Happy birthday sweet 16 - now go live in a sewer!

Welcome to my sewer - children somehow surviving in the Ukraine. By PAT FRANKLIN

Happy birthday sweet 16! Now go live in a sewer. This is the fate of many children in the Ukraine. When they are 16 they are turned out of the orphanages to fend for themselves. Ten percent commit suicide. Others become prostitutes to get money for food. Some beg. This is the legacy of communism, which left the Ukraine dirt poor, with families so desperate that they cannot afford to keep their own children, but have to put them in state orphanages. Then comes the magical age of 16 - so exciting for western children, so horrific for the Ukrainian orphans.

Now for some of these kids, help has arrived. Many have been rescued by the charity Hope Now, which is based in England. There are homes established to take some of the children and there is a summer camp running from June to August. Many of the children, so rejected and wounded, have turned to Christ and found healing for their broken hearts. Many are being helped to become independent. Some have been educated at university and are now getting their doctorates. The people who support Hope Now are laying up treasure in Heaven.

Will you join them in this labor of love? There are lots of ways you can help. No matter if you are rich or poor, fit or disabled – you can help these Ukrainian kids. How? · If you are physically able and have time this summer, why not give your summer holiday to God and join the team running the summer camp at Kompas Park summer activity centre? The rest of the year might be grim, but the camp provides plenty of food, sport, crafts, good fun, English lessons and Bible studies.

Every year children who had no hope come to know the Lord Jesus, the source of all our hope and the fountain of all our blessings. Busy this summer? There is also a winter camp held in an orphanage and you can tell those kids that although maybe mum and dad couldn’t look after them, there is One who never leaves us or forsakes us. (To download application form and more information visit www.kompaspark.com. · If you’ve got some spare cash, you can sponsor a child to attend the summer camp for £25 a week. · If you are not so good with kids, but are good at building work, you can help build Kompas Park, where the camp is held. Work is in progress and it is being turned into a year round facility. Pack your tools! Hope Now is also building a children’s home there. (Contact jon@hopenow.org.uk) · You could pay for individual items for Kompas Park and the children’s home. For example: dining chairs, £10 each; blankets, £14 each; saucepans, £43each, dining tables, £60 each; beds, £75 each; wardrobes, £185 each; freezer for kitchen £320; cooker £620; fire alarm system £800; hot water boiler £1,800 and, most expensive of all the heating boiler at £3,200. · If you can’t go out there and you can’t afford to donate, you can do what is probably the most important job of all and make a commitment to pray consistently for the work, so that the people of Ukraine might hear the gospel and have their needs met. ·

A village house for converting into a meeting place for church is needed in this former strongly Communist village. There are currently only six known believers there. Hope Now says it will cost £5,500. Hope Now would love to hear from you. (info@hopenow.org.uk or usa@hopenow.org.uk) Gifts can be sent to Hope Now, Malvern Centre, Malvern Road, Southampton, and SO16 6PY, UK. Or, in America, to 3419 Westminster Ave, PMB 268, Dallas, Texas 75205. And please check out the Hope Now website at www.hopenow.org.uk


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