Grace to Ukraine

After reconnecting over homeschool {thanks Aubrey!} and later connecting on Facebook.  I learned that my friend Marilyn and Jennifer were involved in a ministry called Grace to Ukraine.  From the updates and post they wrote or linked to, I could feel their passion and love for these children. Prior to last Christmas, our church learned of the life and conditions of most children in the Ukraine and I believe it was then at that point, the seed was planted.  With new knowledge and a new love for Ukraine, our women and children’s ministry joined forces shipping almost 200 shoeboxes to Ukraine.  It was a fun and exciting time for our church families!  

So when I saw “Ukraine”, I knew immediately I wanted to know more of Grace to Ukraine and their beautiful leader!  

Grace to Ukraine is…

“…a non-profit organization organized for the purpose of providing humanitarian and educational assistance to orphaned children and raising awareness of the needs of orphaned children.  Our focus is currently on hosting Ukrainian children in Birmingham, Alabama each summer and outreach trips to Ukraine in the fall and spring.  Each of our Directors has either adopted older children that they met while participating in hosting programs or has been extensively involved with orphans in Ukraine through hosting and outreach.   They each have a heart for the children still living in the orphanages of Ukraine. “

 

{Please take a minute and head over to Suzette’s site, Grace to Ukraine and learn more about her heart for these children and the hosting programs she is involved in every summer.}

Well, after back and forth messaging on Facebook, I knew that Marilyn and I were kindred spirits, better yet…  sisters in Christ.  We share a passion for our Lord and now we shared a passion for these children.  Marilyn insisted {“she’s waiting to hear from you!”} I knew I had to make the call AND so thankful I did!!!  I caught Suzette on her way to the airport to pick up the children for her first hosting in her home.  I could hear the smile on her face and feel the passion and love she had for these children.  

After hanging up, we were set to again merge with Miss Denise and the children’s department to bring dinner and fellowship with the children one evening…  we couldn’t wait!!

We had an awesome night getting to know Suzette, her family and friends and the beautiful children from Ukraine!  It was such a blessing all of the children playing together.  

A week later, I got a late night call…  ”we gotta go back…  I can’t quit thinking about them…”  I could tell in Emily’s  voice, God was working something within, greater than just a need to see these children.   I knew how God could use a ministry to draw one closer to Him.  I knew how putting yourself out there, having faith, being obedient, being the hands and feet~ literally would change you…  

So, the next night our two families piled back in the mini and headed across town…  This time we brought the men folk!  Emily wanted our husbands to see what we had been passionately discussing late at night on the telephone.  Again, another night of blessings!  And each time we were greeted with the most radiant, humble and loving person…  Suzette is inspiring, encouraging and challenging with her love and passion for these children.

Again, The Lord has placed another amazing person in my path to open my eyes.  And again… it has brought me closer to Him!   

In November, we asked Suzette to come and share with our women’s ministry what she is doing with Grace to Ukraine.  I was overwhelmed with God’s goodness as I noticed all the different churches in our community represented by different ladies.  We had all come together to hear and learn more about Grace to Ukraine and the amazing ministry Suzette has created.   

We ended the evening piled up in the kitchen chatting away…  Then the idea came!  

“Okay, it costs approximately $2500 for one child to travel to Alabama; this includes his or her airline ticket, visa fees, in country travel and insurance, medical insurance for child and guardian, and a contribution towards the guardians expenses.  {We also had the opportunity of meeting Anton, their guardian, at Suzette’s home.  You won’t believe what all wonderful things he and his wife are doing for these children in Ukraine}  My thought was that if 25 families in a local church got together and each gave $100, then the entire fees for one child would be paid!  
 
We are blessed this year to know so early which children we will be hosting.  As a result, there are optional things a church could do for the child they decide to sponsor. I could send them some pictures and some information that will help them begin to pray for this child.  They could correspond with the child and we could even send a package over with a few winter items if anyone wanted to do that.  Another option would be to prepare the welcome bag for that child next summer.  Welcome bags generally contain a couple of outfits, shoes, a swimsuit and toiletries.  Of course, if the child you sponsor is available for and interested in adoption, your church members could advocate for him or her.  Hopefully, a relationship could be established that, if the child does not get adopted, will help see the child through the years ahead when he leaves the orphanage. “
 
WOW!!!  I think Suzette has got an awesome plan!!  Who’s in?!?!?!  My desire is that you will prayerfully consider this opportunity to help Suzette and her ministry to share the love of Jesus with these children.  What an amazing opportunity for a church family or a group of people to have this coming year.  I am so thankful that our paths crossed and that we were blessed by Suzette’s ministry.  If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact me via facebook or email {naelrod@hotmail.com}.  
 
There are also other opportunities with the hosting program, like meals and outings with the children.  To learn more please visit Suzette’s site, Grace to Ukraine or PLEASE follow her on FAcebook to learn more about the day-to-day of this ministry!  
 
The newest to her ministry…  The Lucea Project!  
 
So, who’s gonna join us and commit to sponsoring one child to come to Alabama, Suzette’s home.  Giving her the opportunity to love on these children and show them the love of our Lord and Savior!  {If you aren’t able to commit to one child, you are welcome to join us here at We Are Rooted and our church Pleasant Grove Nazarene and be a family willing to commit $100 for our child!  We will fill you in on more ways to get involved with us along the way!! }
 
Peace out~
Natalie
 
 

 

 

2 comments on “Grace to Ukraine

  1. Marilyn on said:

    I’m in! This is exciting news and info! I’m ready to spread it!

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