Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Lost Boys

We've been home almost a week. Neah slept very little the first several days, and for seven days straight she ate nothing but bananas. But, yesterday, she did something really marvelous. I ran to the grocery store for a few minutes, but when I came home there was a princess waiting for me by the front door. Donning a crown, pink tutu, high heels and plastic jewels, she was bouncing with joy and delight as I came back home.

My princess has found her castle.

However, though my life is currently full of pink tulle, today I was reminded about the Forgotten Boys (see post from December 2.) I received word from my friend, Alyona, that she and her family, and their ministry team made it to see these boys for the very first time. Here is what she said:

Today we have visited Ananiev orphanage for the special need boys. It took us 3 hour drive since it snowed a lot today and the road was very slippery. Thank you very much for your alls prayers, it encouraged us a lot.

There are 110 boys int he orphanage. Most of them are diagnosed with Down Syndrome, polio, cerebral palsy or other 4 th level (stage) of sever special needs. Their age rate s 3 to 35 years old. Today we brought them 2 big boxes of tangerines, 2 big boxes of bananas, 4 big cases of soda (the director told us that the boys LOVE sweet water - soda), 2 boxes of cookies, 3 boxes of different sweets all of this donated by Joe and Janelle Fuentes of Fort Worth, Texas, underwear and 6 000 medical syringe which were donated by some Ukrainians and wonderful Christmas gifts for the boys that were given by Brooke and John Newsome.. We do hope that we will build up our relationship with Ananiev orphanage and with your all prayers and support will help the boys not just survive but enjoy the present life some...if we can call their existence in that orphanage life at all....They need a lot of support and help and most of all love and care.

OH, these kids, these kids, these kids!!! They tear my heart out---ALL of them! We don't have such circumstances in America; trust me, we don't. But, the rest of the world does and I honestly believe that we MUST respond to the needs that we are told about. I'm telling you about these boys in Ananiev , Ukraine. They need you.

You see, my little girl was recently taken out of a pretty bad situation, and is now living like a queen, but millions more are still out there, and they will never find their castle.

Please help.

The best way to help orphans in Ananiev, or in Odessa Ukraine, is to help Alyona and Slavik Puzanov. I can't see myself taking my day off and spending six hours driving in snow to see lost and lonely boys. But, Alyona and Slavik did that very thing. Alyona and Slavik visit the boys' prison and buy them soap. Alyona and Slavik have camps for lost kids and adults. Alyona and Slavik do all kinds of things that you nor I would ever think to do.

But, we can help Alyona and Slavik do these things. First of all, I need someone who will help Alyona with a better way to accept donations. Can anyone help her with a PayPal button? I can send you her email and phone and you could help her get it set up. I'm no good at such things! My email is:

There is also probably a way to give and get a tax receipt; that would have to be through Harvest International. Who can help out with this? It will just take learning the information and sharing it, I believe. Alyona and Slavik work with Harvest International and I believe that it is possible to give money directly to Alyona and Slavik through giving a designated offering to HI.

I see that you are asking me about sending packages to them. To tell you the truth, I have sent only somewhat small packages to Ukraine. I have sent gifts, even a little valuable, and have never had anything taken. If you send a package to an Ukrainian's home address, and do NOT specify anything other than it being a gift of clothes, there should not be any problem. I do not know, yet, what the best way to send the clothes is, yet. I'm about to find out, however, because I have already started filling a box. There's just no need for boys to sit in prison without clothes when I am constantly filling Goodwill bags with clothes that aren't being worn!

For those of you who didn't get Alyona's address to send clothes for boys (any size from 3 up, by the way, they can go to the prison boys or to Ananiev boys):

Alyona Monzhay
Puzanova Olena
Lesi Ukrainki 64 a
Odessa 65086

The title of this blog is just copied and pasted from an email from another American who has been to this orphanage. She has been praying and praying for a way to find help for these boys. By a miracle, she found my blog, and noticed that when I wrote about The Forgotten Ones, that I was actually writing about HER LOST BOYS!!! Today, after hearing of the trip made by Alyona and Slavik she wrote me. These lines were in her letter. I don't know how it could be better said about God.

He cares. He cares about the boys.

Now, it's our turn to care, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Needed: Used, Dark, Clothes! ASAP!

That's not exactly true, I don't need new clothes, I need used clothes (new ones will get stolen.) And, I don't exactly need my size, I need any size that might fit a 14 to 18 year old boy. And I'm picky, I only want dark colors because these clothes won't get washed very often. Oh, and I guess I should tell you, I don't need the clothes at all, but there are 50 somebodies who do.

They are in Odessa, all 50 of them locked away in a boys' prison. They have no heat, almost no clothes, not much food, no coats. Slavik has just recently purchased them soap. Finally, they got soap! They have nothing. They need soap, toothbrushes, deodorant, sweaters, shirts, coats, black socks, jeans, undershirts, etc

I know of enough extra clothes in my house to fill a couple of boxes. I'll be mailing them over. So, to church groups, Bible study groups, Awana groups, or you at home, how about it? Can we fill this need?

Let's do it!!!

Send package as a personal package to; (Do not at any time say this it is humanitarian. You'll have to say it is a gift of clothes to Alyona)

Alyona Monzhay
Puzanova Olena
Lesi Ukrainki 64 a
Odessa 65086

Want to make her smile? Throw in a note and a Snickers bar!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

About Tents

Last year, I bought them one tent. That was about 1/9th of what they needed, and they did eventually get all of them. This brings me back to the Alyona-Slavik subject.

Tents. These things are huge! They sleep nine kids/adults. When Alyona and Slavik host camp for lost adults and kids, they don't have a facility to rent. They all stay in tents on a plot of land at the edge of town. They cook their food over an open fire---three times a day. I sat and watched a video of these camps and it was fascinating! Wow! Slavik plans a theme, the kids make costumes, they kids play-act Bible stories. It was ingenious!

But, as I was watching the video of their Bible-times city built of bamboo and straw, their activities, and their bazaar, all of a sudden something extraordinary happened. It was an act of God, BUT, it wasn't really the kind any of us look forward to. It was an Ukrainian hurricane!!! Everything was destroyed within a short time! Almost all of those tents that they had worked so hard to get were completely destroyed. Camp had to end early!

Discouraged, but not downtrodden, they start over! Now, they need nine new tents!

Who will hear the call? Who will help them, literally, by being a tent-giver? And, here's a question for someone knowledgable out there....tents are cheaper in America. How could we buy them in America and send them to Ukraine? Could we purchase them and have the company deliver them? Know any good companies that sells big, strong tents?

Oh, I almost forgot, we need the money for these tents too!

Is anybody willing?

By the way, if you want more info about this, or pictures of the tents they had, please write Alyona at: ,

Please Tell Them

We pushed our chairs back and began to enjoy our after dinner tea. Slavik looked at me and began talking. With an unspoken understanding, Alyona automatically began to translate for him. So, our conversation began:

"Marsha, I know you know people. Please tell them, please tell them we need help."

An hour and a half later, I was overcome with desire to come back to America and share, share, share the needs. This will be the second time for me to have this passion. Last year, I came home with the same passion after seeing all the work that Alyona and Slavik do. I encountered so many silences, however, that I eventually fell pretty silent myself.

So, now I'll start over.

Alyona and Slavik are Ukrainian. They are two of the most Godly people I have ever met. Slavik was raised in a Christian home, Alyona became a Christian as a teenager. They are dedicated to full-time Christian ministry, most specifically to The Least that I've been talking about.

They aren't content with going to church. Their lives circle around several ministries. Of course, they have one called Rainbow (thus this name: which is a ministry to children, poor kids, lost kids, orphan kids, and even church kids.

But, their hearts belong to "The Least of the Least." They actually seek them out. They want to help those who have NO ONE ELSE helping them.

I wrote "The Forgotten Ones" after learning about them from Alyona and Slavik. How did they find these kids? Well, a family from America came and adopted from this orphanage. They started spreading the word about these boys, Alyona and Slavik heard and thought, "Wow, these are kids who have no one helping them, so WE want to."

They already have a team scheduled to start going there. They asked me to tell you about them. They asked me to tell you that they have the people to go, and to go on a regular basis, but they don't have the money to pay for the gas. The very best thing would be for churches in America to take up this banner and let it fly! WE can pay the gas!! And how much better can we get it? We get to stay home, yet know we are doing something super important by sending some money to Alyona and Slavik so that they and their team can make it there. These boys, by the way, live in Ananiev, in case you want to look it up on the map!

That's one of the new needs Alyona and Slavik are needing help with, but that's only one.

Of course, those 50 prison boys are a high priority to them. I was able, because of great Americans who have been sharing with me, to give Slavik a little money. (Thank you J and J!) Within hours, he had bought soap and toothbrushes for them. A little money can go a long way in Ukraine.

Alyona told me, "We have the desire to help and minister these prison boys and the Ananiev boys (The Forgotten Ones); but, until God provides the money, it is only a desire." They have the workers, they just don't have the money. I guess that's our job.

There's more....plenty more. Story after story, need after need.

And now, I'm telling you.

The Forgotten Ones (aka The Lost Boys)

Alyona and Slavik heard about these boys. They are in the beginning stages of finding ways to help these boys. Please, won't you help?

Somewhere, about 200 kilometers away from Odessa, Ukraine, lives a bunch of boys from the ages of 5 to 18. I use the word 'live' but I don't think they really do live much at all. They aren't quite up to snuff---they are special needs boys.  They sit.  They sit all day. Then they go to bed.  They get up.  They sit.  They sit all day.

Oh, I forgot.  They do get some stimulation.  Every once in a while someone turns some music on so they have a little time to use their brain.

That's it. That's all they do.  And, they do it in squalid conditions.

Somewhere, a long way from Odessa, Ukraine, lives a bunch of Christians who go to church. They sing with musical instruments in pretty buildings.  They get into nice cars and go home to nice houses.   They look at their to-do list and wonder how to get it all done.

Oh, I forgot.  They do give some things away. They give their tithes and offerings and attend the annual Crises Pregnancy Banquet.

That's it.  That's all they do.  And, they do it in the very best of conditions.

If the forgotten ones are ever to be 'not forgotten' anymore, it's going to take more than giving our tithes and offerings.

It's going to take more.

A lot more.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

From Alyona! About 2010 Camp!

Dear Friends and Supporters!!!

We are ready to share with you the Arcobaleno (our Roman Empire camp) story.....along with the photos and later with a flip video...

The camp began on July 5th. It was on our sister church territory close to the Black Sea...nice location as the kids had the opportunity to spend three hours at the beach where there was nobody but our children and team. There were 107 children and 45 staff including the cooks. It required 14 tents where we were able to place children, staff, and medical room. Also there was a Coliseum where the shows were held and the evening devotionals. There was a built market where the kids could "sell" the items they have made with hands. As you look at the photos you will notice that the staff was wearing the costumes that were made by our good friend and volunteer. The kids had to amke their own costumes as well when they arrived to the camp. The camp had an idea of First Christians and the action was taken from the book of Acts. The kids had different things to do such as fishing, carpetning, working with clay and etc.
Everything was on a schedule untill the 5th day came when we faced a huge hurricane....that destroyed EVERYTHING....we had to evacuate the kids withing 4 hours out to 16 different villages. The children were in panic as they saw almost all the tents being on the ground, trampoline flying away, all the wood parts that Coliseum and a market were built out of. We tried to save as much as possible while 107 kids kept crying out of scare in a small church room. It all finished in 15 minutes and when we looked around it was obvious that it is the end of our camp that we have been working for the whole year....But we were happy and thankful to the Lord that NONE of the children or adults got hurt. More than, a day before two teenagers wanted to confess their sins and follow Jesus in their lives. It was very meaningful to us as we all understand that we can face the Lord anytime and the most important thing would be "what choice we ahve made in our life?"

Thank you Dear Friends for staying with us and supporting our camp. We believe we will do it again next year....God willing...

Have a wonderful and blessed day,
Slavik and Alyona

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Warren Baptist Way

I've been to Georgia. They have accents that make Texans sound down-right proper! It's hot there, they have pine trees, an peaches and peanuts grow there.

There's something else there, too;

Warren Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia.

I've never been to this church---never even been to Augusta. But, that church has found a way to reach across a few southern states and make an impression on me.

The reason is the way that I found they do missions---or at least the way they do missions in Ukraine. They have their own way---The Warren Baptist Way.

So, let me rant a little.....

When Alyona tells me about the orphans at camp, or in the prison, or in the village my first response is something like this:

"I'm going there! I'm going to see those kids and I'm going to bring them candy and I'm going to love their necks! In fact, I'm going to go every single year to show them how much I love them, uh, how much Jesus loves them!"

You might think that that is a very righteous and holy thing for me to say and feel. However, if you will go back and look at that sentence, you will notice how many times I said, "I'm." Hmmm, could be a problem, here.

And, that's exactly what's wrong. We, in America, like to think we make a difference if we do fund raisers all year, and take a group of teenagers on a big, ole' mission trip. I've been on the receiving end of those mission trips, and for the most part, they do more harm than good. Trust me...I remember as a small girl being devastated by those youth group mission trips.

So many mission trips can be especially harmful to orhpans. These kids are so used to having people come, give them things, then leave. It's hurting them. Trust me, I know. I know because I've adopted a handful of these kids and they all have some kind of attachment issues. They think love is a hug and that's all it is! People coming for a short time and and then leaving them is about the worst thing anyone can do for those orphans.

So, I have a proposition. Let's do our mission trips the Warren Baptist Way.

Now, I'm going to have to tell you right up front that I'm only getting this information second hand. But, unlike gossip, second hand is the best place to get this kind of information.

I'm going to paint a picture of Warren Baptist Church in the way that it was painted to me----through they eyes of those on the receiving end, you know who I mean! I mean Alyona and Slavik!

During my two months in Ukraine I heard about this church over and over. I heard how they bring adults or well-behaved-modestly-dressed-mature teenagers. I heard that they are sweet, kind, not bossy, and they come to meet needs---they don't come with their own agenda in mind. THEN, I heard the most amazing thing about them. They don't come, give hugs, turn around and leave!!

Nay, nay! They come prepared to leave a working program behind them. They have started Sunday School classes in the villages. But, once they go back to the deep south of the Red, White, & Blue, they keep on giving!!!! They keep whatever program they started funded so that it is an on-going mission! They help equip Ukrainians to do the work they start, they send the money to keep it going, they support them from the other side of the ocean, and they see themselves as servants! Their mission trip is not an EVENT-----it's an ONGOING LIFESTLYE!


I have another proposition for you! How about NOT taking any mission trips this year--or next year? How about we send our money instead? The money that a group would spend on plane tickets could outfit the whole camp and give scholarships for all the orphans to go hear about Jesus for the very first time! Or, how about this? Let's send our money to Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga and let them use it to fund another on-going ministry in Ukraine.

Anyone prepared for this? Anyone willing to take a plunge and tell their churches that the year 2011 is going to be a different year for missions.

Just tell them..."From now on, we're going to do missions the Warren Baptist way!"

Let me know what you think, okay?

I don't know anyone from Warren Baptist Church---anyone out there? Can you let us know more about you!!!

How About Sending Me Money?

I can't say that I'm proud of myself. I'm downright ashamed at how long it's been since I've written here. Actually, I've been avoiding this blog, almost on purpose, it sometimes seems. I often think, "Hmmmm, I need to be writing on that blog and letting people know all of the needs." But, somehow, I let time get away from me. I get wrapped up in my own life and it's just so easy to forget about the lost people and the orphans that Alyona and Slavik minister to.

Also, I feel despair because my husband and I cannot meet all of the financial needs that we know about in Odessa and surrounding villages. I wish we could.

If we could, I wouldn't have to ask you. And, I so hate asking.

But, I'm asking now.

Please, Slavik does camp all summer for poor children, lost adults, and orphans. They live in a few tents, cook on an open fire, play sports, sing songs, and tell about Jesus. It's not like any camp in the United States.

That's not all.

Alyona and Slavik have lots of orphans they minister to. They have a new orphanage at a prison, and they have orphanages out in villages, and they have orphans there in Odessa.

So, I'm asking. If you are reading this blog, please email me at:

I will forward you some emails that Alyona has written about their ministry. I can also send you my mailing address.

Why do you need my mailing address? Because, you need to send me some money. Every penny you send me will go straight to the children's camps or to the orphans.

It will cost me something if you send me money. I am going to send the money, most probably, by Western Union. They add a very hefty fee to what I send. But, I (Alan and I) are volunteering to send the money on, we'll pay the fees.

So, what do you think? Write me?

By the way, looks like I'll be going back to Odessa late this summer. Wouldn't that be great if I could take a handful of cash for the orphans---or for next year's camps?

Monday, February 8, 2010