What? Where? When? Why? How?

What in the world are we up to?

I guess the better questions is "What in the world is God up to?"

Jed and I visited Ukraine in April 2012 to explore and ask God what He would have us to do in response to the orphan crisis there that has so captured our hearts.  In August 2010, our hearts and eyes were awakened to the plight of orphans with severe disabilities in Ukraine and we knew He was asking us to respond. Would He have us help from the US by advocating, raising awareness and money, and praying?  Or would He have us move our family to Ukraine to help, hands-on, in that place?

While in Ukraine we fell in love.  We saw glimpses of God's Kingdom come everywhere we went. Our last night in country we both knew that God was asking us very clearly to move our family to Ukraine to serve Him there.  He has given us dreams and plans that sound outrageous and impossible, but we believe with God it's impossible to dream too big.

The dream is to establish a small group medical home for orphans who are bedridden, bound to their cribs day in and day out.  The dream is to work with the local government to take the most vulnerable from the orphanages and provide them with nutrition, therapy, medical care, and plenty of hands on love and attention.  The dream is to work in conjunction with the local church to employ Ukrainian believers to care for the children.  We would love to help mobilize the local church to care for their own.

The ULTIMATE dream is for God to establish a network of these group homes all over the country.
Sounds impossible?  Yep, we know.

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' ” 
Matthew 19:26 

Where are we going?
God is calling to partner with His people in Ukraine.  We will begin by volunteering for at least one year at Mission to Ukraine in Zhitomir.  We have much to learn from the great work that they do, and pray God will use our professional skills and passion to serve their vision.  After that year, all bets are off.  We are taking one step at a time, following God's lead.  We have certain people and places deep in our hearts that we hope to serve, so I guess we'll see what God has in mind!

When are we going?

Right now (summer 2013) we are working hard, listening closely and obeying.  Our hearts are ready and wanting to be there, we are just working out the details.  We are planning to move to Ukraine in November of 2013, pending visas.  Everything is ready to go, we're just waiting on visas and support-raising like crazy!

 Why Ukraine?  Why these children?

There are orphans all over the world.
There is suffering all over the world.
But, God has called us to these specific children and this specific country.  We don't know why, and that's okay.  So, I guess the answer to this one is simple: God said so.  :)

Here is a documentary recently made about the state of orphan care in Ukraine.  If you want to understand better who God has placed in our hearts, please watch.  Please watch the whole thing.  This documentary highlights an institution with a caring Director.  God bless him.  Pay close attention to the children that live in the cribs.  That is the specific population our hearts break for.  
Please watch!!


How is this going to work?

That is the big question.  How?  Honestly, we don't know.  We don't know how God is going to accomplish the dreams He has put in our hearts.  The dreams He has given us seem impossible at this time.  Children that are bedridden are not easily accessible.  People who have ministered in orphanages for years often are still not allowed access to bedridden children.  We don't know the answers to how the legal aspects of this will work out.  The system is so broken and the needs are so great that we can easily become overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. 
We are filled with hope.  
God has a plan.
God is doing things behind the scenes.
He is changing hearts,
He is opening doors.
He is tearing down walls.
All we have to do is take one step at a time.
There is no way on earth we could be strategic enough to make this happen on our own.  
We must rely fully on God and trust that He will win the day.

Would you like to join us in this mission of obedience?  This is going to take a team of prayers, givers, senders, supporters.  We know we can't do this alone- and we certainly don't want to try!  It will take many hearts wide awake to help accomplish this. 

We have started a non-profit called Wide Awake International (website launching soon!) to fund the group homes. 

We would love it if you would pray about how you can play a part in this unfolding story.  You can pray, you can give financial support, you can come volunteer!  Many hands and hearts make light work. 
Let us know what God says!  It is our joy to partner with Him on this journey.  Will you join us?


  1. I would love to share your story on my blog! I just started it to help raise funds for my Angel Tree boy, Simon. Can I reprint this post there, & direct people back to your site? My blog is www.familiesforthefatherless.blogspot.com
    My email is FamiliesForTheFatherless @ gmail

    1. Hi Ruby! Of course :) Thanks for loving on the babes. Angel Tree rocks! What a blessing!!!

  2. I just discovered your blog online, and it's amazing. I have a Ukrainian background, and I know some about it. Thank you so much for all that you do. May God bless you abundantly, help you with the whole project and always be with you. Your dream is amazing, and I am sure with God it'll happen. Our God truly is amazing. And it's nice to know there are people doing amazing things. It's not easy I'm sure. I wish you all the blessings for your project! :)

  3. This is the same video that sealed our hearts towards Ukraine adoption. I pray you get in there and get to those babies!

    1. Isn't it a great video? I'm SO happy it was made. Thanks for praying!

  4. This is an answer to my prayers for the dear ones in the Ukraine. Thank you for being willing. God watch over you and your mission. I will be praying!

    1. Oh Lara, that is so encouraging! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for praying. We know that prayer is what will pave the way. We can't strategize enough, this has to be God's work. Thank you for making me smile this morning!

  5. So, I stumbled onto this blog tonight...thought you might be interested! So amazing to see the connections!



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