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Back on the internet in Ukraine

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Day 11: Saturday, May 22, 2010 – Awana to the rescue

Lizzy stayed at the girls’ apartment today to rest and sleep, with an English speaking lady to watch over her, as the team went out to the next orphanage. This one is called “Father’s House,” which is state-regulated, but not state-funded, and therefore dependent on donations. Run by Christian women, the facility cares for a small population of about 20 in the age range of about 10-16 years.

 522 Father's House exterior

As the orphanage ministries are organized by SCM here in Kharkov, we have 8-10 hours of time to spend with these kids (who typically speak no English), with least 5-7 hours allotted for group games and activities. It’s a challenge for our team members to come up with enough ideas to fill the time.

522 Tug-o-war, Awana style 

When Vova, our host pastor, opened his trunk this morning and revealed a big bag of Awana game equipment, Emilie and Amanda were overjoyed! Both of them have grown up through and served as leaders in the Awana program, and knew exactly what to do. Amanda drew an amazingly round Awana circle with chalk, and the entire morning was filled with races involving colored bowling pins and bean bags, tugs-of-war (tug-of wars?), and other assorted activities.

 522 Caleb tells about Zacchaeus522 Orphanage audience

 In two sessions, the team presented flannelgraph Bible stories (seemingly interesting even to the older kids), along with their own songs and dramas. There was a lively Q and A session, in which we were surprised to learn that many of the orphans had taken one or two trips to Italy for some event pertaining to orphans.

522 Tree-studded soccer field 

In the afternoon, it was USA vs. Ukraine in a soccer (“football” to them) match between our four guys (plus sympathy help from our host Vova) and the teenage boys of the orphanage. Part of the challenge was the fact that there are several giant trees and a basketball goal standard within the boundaries of the soccer field, adding a whole new dimension of challenge (not to mention risk) to the game. After going up 2-1 early in the game, USA ended up losing 10-2. Sorry, about that, fans!

During the day, we had a couple of updates on Lizzy. She had awakened a time or two to read her Bible or take a shower, but was sleeping most of the day. It sounded encouraging. By the time we got back to her, around 9pm, she seemed much better, with less pain and no more vomiting. She decided she could begin to take liquids starting Sunday.

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