The Work of our Center in September 2016.

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Dear friends,
Let me tell you about the work of our Center in September 2016.
The renovations are going on at our office. Because of this, we conduct our sessions in some other free rooms in the church. Both our clients and us look forward to entering the beautiful renovated place!
We continue visiting the refugees and the veterans at the hospital.
The situation with the refugees has deteriorated again. They are being forced again to move from the place of their temporary residence which is in Odessa. Probably, they will move the disabled people to a local facility for the aged, part of the people will move to other temporary asylums in Odessa, and most of the people will have to leave the city. The people are frightened and disturbed, they cry because they do not know what to do… Unfortunately, we cannot help them solve the housing issue. We try to comfort and help them in the way we can.
The photo shows everyday life of the refugees.
I would like to tell you Natalia’s (44) story. Unfortunately, her photo is unavailable. Natalia and her family are refugees from Donetsk. Natalia is married and has a son who is 20 and a daughter who is 16. Natalia’s father (83), a wheel-chair person, is here with them too.
Natalia’s first husband died 18 years ago. He went to dig gold in Russia. He never returned from one of those trips. He was killed. Nobody knows even now what happened. Natalia remained alone with the two-year-old son in her arms.
After a while, Natalia married the second time and gave birth to a daughter. Life seemed to have begun to get back on track. She had good relations with her husband, and the son and the daughter made the parents happy. The son finished school with good grades, went in for sports, entered the university. But two years ago, when there was the Maidan revolution in Ukraine, her son had an accident: during one of the students’ parties, he and his friend tried strength against each other, showed each other what each other was capable of physically. It happened somehow that the friend accidentally pushed him off from a balcony on the 4th floor. The young man did survive but remained a disabled person due to a spinal fracture. Natalia remembers all the events related with the Maidan as if in a mist, since at that time she ran around the hospitals in order to help her son. After a while, it became life-threatening to remain in Donetsk, and Natalia, along with her husband, children and father, decided to escape from there.
Natalia’s son was in depression because he did not have a clue as to how he could live on. However, the guy had a strong character. He entered the Polytechnic University in Odessa. The rector of the university took the guy’s story to heart and found the resources to buy for him a good wheel-chair. In Ukraine, there are not so many public places which are equipped for people with disabilities. That is why wheel-chair people often cannot just move around the city. Natalia’s son, despite all the difficulties, can climb the steps to enter the building of the university, and he does not allow anyone to help him, because he wants to do everything himself.
Natalia’s daughter entered a culinary college in Odessa and plans to enter the university later.
Recently Natalia was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent a surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries. The illness exhausted Natalia… She has already suffered so much in life. We bought medicines that she needs now, after the surgery. Our psychologist Victoria communicates with her and with her children.
I would very much like to tell you about Valery about whom I wrote last month. The last month has seen real changes in his life. Because he has problems with his eyesight, he almost unable to read. Angela and Vova contacted a ministry which is involved in distribution of audio players with recordings of the Gospels readings, and they handed over such a player to us for Valery. When the player got into Valery’s hands, he just exploded with emotions! He was happy!
Natalia (a refugee who recently became a believer, looks after Valery) said that that they had prayed together literally the day before to get somewhere a player with the Bible readings. For them, it was a very strong testimony of God's love and mercy when they received what they prayed about. The Lord changes mightily both Valery and Natalia. Valery prepares himself for baptism, looking forward to this moment. He goes to church, listens to the Gospels readings, and prays. Angela and Vova brought him to their church when they celebrated the Harvest festival. After the service, there was lunch, and Valery with Natalia ate hot home-made food for the first time in quite a while. For them, it was a great joy!
Natalia and Valery are being forced from the place of their temporary residence just as many other refugees… We pray that it turns out so that they can remain in Odessa at the facility for the aged. They are busy now collecting all the paperwork for this purpose.
Despite all the difficulties which they face, Valery and Natalia learn to solve all issues with Jesus, and He does not leave them! Valery no longer has any thoughts about suicide!
At the last meeting, Valery shared with us the news. He wants to propose to Natalia and to get married in the church!
We say jokingly among ourselves that there can be a good tradition in our Center to arrange weddings!))) Praise the Lord for everything!
On the photo you can see Valery, Natalia and our psychologist Angela.
Our psychologists Angela and Vova continue to visit the wounded military men at the hospital.
Soldiers look forward to seeing them! In September they visited those soldiers whom they had already gotten to know. Many of them need long-term psychological assistance, and we try to do as much as we can to help the soldier before he is discharged from the hospital. Angela and Vova keep in touch by phone with some of them even after they have been discharged, because the soldiers come back either to their home towns and villages, or to the frontline, or to the hospitals in other cities.
On the photo you can see Sergey whom I wrote about the previous time. He has been in the hospital for 2 months now. Recently he had his next surgery. He was very happy to have a meeting with Vova and Angela. He says that he needs such support.

Alexander, a reconnaissance man. He is now in a place called Stanitsa Luganska. He went there right after the vacation that he was entitled to after the hospital. In the village, his wound began to gather, and he came to Odessa, as he puts it, to get some medical treatment and get back to the front line. He laughingly says that when he was on vacation, all of his friends complained of some “problems" (having gone through the war, these “problems” that they talk about do not seem to be problems at all to him). He says that his worldview has changed very much because of the war. During the vacation, Alexander saw his old dream fulfilled: he changed his apartment in the city of Krivy Rig for an apartment in another city, Dnipro. He has a beloved wife and a daughter. He is a real defender of his land, and he does not give up under any circumstances. It is with gratitude that he remembers the fellowship with Vova and Angela at the seaside last summer!
I want to say some words about Valentin. Angela and Vova visited him at the hospital in April together with Chris and Tom. Valentin is in deep trouble now. The money which the volunteers raised for Valentin to get artificial limbs was gone. It seems that one of the volunteers was unable to resist the temptation to take hold of the great sum of money… It is very sad…
Valentin lives near Kiev. He is completely immobile now and lies at home by himself. He hoped very much for this prosthetic repair. Now he is disappointed in life and in people. Valentin has depression. The volunteers try to raise the needed sum again. The sum is big. It is 250000.00 grivnas. (Approximately $9700.00). Valentin says that he prays every day. He entreats the people to call and visit him, because he feels very lonely. Angela and Vova looks for people in Kiev and near Kiev who could visit Valentin.
Here is Valentin's photo taken when he was still at the hospital in Odessa.
Thank you for your attention. There so much that we could tell you!
Please pray with us for the people under our care!
May the Lord bless you and give you peace!

With love in Christ,
Lena Kolker,
Director of the Odessa Springs counseling Center