East Bound and Down

 

This month, Nita Hanson, Kostya Kisilenko (a preacher from Bila Tserkva) and I went to Kramatorsk for a meeting about manufacturing children’s wheelchairs in Ukraine.  For many years Nita has dreamed about having a wheelchair designed just for Ukraine.  This wheelchair would help bless many children and families in the whole former Soviet Union, who all have similar infrastructure challenges for people in wheelchairs.

God keeps putting pieces in place, we have a business man, Valleery Ivanovich who owns a factory in Kramatorsk, which was one of the manufacturing capitals of Ukraine before the conflict.

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There are many talented workers and engineers looking for work in this city.  We have the Rotary Club very interested in doing a project in Ukraine and is currently seeking a grant.  After our meeting with Valleery, we have laid out what steps we need to take, before we can begin.  Please be praying that God would continue to open the doors and bring the right people and organizations together to make this a reality.

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On Wednesday, Kostya, Nita and I were blessed to visit Nikita.  Nikita is one of the children we invited from the East of Ukraine to our summer camp last year.  He is such an amazing young boy who brings joy and smiles to everyone.  Nita encouraged him to aim high, because he can accomplish anything and to keep practicing his English so he can communicate with her and all the campers this summer.  We were excited to invite him to camp again.  Nikita had an operation shortly after our camp to help with his walking, and he is working hard on his rehabilitation.  Please keep Nikita, all our campers and our camp this summer in your prayers.

Another purpose for our trip was to organize a seminar in June for victims of trauma.  Dr. Jim Witty, whom Nita has known for a long time, is an expert on helping victims of psychological trauma.  He travels around the world to places in crisis teaching and equipping local churches, chaplains, and others how to help victims who have experienced major traumas.  He founded Care Corps International, and went to train people in the midst of the Bosnian conflict.  Since then he has held seminars in N. Ireland, Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, Columbia, Chechnya, the Republic of Georgia, Jordan, Gaza and Israel.  In his seminar, he teaches how many different types of people, such as soldiers who’ve experienced war and suffer from PTSD, orphans who’ve been abandoned, people who have experienced life changing medical trauma like a stroke or amputation.  As you know, with the war in Ukraine, there is a very big need to equip people to help those who have suffered these experiences.  This June we are planning a three day seminar in Bila Tserkva, followed by another three day seminar in Kramatorsk.  Please pray that many chaplains, pastors, social workers, psychologist and others who work with people who’ve experienced trauma, will be able to attend.  Our hope is that through this training, God will work powerfully to bring healing to people who are suffering in Ukraine.

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Here is a photo of Dr. Jim Witty teaching in Uganda

Nita, Kostya and I had a chance to see first hand the extent of the damage from this war.  There is nothing like seeing the destruction and ruins with your own eyes, and being shown the city by those who lived through its occupation  You can take a better look in this video.

Finally, continue to pray that God would bring peace to Ukraine and end this war.  While most of the world has moved on, this war continues and has had a devastating effect on these cities.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support.

God’s Hidden Treasures