"Defend the poor and the fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy." Psalm 82:3 NKJV
The New Hope Ukraine Orphan Care program is more than child sponsorship – it moves orphans to families, bringing life-giving blessings to the children, their new families and the Church in Ukraine!
When the program was started in 2002, the government of Ukraine was supportive of the idea but cautious. Oksana began small, with just a handful of children, including a boy named Maksym, whom she and her husband adopted. Over the next several years, as the government observed how these children did in their new families, God granted New Hope Ukraine with the favor of the Ukrainian government.
Then in 2008, the government decided it was a good idea to move orphans from institutions to families and began offering compensation for food, clothing and other physical needs to any Ukrainian family who take in an orphan. But simply placing an orphan in a family comes nowhere close to ensuring that the child will overcome the traumas and lack of parenting that have left them damaged in so many ways. Both the child and their new parents need much spiritual and emotional support so that they can learn to understand, trust and effectively love one another and successfully blend as a family.
To get a child from the despair of an orphanage into the hope of a solid Christian family is a job that requires passion, dedication, faith, learning and finances. For the past decade, Oksana has shared about this unique program in churches across Ukraine, and has recruited over 100 families willing to take in and raise one or more orphans as their own. But she knows that some couples are not suited for taking in a child with the spiritual, mental, and emotional baggage that these orphans carry because of abandonment, trauma and lack of proper nurturing. So Oksana screens each family, putting them through a series of interviews and tests. Once a family has been deemed ready to take in an orphan(s), she provides them with training and resources on Christian parenting. Only then is the family assigned a child(ren).
But Oksana does not do all of this work alone. She has trained a staff of 12 women and one man to serve as caseworkers in 12 of the 24 regions of Ukraine. Once a child is placed in their new family, the local New Hope Orphan Care caseworker provides the family with ongoing care to help ensure that the match is a success. The caseworker visits the family at least once a month, interviewing both the parents and the child(ren) to discuss progress and concerns, and securing professional counseling for them if there are issues bigger than the caseworker can handle. Every month the parents can also attend a support group of families in the region where they receive further training and can encourage one another. To top it off, each summer New Hope puts on camps specifically for the whole families to attend – parents and all biological and “adopted” children – where they build relationships with other “adoptive” Christian families.
One of the aspects of this program that I love is that many of these orphans are placed in families while they are still young, some as young as two, saving them from years of potential trauma in an institution. Once they have been placed in a family, they and their family receive professional Christian care from Oksana and her staff until the child has turned 18. To date, about 20 of the orphans have reached that milestone. Several of these “graduates” have now married and started Christian families of their own. Without the support of the New Hope caseworkers and the resources, training, and support they provide, even the strongest Christian families would probably fail in connecting with and successfully nurturing the orphans in their care, and many of these children would likely end up back in the orphanage from which they came. But with that support, the majority of these families succeed. Oksana believes that almost all (95 percent or more!) of the children who are placed in families eventually give their life to Christ and become active in the church their family attends.
We invite you to partner with the New Hope Ukraine Orphan Care program. For each orphan placed in a family, it takes approximately $35 a month to provide them with the services New Hope Ukraine provides. If you would prefer to give a one-time gift, you can donate to the New Hope Ukraine Orphan Care Family Camp Fund, or to the Medical Relief Fund, which is used to provide extraordinary medical services when serious medical needs arise that cannot be covered by the family.
Whatever way you choose to help, you can be assured that your finances and your prayers are critical in providing this opportunity so that these children are orphans no more, but children of earthly parents and of the Heavenly Father.
You can help to change the course of a child’s entire life—and help to offer a place of refuge and love. In addition to all of the emotional and psychological benefits of being raised in a real family rather than in an institution, placement in these Christian homes means these children have the ability to:
Your gifts provide real life-changing help to families willing to open their homes to these precious children.