The Ark - Kiev, Ukraine
LUMC returned to The Ark in June 2019. Check out the team's travels and experiences on their Facebook Page. Although COVID has put a hold on all out-of-country travel, we hope to return to The Ark when the situation improves. Jane and Barbara and the staff and children of The Ark appreciate your continued prayers and support.
In 2008, after an American missionary from Ukraine visited LUMC and shared about her ministry to street children in Kiev, our hearts were touched by the great need there and God's transforming work through The Father's Care and its child protection center, The Ark.
Because of Ukraine's depressed economy and a high rate of alcoholism among adults, thousands of children flee unstable and often violent homes to take their chances on the streets of Kiev. Others as young as four and five years old are abandoned by parents who are no longer able to care for them. Many take shelter in steam tunnels under the streets of the city, barely existing through begging and handouts, and finding escape from harsh reality by sniffing glue.
The Ark, with a Ukrainian staff of caregivers, teachers, nurse, doctor, cooks and groundskeepers, offers stability and security, shelter, food, education and spiritual training, and lots and lots of love. Some members of LUMC visited The Ark in May of 2008, and in 2009 we rejoiced to welcome two brothers from The Ark who were adopted into one of our LUMC families!
Our congregation maintains a strong relationship with The Ark, offering financial support to one of the missionaries, sending needed items as well as special ones like a handmade quilt for each child, and supplementing heating costs during the winter through our Youth's ONE DAY event.
Our first Kiev Mission Team was scheduled to go to Ukraine in April of 2014 but the trip had to be postponed due to political instability. Since then, in addition to the 30+ children currently residing at The Ark, they have received and are sheltering several families and unaccompanied children who have fled the violence in Eastern Ukraine. More are on the way. We continue to pray for Ukraine and The Ark as they open their hearts and home and share their limited resources with these refugees.
As you might imagine, an already stretched financial situation has been taxed even more with this influx of additional people. Financial assistance is needed for food and necessities for the children as well as funds to convert their current gas heating system to a biofuels system to end their dependence on Russian gas supplies which have been cut off. Kiev winters are harsh and long. If you feel led to donate to The Ark or to learn more, please visit www.kievstreetkids.org.
FOR CURRENT UPDATES:
Our first Kiev Mission Team was in Ukraine April 3-11, 2015 and shared their experience on Facebook. The Team's report to the congregation took place on April 19th and you will find the link to sermon recordings on the homepage of the church website.
Check out The Ark's Facebook Page for the latest news from Kiev.