Healthy touch is important and therapeutic. To pick up a special needs child who touches my face and leans towards me is a green light to be a mother figure. The soft cooing is my cue to kiss, hug, and pray over this delicate flower. Momentarily in my arms and chest this child is lovingly secure. Many times I feel 1divineline2health is a special needs child with a victorious limp by the miracles experienced in its tender age. It is crippled by the lack of resources or the abundance of blessings not able to leave my house. Along the way someone serves by a one time donation and leaves knowing it is in the hands of a safe person. This mission trip is about scouting sites to continuously serve and meeting people who want to lovingly serve. Every institution both private and public have a few loving angels who relentlessly serve in their mega task. Monasteries, nunneries, and churches have been converted into boarding schools. Parishioners voluntarily take care of the children and adults and yet live in poverty. Lacking finances yet everyday their staple food of bread and potatoes is served. Higher functioning children and adults learn farming and other survival trades to lovingly provide for their peers. Meals are eaten in family style. Everyone eats organic food and live longer. Being here I realized to be "perfect" is not having 4 limbs and being flawlessly pretty and muscular. I have met a lot perfect people labeled by society as disabled yet able to do amazing things. They can't speak but provide them with art and craft supplies and see them advocate in their masterpieces. They are punctual. They work in the fields, raise chicken, milk cows and become a big brother and sister in their living quarters. They share their clean shoes with holes and torn shirts. As I walk in these institutions these "abnormal" people genuinely love. Love is powerful and a safe community. I can call this place my home. There are no "heroic" measures like g-tubes just baby bottles. There is no ensure/pediasure just milk and sometimes vitamins. Caretakers become parents to children and adults. They are magnificent in what they do. They are the loving heroes and miracle workers.
a boys orphanage
Both Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko need to form a peace treaty. President Putin's net worth is $200 billion. He needs to show some reciprocity by renovating the orphanages and hospitals here. Add to those tasks rebuild the airport in East Ukraine and keep the water ways free so humanitarian efforts like ours can save innocent lives. We are willing to help them as well. The biggest fear of Ukrainians is reliving the horrible history with the Russians. I have a different view now about President Parliamentary government systems AKA DICTATORSHIP.
The American equipment here is useful our Ukrainian MacGyvers change cords and create converters. Check out this photo of an x-ray lamp as Bogdana holds open the converter and it perfectly works. There are no words and photos to explain what I have seen and experienced in my service here in Ukraine and the other developing countries. A few days of solidarity when I return home helps me process these experiences. God converts my discomforts to fuel in a strange way. God is my unlimited source of power who sends me winks through strangers and kindred spirits who genuinely serve with love. Just like the anonymous donor and Love Warrior of $5000 a few days ago. An IV pump for a village hospital and medical supplies to a clinic will be bought and the remaining monies will go towards the next container. Ukrainian Love Warriors service show us Love is generous and miraculous. An ancient prophet gave a lesson to some spiritual leaders in a banquet. He said "invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” God has a way to use 2 legged angels from all ages to bless others. Their place of gathering become the banquet halls. Miracles happen when basic needs are met. Sometimes these two legged people do crazy things like the Ukrainian Joseph who sold his house to build a rehab center. Now it has become a state of the art facility. The personal seed has brought international connections. He met Carrie, a physical therapist from Tulsa Oklahoma who comes here with Joni Eareckson Tada ministry, Joni and Friends for a few weeks to serve people who are physically challenged. Joni is a quadriplegic, painter, singer, author, wife, teacher, and advocate for people with disabilities. Carrie came back and has been serving in villages and runs the Physical Therapy dept at Agape Place, the only Christ center care rehab facility in Ukraine. Joseph and Carrie's story is inspiring. Many conversations with ministering angels motivate me and help me understand I was chosen to live this arduos journey. Our paths cross and create a butterfly effect whereby people around the world are experiencing joy through tangible love and service. These Love Warriors form a universal net of God's love as we come together to serve. The people caught in this net are forever transformed and blessed.
I struggle knowing that in Columbus, Ohio and in America there are landfills with perfectly new and good medical supplies. Nationwide Children's Hospital did away with the mission department. Each department is now responsible to find a mission to support. I have a lot of work when I return to the states it just takes one person in each department to be a store house of blessings and do the sorting before I pick them up. The supply list is basic yet life saving. Every hospital and clinic abroad ask for the same items. As I type this blog I feel like Richard Wurmbrand author of Tortured for Christ when he said in the first chapter "This book is written not so much with ink, as with the blood of bleeding hearts." How many heart attacks could have been avoided if the most basic supplies could be brought to developing countries? This 4 yr war in Ukraine has produced massive casualties. There are many orphans, young disabled soldiers with addictions, both public and private hospitals have no funds for hiring staff and repairs. I have met both doctors and nurses using their own monies to keep these buildings from collapsing and purchasing supplies to treat patients. People running the orphanages using there own monies to buy clothes and food for the kids. Rich and poor churches come along by sharing responsibilities to make their own nursing homes and orphanages and have parishioners serving in them. No matter how poor the people are they greet us with a smile and bless us with food. Any community that protects their young and wise with special needs are blessed. An ancient book states "Pure and faultless religion is to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
It takes much prayer and research to learn about the people you serve. The host family in Ukraine are loving; it will be painfully difficult to say good bye. They risk their lives to show us the truth. We have formed solid relationships following the Love warrior code which is to Love God first and then Everybody. I hope to return with Bogdana and Irena when the container gets here.
|Saint Francis Xavier|