Ocean Plaza mall and ate at McDonalds.

The kids had an amazing day, and it was  a blast to spend time with them.  This Friday we will visit these same kids at the orphanage to sing some Christmas songs, and give some gifts.

On the 9th of January we had our annual Christmas party for all our children from camp.  We met at one of the local schools.  Our time was filled with Christmas songs, games, a Christmas message, good food and wonderful fellowship.  The kids began with taking photos with Father Frost and his Granddaughter, the Snowmaiden.

Then we had a concert by our staff and one of the local school.

Following this we played some games, I had an opportunity to preach and then we enjoyed a big meal together.  Then Olia and I dressed up to deliver the gifts!

We had a great celebration, and a chance to share about the meaning of Christmas and the gift God gave to us all in His son Jesus Christ.  This next week we will have even more opportunities to bring Christmas joy with visits to three different orphanages. So more news to come soon.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Since You’ve Been Gone

While Nita and I have been in the US speaking at different churches during the Christmas season, a lot has happened in Ukraine that I’m excited to share about.  I just returned to Ukraine in time for New Year and it was great to see all of our staff.

First news, we have a new God’s Hidden Treasures official email address that will be sending out all the blog updates.  It is godshiddentreasures1@gmail.com   Also, if you have any questions regarding our ministry feel free to email us at this address.

Now to the exciting stuff.  The container of 200 wheelchairs from Joni and Friends arrived in Kramatorsk and they are being distributed.  It has been amazing to see the photos showing up on my Facebook page of both children and the elderly receiving mobility aids.  This first picture is a pair of twins in the occupied city of Donetsk who received a wheelchair from us delivered by Anatoliy, one of the pastors we trained.  We are so excited to be able to minister to this area of Ukraine.

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Along with the wheelchair they both received an illustrated Bible.  We are still trying to set up a camp in the East of Ukraine to minister to children and young adults like these, please pray that we will be able to find a facility that meets our needs.

Next we have some photos from Sergei in Konstantinovka.  He is another person we trained back in November.  It is awesome to see him out delivering mobility aids and visiting those in need.

God is working in big ways for us in the East.  In our Newsletter, Nita wrote about the doors God is opening for us to manufacture children’s wheelchairs in the east of Ukraine in Kramatorsk.  In the U.S. I met with some professors from Iowa State about working on a wheelchair design for Ukraine and the whole former Soviet Union.  One professor, who is a member at Ascension Lutheran Church in Ames, one of our supporting congregations, is already planning to come this summer.  Please pray for wisdom on how we can move forward with this plan.

Also in December, Father Frost and his granddaughter the Snowmaiden went to visit all of our new families!

That’s right, a huge thanks to all the volunteers who went to visit over 300 families this year.  Each family received a gift from the Ukrainian Santa Clause and many more families in need received a food packet as well.  I know these visits mean so much to all these families!

Coming up we have a trip to the Roshen Chocolate Factory with the children from the Boy’s Orphanage Friday the 6th.  I watched Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory last night to prepare, I hope my expectations aren’t too high!  And finally, Monday will be our big Christmas celebration, (Christmas is January 7th in Ukraine).  We are very excited to have many of our young campers come and be a part of this celebration.  There will be Christmas songs, a talent show, a visit from Father Frost, a gift exchange, a Christmas message and lots of fun!

Prayer requests:

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Please pray for Kostya, on my right in this photo as he continues to receive treatment for latent tuberculosis in Kiev.

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Please pray for Sergei pictured here on the left.  He is one of our staff members, he broke his femur last month and is still at home in bed recovering.

Thank you all, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

God Bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures