In 1996, I was working as an international consultant in Ukraine, when a friend came from Canada with a suitcase full of gifts for the orphan children. I did not know, until we stepped into the orphanage that day, that there were a large number of children living in deplorable conditions in institutions around the country.
We were allowed to enter an orphanage for disabled children late in the evening and were immediately overwhelmed by the smell. There were 128 children living there. Forty of them were in cribs – and we discovered that they were not taken out of their cribs, even during the day. When we asked why the children were not taken outside, we were told, “These kids don’t understand anything – they will never walk – they will never talk.” One of the girls, in a crib, was 19 years old.
That day I decided to do everything I could to change the lives of these beautiful children.
The needs are different but the goal is the same … to be the evident hand of God in the children’s lives.