This is an update from Bekah Scruitsky from MSC who has gone to Ukraine to serve with Last Bell Ministry for two months:
First of all I want to thank you all for your prayers! I can SO feel them. God is so good to me, and kind, He is such a kind God! I am AMAZED by what God is doing here in Zhytomr, Ukraine and in Last Bell Ministries. I feel beyond blessed to be here right now. I could not have asked God to place me among a more grace-filled, loving, Jesus centered group of people. The staff and kids are simply precious and a joy to be around. They are such a blessing to me.
The first week I was here with Glenn Grosh, Jamie Zehner and my mom Renee Scruitsky. We were able to tour around Zhytomr, Kiev (the capital of Ukraine), see the Shelter, and the Haven kids and staff, go on a boat ride with the Shelter kids, and bless the staff with an all American BBQ. All of this was so much fun to be apart of. For those of you who do not know both the Haven and the Shelter are held in a home where house parents live. There are more couples that help in the Haven and Shelter but do not live there. The Haven is for the kids that have graduated from the Orphanage the past 2 years. And the Shelter is for the kids older then that. They meet a few times each week and play games, eat, get help with homework, get advice from their parents, learn about Jesus, and hang-out with one another. The Shelter and Haven staff act like parents to these kids and love them just as much as any biological parent would love their kids.
Since they have left, Liz and I have had the girls and boys apartment (about 6 of the Shelter girls live in an apartment and about 4 of the Shelter boys live in a different apartment) over for dinner, cooked dinner for the staff, she is showing me around town and how to get places, went ice skating with all the graduate kids, and took one of the girls to Kiev for Y-Wam.
So far the highlight of my trip was when we were ice skating. I was able to watch one of the toughest girls skate hand-in-hand with her dad. She was clutching the rail most of the time until he came up and started helping her. It reminded me of a child ice skating for the first time with their dad. I didn’t see an orphan with a man that is trying to love her like Jesus. But a dad loving on his child. I am amazed by how much the staff here love their kids. They take them in and love them just like any parent would love their child.
It breaks my heart the way orphans are treated here. Once they leave the orphanage, around 15 years of age or so, many of them go on to trade school, however, they do not get to pick the trade they want to do, but get the leftover trades that no one wants. I learned that the boys were kicked out of their apartment because the owner found out they were orphans. Many of them lose their jobs when their boss finds out they are orphans. It is very hard for them to move up in the world just because they grew up in an orphanage.
This week we will be going back to Kiev to visit the young girl that is at Y-Wam, hanging out with the boy’s apartment, hanging out with the girl’s apartment, cooking dinner for the staff on Friday, and church Sunday. They are off this week from the Shelter and Haven meeting because of all the extra stuff that has been going on… but next week will be back to the normal schedule.
Emotionally, I am doing much better, now. The first week was very difficult, and at some moments I wanted to come home. But since my mom and everyone left I have been learning how to really, fully rely on Christ. And He has been giving me this unquenchable passion for His Word. Like I can’t get enough of it! I have been learning that I can be the happiest person in the world just because I am in Christ. God told me the other day that not only is He with me… but I am with Him. I am associated with Christ, and it doesn’t get better then that. Jesus is becoming so real to me, and He is becoming a personal God that is so kind, so loving, so generous, and so perfect.
Please keep praying for me. My health has been wonderful so far (Praise God), so pray that continues. Please pray that God’s love will go past any language barrier. That I will be a blessing and have His eyes to see where I am needed. That I will have the servant’s heart of a toilet cleaner. And that I will continue to fall in love with who Jesus is to me.
Sorry this is such a book… I will try to write more frequently so that they are shorter.
Thank you for praying for me!