Open Arms Newsletter – January 2009

January 27, 2009

Open Arms Ukraine – January 2009

Graduation Dresses

For a kid in high school, prom is usually a highlight. For the children at the Pravda orphanage their graduation is their time to shine. The girls wear prom dresses, the boys in shirts and ties, and for that day, they are the stars. This year, economic crisis in Ukraine has escalated the prices of dresses even more than usual as orphanage support from the government has decreased. We have decided to see how we can help make this day special for the children at Pravda and are looking for your support. If you have a used prom dress, jewelry or dress shoes that you would like to donate, please contact us through e-mail ( or by phone [(510)435-3625)]. Monetary donations are also greatly appreciated as they can help us buy dresses here in Ukraine for these beautiful young ladies. Together we can share God’s love in this way and help make this graduation a day they never forget.

Aids Talks/Abortion

Ukraine ranks #1 in all of Europe, which includes 43 countries, for the prevalence of AIDs among adults. According to the UNAIDS report in late 2008, Ukraine and Russia are stated as the region with “the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world with prevalence doubling since 2001″ ( as quoted from UNAIDS statistics). With this reality, we have seen an increasing need for awareness among the children we work with as many turn to sex at a very young age. On January 16th, we held a two part lecture series for the oldest classes at the Pravda orphanage and we are set to do the same for the next classes in the coming weeks.

We have also received permission from the Sambir Juvenile Colony to hold the same lecture series for the young men there who are preparing for life outside those walls. Every day decisions are made, but we hope that with education some of those decisions may be altered for the better.

Alongside the AIDs lecture at Pravda, we will be holding an abortion program January 24th with a young pregnant woman from a local Sumy church as the speaker. She will work with the oldest classes and share with them about the realities of pregnancy and what takes place with an abortion. Our goal is to inform these children of the truth behind the terminology used while shedding light on God’s truth in these subject areas.


Ever year we are faced with a new class of graduates from the Pravda orphanage and therefore our relationships there are of the utmost importance. If trust is not built with the children before they are placed in the trade school system, it is hard, if ever, to build trust to bring them to help. With this reality we have been building a team of Ukrainian volunteers from the local church who will be traveling with us monthly to the Pravda orphanage. They will focus their time on creating programs and building relationships with the 2 oldest classes that will hopefully lead to continued relationships beyond the children’s time there. Our goal and vision is to see long-lasting relationships developed that will lead not only to tangible help and support when the children are released from the orphanage, but also to a personal understanding of salvation in their lives. * PO Box 277, San Lorenzo, CA 94580-0277 * (510) 435 – 3625


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