02 Sep Little Milana Popovych’s Story
Capturing Grace on a 23 day journey through Ukraine and Greece, Photographing at Sails of Hope for SOW
(Serving Orphans Worldwide)
In 2014, Marina was a happy mom with a husband, four children, and two more on the way.
Life was good here in Sloviansk and the future was bright for this sweet family. After the borders of Ukraine were breached in 2014 by the Russian army, everything changed.
Marina gave birth to Milana and her twin sister Arina but this happy event was marred by the fact that Arina was born with cerebral palsy and war had just broken out.
Thousands were killed during this attack and Sloviansk suffered deeply from foreign occupation.
Working on this story from my room at Sails of Hope, it was easy to forget that the lovely pastoral view from my window was once an area of enemy occupation, often bombarded by artillery fire.
It was during this time that the father of the Popovych family developed a bad cough. No one paid it much attention at first, mistaking it for a cold. Soon, his condition worsened and he tragically passed away.
Milana’s mother was in shock, left alone in an occupied city to care for 6 children that now included a baby with cerebral palsy.
Thanks to Sails of Hope and their partnership with SOW, Milana and her family have survived.
Sails of Hope is not an orphanage; it is a place of family reunification, keeping families together during the worst of times. Without their help, Milana would have lost her sister Arina to a government facility due to her cerebral Palsy. The mother Marina would have had to choose between her two newborn babies.
Sails of Hope stepped in, walked beside this family, caring for Milana in their safe haven. Milana now stays at home with her family at night, returning to Sails of Hope during the day. Soon family reunification will be completely restored.
Almost 100 children have been reunited with their families after experiencing the loving embrace of Sails of Hope. SOH walked beside these fractured families and met their needs during difficult times, introducing them to the love of Jesus.
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