by Victor P. Akhterov
“As the children were playing outside, we were hearing the artillery fire from both sides of the conflict. Those deadly sounds did not bother them at all,” says Vladimir, FEBC missionary in Eastern Ukraine. Vladimir’s ministry is two-fold: bringing help to the most disadvantages children in the war zone, and promoting adoption, foster care, and other kinds of care for Ukrainian orphans.
Vladimir organizes camps for disadvantaged children of Ukraine every summer. Some of them are orphans. Many are from families where parents are alcoholics. Often, they arrive hungry.
Andrey, 13, explained: “When Dad starts drinking, my brother and me can handle that, we learned to work around it. When Mom joins him, life becomes hell for the next few days.” Andrey heard about the love of God in the camp for the first time in his life. And he responded, giving his life to Jesus.
Vladimir and his wife Elena are probably the most selfless ministers I know. Both of them were called to minister to troubled children from their young age.
“Even when I was praying for a husband, I had one request, he was to love children who don’t have parents, and don’t know Christ,” said Elena, sharing her life story with me. Today, they are the parents of six children, four of them adopted.
FEBC had a station in a city of Shatya, in eastern Ukraine. Vladimir and Elena conducted a camp there. serving more than 250 disadvantaged children. The stories of their lives are heartbreaking, but the results are inspiring.
Sasha, 15, came because her grandmother, FEBC listener, bagged her to come. She was reluctant at first, but gave her heart to Christ by the end of the camp session. Since then, she was baptized in water, and talks to all her friends about Jesus, non-stop. Her dream is to become a missionary.
We are not leaving these children without support after the camp. Many are becoming our listeners, and learn about the love of God throughout the year.
Natasha, one of the camp participants, sent a message into one of our youth programs, “I began listening to you since I went to the Christian camp. I feel the same kind of energy and love in your programs, as I felt during my two weeks at the camp. Maybe it is true, that God loves me as well?”
YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE
We need to raise $25,000 for the children’s programs online, on the air, and on the ground, for the next 12 months, beginning with Christmas programming.