We visit a couple prisons on a regular basis, but this month’s visit was extra special because it was Christmas, which is celebrated in Ukraine on January 7th.
What a joy it was to serve and teach on Freedom In Christ to the ones who are captive and seeking freedom! We were also able to bring gifts of warmth for everyone, specifically shoes and blankets. As it is very cold right now, this was an urgent need and very appreciated.
We’ve broken ground and things are really moving at the True Hope Center! This is our first update in a while on the building itself, and we’d like to catch you up on all that has happened so far.
One thing we have been working on for years is getting full electricity hooked into the building. In fact, since the day we began holding church services, all of our electricity has come from one little extension chord running from a generous neighbor’s house. Years ago, when we originally began applying for electricity, we applied to the city for ten kilowatts. This was the safe bet, and we knew that we were a lot more likely to be approved if we took this route. After a little while, though, we felt led to begin applying for a larger maximum load. We ended up requesting more than quadruple our original bid, and reapplying for forty-five kilowatts. There is simply so much need here, that we know we'll be full the second we open. Honestly, we just wanted to be prepared. To put this new request into perspective, major power plants in the east have recently been destroyed by the ongoing hostilities, making an addition of 10 kilowatts to Ukraine’s grid at this time incredibly difficult, if not impossible without a hefty bribe. However, as I’m sure you know, the Kingdom of God is influenced by events in heaven, not events on earth. It is truly with a heart of gratitude and joy that we can say we are now fully hooked in, and for the full forty-five! Papa saw to it that as soon as we open, we will have sufficient electricity for the entire building. We never wanted to build another “orphanage”, which in this country means nothing more than a cold, dirty building with beds, full of sick fatherless kids. The vision for the True Hope Center has always been a vision for a real home. Now we can guarantee that His children who are staying here will have more than enough electricity to stay warm, have hot showers and hot food.
Speaking of hot showers, we have recently completed some major plumbing work as well. What we did was fully replace our incoming water pipe with one of a much larger diameter. We calculated for what we are going to need when we're a completely operational home, full of people who need to wash their clothes, take showers, and wash dishes. Likewise, we re-plumbed the internal plumbing to be able to handle the increased demand.
We are also almost finished building a fence around the entire property. We made the decision to build the fence before starting the major roof and third floor work, after a few issues with people “borrowing” things from the property without asking. It was a little slow in the beginning, but now the work crew is really flying. We have a very professional crew doing all the fence work, and it shows. The quality of the work is great, and even better, they’ve hired a few of our boys who enjoy that kind of work. So now our kids are getting good experience with a great company, rather than the third-rate stuff that is normally the only thing available. As soon as the fence is done, and we know we will have a secure place to store materials overnight, the work on the roof will start in full swing. Excluding any unforeseen hiccups, that should be within the next few days. Just a few days ago, the builder who will be handling the third floor extension and roof project came to start doing final inspections and preparations before beginning work.
As you can see, God is doing incredible things here. In the middle of all this, we would also like to ask for something from you. You know, Jesus was killed for calling Himself the Son of God, but even before Jesus came, God was known as the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68). We have been given the duty, and honor, of housing the children of the King of all creation. Moving forward, we truly want to build a house worthy of this privilege. This is a very exciting time for us. As things here are moving at such a blinding pace, we ask that you would keep us constantly in your prayers. We know that heaven moves on our behalf because of your prayers, and we see the blessings in our lives and ministry when you do us this service.