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Andy and Jill Lehman family

Entries in lifesong ukraine (29)


Summer Camp in Winter?

Last year Lifesong Ukraine finished construction on a camp facility complete with a lodge, picturesque outdoor kitchen and eating area, fire pit and a nearby wooded area for camping.  The team in Ukraine has made many sacrifices to get this project completed and have been using it to it's potential, giving orphans a place to rejuvenate, learn about God's love, and meet other kids in the church and community.

Here's a video to give a little feel for this new addition to Lifesong Ukraine:

2010 Ukraine Camp from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.


And now that winter has come, thanks to the lodge facility and local field trip opportunities, summer camp can last all year round...

playing games inside (Valera, shown leading a game, is a volunteer from a local church):

riding horses (Andre, shown walking the horse, grew up in an orphanage and now works as a volunteer):

visiting a Karkov bread company and learning to make biscuits (Alexi, in the background, is on staff with Lifesong):

and playing soccer in the cold:

I love seeing the community, from orphans who have aged out of the system to church members who were raised in a home with loving parents, joining together to serve orphans!  This camp is such a tangible way that local orphan advocates can serve... and enjoy the process!

“This is a dream come true to have such a wonderful place we all dreamed about and prayed for several years. Praise the Lord and thanks for everyone who supported and built such a place for the kids!” 

 Ruslana, staff member and orphanage #4 graduate (on the right with campers)

If you want to be a part of serving orphans through camp, consider going to our online gift catalog and "give Camp."  You can give in honor of someone for birthdays or anniversaries... or you can just give too... we won't complain :)


Happenings in a Land I'm Missing Today...

Here’s update from Lifesong Ukraine director, Denis Poshelok:

Recently we received many warm scarves and hats for our children at Loubetin Orphanage.  Each scarf and hat was handmade by a group of women from Alabama.  It's getting cold here in Kharkov and these items are a great necessity.  Praise the Lord we now have enough scarves for every child we work with!  Thank you to everyone involved in this work!

A couple months ago we had three additional kids come to our families in Izume.  Two came to Slavik and Natasha (making their total 10 children) and one more came to Voval and Sveyta (giving them 11 in their family).  Three weeks later new furniture (beds, wardrobes, shelves) for Slavik and Natasha's home arrived.  It is good furniture built by our old friend Vladim and is made out of sold wood and veneer.  Kids are so happy to use new beds and mattresses.

Good things are happening in Izume.  As always, we thank our Father for everyone who supports the work at Izume and all of Lifesong Ukraine!"

Last year I got to visit the families in Izume.  Let me tell, you, they are some amazing people.  Slavik and Natasha were in the middle of dealing with 3 children in the hospital with TB and yet Christ still radiated in their lives, even in the midst of great struggle.  My heart is warmed by when I think of them now bringing more children into their home.  So cool!

Thank you, Lifesong staff in Ukraine!  I love and miss you all!  

and maybe I'll see you in 2011... (wink wink, boss.)


A Reason to Praise

Six years ago I had the opportunity to go to Ukraine with Lifesong and put on a Vacation Bible School program for kids at Loubetin Orphanage.  It was my second year to Ukraine and this country.... these children... definitely held a piece of my heart that I would never get back... nor to did I want to.

This particular year I developed a special relationship with one 14 year old girl, named Sveta.  We would spend hours hitting a volleyball back and forth or holding hands as we sang with the group.  When I left we cried and hugged and through a translator said our goodbyes.  She told me not to forget her.  I told her I never would.  I prayed with her that hot afternoon in Ukraine.  I prayed that she would draw near to Christ and grow in Him as she matured into adulthood.

Every year I went back I would see my "little sister" Sveta.  Every year I was able to watch my prayers come true.  Praise the Lord!

This month, at 21, Sveta was married.  Her husband, Ura, comes from a family in the church.  He loves Sveta, but even more, He loves God.

It has been such an honor, to watch this young girl grow into a Godly woman.  And now, when I think of the statistics... when I think how her life could have turned out... I just have to praise the Lord!

Congratulations, Sveta!  I love you and am so proud of the woman you've become!


Lives are Being Transformed


 Vanya from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.




I remember the first time I saw Vanya because there was something different about him. Yes, he was the only black kid in the whole orphanage, but more than that, there was something about his eyes that intrigued me.  
"Vanya is a smart kid." Denis, our director, told us. "He was abandoned as a newborn. His parents were students at the university and he is very smart." 
I smiled at him and he smiled back. His outgoing personality was evident as he tried his hand at English.  I met a lot of kids at that summer camp in 2004, but Vanya is the one I remember.  

-Marla Ringger, Orphan Advocate

Click here to read more about Vanya. Lifesong Ukraine. Changed Lives.


Lifesong Ukraine update 

Please enjoy these updates from Denis, director for Lifesong Ukraine orphan care -

Recently we had a special church gathering where 3 of our kids were baptized!  It has taken many years of labor, prayer and encouragement for them to be where they are right now. We are thankful for His mercy in their lives. Please be prayerful as they go through the school and mature in Christ.”


“Tanya and I were able to take the new 9 passenger van to Volodya and Lilya, who are raising 10 kids (5 biological and 5 adopted, 1 with HIV).  Before they drove a compact size car.  I know it is hard to imagine how they all fit into that vehicle but every Sunday they would pack in and go to church together as well as make daily trips to school! 

Needless to say how happy they all were to see us coming in two vehicles and leaving in one. It is a longterm prayer need which God has answered through our joint efforts.”


“It has been great to see the Zap team grow and we now have a group of 15 older kids consistently visiting church!  However we still need 1)more staff on sports, one-on-one, and job skills 2)more families for adoption and foster care, and 3)a new transition home!

Among those who have been changed, Vova, 17, recently repented! He wanted to be a professional boxer but now desires to be a preacher. It’s hard to believe but it’s a true story. Vova came from bad company, was beaten many times, and took part in major street fights. But God changes lives. Now he wants to be in our transitional program for graduates!”


Testimonials from our special needs program:

Lena, teacher & speech therapist: I have worked with these kids for almost 2 years. I want to be a tool in God’s hands so He can touch those kids through everything we do while at the orphanage. I see change in their lives little by little.  Also, the hearts of non-Christian staff members are changing because of our CCP efforts!

Vitalik, photography teacherThe boys we work with have a big heart and a huge desire to learn new things. It is a great joy to work on photography with them.

Pasha, 24, future orphanage graduate: I believe that God is my Saviour and that He is now living in my heart. I am looking forward to the time when I can leave the orphanage and function well in the society and church. Thanks to the LS team for the great support they provided and that they led me to God.