By Gennady and Mina Podgaisky
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine faced financial, governmental and societal crisis and instability. Many adults turned to alcohol out of despair. Many children were sent to the streets to look for food. Some children and youth chose to live on the streets to escape parental abuse. Some parents put their children in orphanages because they could not provide or take care of them.
The Village of Hope is a foster family ministry center. There are three Christian foster families living at The Village of Hope. These families take care of children from local orphanages. These children may have a living parent that either has had their parental rights removed or they cannot take care of their children. Some of the children living at the Village of Hope are fully orphans; they have no living parents or relatives. Some of the children are half orphans (they have one living parent or relative).
It is very hard for local Ukrainian families to foster/adopt children with AIDS. There is still a big stigma about AIDS in the country. Since the Loboda foster family was willing to take not only the two older siblings but also the younger one that has AIDS, they are finally living together in a family.
A recent addition to one of the foster families living at the Village of Hope, is the addition of the three small siblings. Dima (10), Victoria (8) and Daniel (6).
In April of 2017, the mother of these three young children died. In May of 2017, their father died. Their older sister tried to take care of them, but since she had a small child of her own, she was unable to take care of them and placed them in an orphanage.
Since the youngest of the three children has AIDS, he had to be placed in a separate orphanage for children with AIDS. In September of 2017, the Loboda foster family took these three children; they had a total of 10 foster children. In February of 2018, Anatoliy Loboda, the foster father died of a heart attack. These foster children became orphans for a second time and both of their fathers were named Anatoliy.
Galina Loboda says that praise God she has the three kids that need so much love that she can now focus on them, since her husband died. Now these kids give her a reason to live. Dima was so thankful to God that God had sent them a new father that was also named Anatoliy like their biological dad. Daniel is happy that now he and his siblings have more brothers and sisters and have a big family.
The Lord was close to these three brokenhearted children when they lost their parents one month apart from each other. The Lord saved Dima, Vika and Daniel by providing a loving Christian foster family to take them in as their own children. Although these children were crushed in spirit, now they always receive guests in their new home with a smile in their faces. God is faithful!
Gennady and Mina Podgaisky are CBF field personnel serving in Ukraine. Learn more about and support her ministry at www.cbf.net/podgaisky.
The Podgaiskys’ long-term presence in Ukraine is made possible by the CBF Offering for Global Missions. Join God’s mission in the world. Give to the Offering for Global Missions. 100 percent of your church’s gifts will be used to send CBF field personnel to share the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world. Go to www.cbf.net/transform and order your free OGM resources today.