Abandoned No More

 |  August 18, 2020

Ukrainian Jewish children in abandoned barracks
Ukrainian Jewish children in abandoned barracks

In 1901, a factory in Ukraine built a barracks for its workers. The factory closed long ago, and its unemployed workers abandoned the old, decrepit building.

But the building doesn’t stand empty. No, inside this shack with no running water, sewage, gas, or electricity lives a family. Valeria’s family.

Like many teenage girls, Valeria loves to draw. She draws pictures of the animals and places and people she dreams of one day experiencing.

But those pictures are just that – a dream. For Valeria’s reality has been abandoned of any hope, as her family gets by in their crumbling, abandoned barracks.

Living in eastern Ukraine, Valeria’s father often gets called away to fight in the ongoing war against Russian separatists. When home, he spends the time tending his battle injuries. Her mother’s disabilities prevent the Jewish woman from raising her four precious children. So this responsibility falls on Valeria.

Valeria suffers from chronic medical and mental conditions, but being the oldest (and healthiest) of the children, she acts as a second mother. The saddest of the children are the youngest – 6-year-olds Alice and Ilya. Because of lack of oxygen during their birth, both suffer from lifelong issues. Deprived of breath in her first moments of life, sweet little Alice has visual, speech, and mental disabilities. And spending her six years in these horrifying conditions has only made life harder, for Alice, for her family, and for her big sister, Valeria.

But then a dream did come true for Valeria. The Fellowship learned of this Jewish family’s struggles and stepped in. All of the children now receive regular food boxes and new clothing – the warmth, nourishment, and love they have never known. They all now receive regular medical care, as well. This care has already begun to help little Alice, who will soon be ready to begin school like other girls her age. And Valeria, now able to take art classes at a nearby school, has begun to realize she has not been abandoned.

With The Fellowship, you can provide food, clothing, and care to the neediest of God’s children – children like Valeria who feel they have been abandoned, but who have friends around the world who love them.