July 2016 report

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Dear friends,
Let me tell you about the work of our Center in July.
We continue working with the refugees from Eastern Ukraine and visiting the wounded soldiers at the hospital. Also, this month, we joined some other organizations in a charitable social and psychological project to work with children of the refugees, orphans from foster homes and children who find themselves in difficult life circumstances.
This social and psychological project started in the middle of July, and our psychologists were invited to take part in it as leaders of groups for children of ages 6 to 9 and 10 to 13, and also to work with children individually. The project began from a playdate that hosted many children of the refugees, adopted children and children from regular families who wanted to participate in the opening of the project. Our psychologists conducted art therapy classes and played outdoor games with the children. Apart from our groups, the kids attended a number of other interesting classes (an architectural workshop, a dance studio, a puppet theater, arching and crossbow shooting sessions, etc.).

Our psychologists Angela and Vova continue visiting the wounded soldiers at the hospital. During one of their visits to the hospital the soldiers asked them to bring them to the seaside. Many of them had never seen the sea. Angela and Vova decided to organize for them a little sortie to the beach. However, they managed to bring only three people to the beach, because they went by car, and it could not take in more people. Unfortunately, it is because of the lack of finances (for such a trip we would need to rent a separate vehicle).
Two Alexanders and Oleg went to the seaside. They had many impressions! They visited one of the city beaches seeing the dolphinarium, the seafront, the fountains – all of this left bright impressions. However, the soldiers could not comprehend the contrast that they saw: such beauty and fun here, and the dreadful war in the East…
While they were on the beach, they talked about their families and the relations with their loved ones. The three guys’ relations in marriage are different. Alexander and Oleg are divorced, and the second Alexander has a beloved wife and a daughter. The also talked about life, death, and God. The guys swam in the sea and were happy like little children!
After the talk, Alexander said that he would be thinking about rebuilding his family! Praise God!

Alexey is a deminer. During the war he was engaged in mining and demining of the enemy positions. Accidentally, Alexey tripped an enemy’s mine himself. Has got a wound in his foot and had a surgery. He is at the hospital now, going through a treatment. Angela and Vova had a long talk with him, and he did not want to let them go and kept asking them to stay with him a little longer. It is obvious that his soul desperately needs help. They talked about God. They would really like to visit him more often, – after all, each person is so precious for God.
This photo depicts the number of mines which need to be planted within 24 hours!!! (Please do not spread this photo in social networks or on websites)

The refugees still have a lot of problems. The state delays their payments again, and some of them have a really hard time.
Our psychologist Victoria visits the refugees every week. She conducts group and individual counseling sessions with them, and often she would just take the children for a walk, treat them to an ice-cream and take them to fairground attractions.
Victoria helps the refugees to cope not only with PTSD, but also with regular everyday hassles. There are many families there where a husband is a drunkard; there are many single mothers having many children, many single mothers with incapacitated children… Marital infidelity is frequent: for example, a husband “from the second floor” has deserted his family and has gone to live with a woman “from the fourth floor”. The refugees fight among themselves as to who, what and when to clean… Someone stole a cable in the building where they live, so they no longer have the Internet … In a word, there are many domestic issues which make their already uneasy lives even a greater burden.

I thank you for praying and contributing to our ministry!
Please continue praying for us so that God would give us wisdom in ministering to the people. And please continue praying for peace in Ukraine. Unfortunately, the situation in the East of Ukraine has worsened lately, and we continually hear the information about new casualties …
May the Lord bless you all!
With love in Christ,
Lena Kolker,
the director of the Odessa Springs Counseling Center