Wow! It is hard to imagine that we are nearing the end of our two weeks here. So much has happened! I have been overwhelmed by the great need that I have seen in the Ukraine. The poverty and desperate situations of those in the Roma (gypsy) camps where people live amidst the garbage heaps with rats the size of cats has challenged me. How can people live in minus 20 degree weather with houses with walls crumbling or with roofs constantly leaking when it rains or with no water supply. The children who have been brought to the House of Mercy have been able to see the great love of God shown by the believers of the House of Mercy who truly walk the talk who go to the Roma camps to fix houses, cook meals, distribute food boxes, and share the love of Christ to these people. They have opened up an orphanage to rescue kids from unimaginable situations ravaged with alcoholism and abuse and showered these children with love and affection. They set an example of what it means to share the love of God as Jesus had done (to reach out to the orphans and the poor). They children here see such demonstation of love and they are so filled with love and generosity as well. In our spiritual gifts lesson, many said they would like to encourage others and Josef said he would like to help the poor. They help you out in a heartbeat if you had a need. I was so touched by Josef who used his birthday money to buy me a gift of a carving of a eagle. After our visit to the castle, he stopped off at the sovenir stand to buy this gift for me. I could hardly stop the tears!
After visiting the children`s hospital, I again was floored by the great need of the hospital. How can a regional hospital for chidlren function with only one ambulance. They have a second one which is so costly to operate that the hospitals donate it to each other just to get it off their hands. How can a surgeon operate in 40 degree heat in an operating room without an air conditioner! The walls are in great need of repair. This hospital built in the 1920`s has so much repair work needed one wonders where to begin.
You cannot begin to fully comprehend the need here by just reading this blog; you have to be here. You cannot fully understand the need here by looking at the pictures on this blog. You have to see for yourself. My prayer is that if you are reading this blog the Lord would move you to visit here and ask God what you can do!