29 Oct Day 10 – Fathers House in Kiev, Ukraine
August 10, 2017 – Day 10 of a 26 day, 11 flight and 4 country adventure, Capturing Grace in France, Ukraine, Russia and Spain.
Fathers House in Kiev, Ukraine is a place for healing and restoration for homeless children who have survived the unthinkable while seeking shelter from the streets.
Many of these children sought shelter from the harsh winters of Ukraine in the basements of buildings, living like rats to avoid detection. Others have been removed from homes where they were beaten for their failure to cooperate in sexual acts that provided income for their fractured family.
Trust me, this story has been sanitized of details that would perhaps give cause for you to stop reading at this point. Our looking the other way due to our uncomfortableness over these atrocities does not lessen the impact on the victims. Ignorance is not bliss. God’s word tells us that as Christians, these children are ours, we should no more turn our backs on them than we would our own flesh and blood. As inhabitants of this earth these are OUR children and my heart broke as I heard of their plight in this broken world.
The redemptive stories of lives changed and healed through the power of God working through those whom I now consider angels at Fathers House made my heart expand once again with hope and love.
Children that Ukranian social services have taken off the streets, or from very abusive homes, come to Fathers House. Here they receive counseling and treatment and a home environment where they experience the love of God through those who are the hands and feet of Jesus.
During a one and a half hour interview with Fathers House founder Roman Korniko, one thing became profoundly evident. God interrupted the life of this Ukranian medical doctor for a purpose, and that purpose was for rescuing the lives of children who were destined to become yet another tragic statistic .
As my daughter Carissa I walked the grounds of Fathers House, Roman’s daughter Anastasia informed us of it’s history and how Fathers House came into being in 1996. Anastasia speaks fluent English and acted as our interpreter and guide around Fathers House and the city during our time in Kiev. She is one of God’s angels here with a heart that beats for the ministry that her father started, together with mother Natasha they form a team transforms lives here in Ukraine.
Fathers house has several layers to it’s ministry with it’s first being a rehabilitation center for traumatized children. Here they receive professional care to aid their recovery from mental and physical abuse. Fathers House is not an orphanage, the focus of Fathers House is to transition abandoned and traumatized children into the arms of loving families who will adopt them.
The treatment facility facility at Fathers House provides much needed counseling and medical assistance so they can enter their foster family program.
Within Fathers House are apartments that house volunteer families who live here with their own children, fostering children until their adoption. The photographs in this post are of families that have blended their own children with the children that they foster. The combined total of children is ten per family so if a family comes here with five children they can foster five more. Many children have been adopted into families around the world as a result of this very successful program.
Fathers House also takes in children who are aging out of orphanages and equips them with the needed tools to transition into a life of their own. I witnessed the success stories of those that have received college educations and are now living independent lives. Without this type of assistance, the statistics are very unkind to children coming out of orphanages at the age of 16 with little preparation of how to function on there own
Fathers House supports other ministries in the area including a home for elderly people living on the streets that have fallen between the cracks of a very fractured Ukrainian welfare system. During my time here in Ukraine I visited with these overlooked victims of society, holding their hand as I heard their stories.
I hope that these photographs fill you with hope and a desire to be a part of this life changing ministry here in Ukraine. You can learn more about Fathers House at http://www.otchiy-dim.org/en
[In August my daughter Carissa and I set off on a 26 day, 11 flight and 4 country adventure, Capturing Grace with our camera’s as we journeyed through France, Ukraine, Russia and Spain. I am now back at home in the US, posting about the experience of those twenty six days from my journal]