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Feeding bodies and souls in wartime

Two weeks ago, Russia launched another barrage of missiles. A few Ukrainians were killed and many injured. In our city, Zhytomyr, people lost electricity, heat, and water, and the region has faced rolling blackouts. 

In these frightening times, orphaned youth need care and support even more. What better invitation into a safe, loving community than cooking and eating meals together? The body is fed, and the spirit is nourished.

During life skills lessons at the social dorm, staff and orphaned youth often cook together. Recent projects included pizza and hamburgers. Two weeks ago our youth learned how to make deruny (potato pancakes). Many couldn’t prepare even staple Ukrainian foods like this, since they grew up in institutions or unsafe families.

Guys making potato pancakes

Orphaned students often experience food insecurity. We help with bags of groceries, and gatherings at the Day Center or social dorm always include snacks. Our students know they won’t be hungry in our community.  

Snacks on the table at the Day Center

When the war began, many moms evacuated; our Shelter Crisis Housing facility emptied out. Since then, six orphaned moms have moved in. The Shelter is full and thriving! Housemother Anya C. often cooks with our young moms. Recently, staff member Anya H. (a former orphan herself) helped Karina make lasagna.

Even under the everyday threat of attack, God’s people are creating a pocket of warmth and security for orphans in Zhytomyr. Thank you for supporting our team!