God has a marvelous way of pulling together just the right people at just the right time.

Jim has been working with Christian medical students for over a year encouraging and strengthening them while also providing conferences to assist them in reaching their classmates and starting small fellowships on campus.

Vera has cut my hair for some time now and I have had the pleasure of learning about her dreams as well as the work that her family is doing with children in a village outside of Kyiv.

I met Allyson at a women’s retreat last fall when we were walking back to our rooms at the same time.

Jim and I have had a long-time dream of finding a home where HIV+/AIDS orphans can grow up and be involved in the life of a church.

Jim, Allyson, and I are planning a summer camp for these orphans.

Sooo, today the pastor of the church in Zdvizhivka arranged for children and their parents to meet at the local school to learn about AIDS. Jim, Tolly (our new assistant), Allyson, Alexander (a medical student) and I met in the city and rode together to the village in a van driven by Pastor Mykola. We picked up his daughter Vera along the way. (Beginning to see the connections?!)

After brief introductions at the school, Jim with Tolly took the teachers and parents into the hall to go over a series of statements about AIDS. Each participant had the choice of declaring the statement to be true, false, or don’t know. Jim was impressed with the questions asked of him and the interest in learning the truth rather than believing the myths.

Jim leading discussion about HIV+/AIDS

Jim leading discussion about HIV+/AIDS

Alexander engaged the students in conversation about smoking, drinking, and AIDS. He liberally sprinkled his teaching with powerful images projected on the wall, and certainly held the attention of these children.
Alexander with students

Alexander with students

Why Zdvizhivka? Because it is in this village that we hope to purchase Zechariah’s House, the future home of our precious AIDS orphans. And it is in this village in conjunction with Pastor Mykola’s church that we will be holding a summer camp for these children. We are hoping that local village children will join in the fun, and we wanted to be sure that we had given them some truths about people living with AIDS.
The church in Zdvizhivka

The church in Zdvizhivka

We have another key meeting on Friday morning with the woman who will inform us about which children we may include in our camp. We don’t know her yet, BUT Allyson worked through her last summer for some outreaches and hopes to join us for the discussion on Friday.

Please pray for this meeting. We have some specific children that we would like to see at this camp, but we are fully aware that we may not get our first choices. We are praying that the orphanage director will allow us to take some of the children currently living there — the ones we visit at the hospital each week. And we will also take AIDS children who are living at home with a parent.

We have no doubt that God knows exactly who He wants at this camp. We’re hoping to be let in on the secret even this week…



  1. This is really wonderful, Marianne! I never tire of hearing stories of how the Lord brings people together. It’s a constant reminder of He who has all things in control. Are you having sponsorships for the kids to go to camp? You’ve probably already talked about it. I don’t get on here as often as I’d like!

  2. Cheryl: We were just talking about the possibilities of having people sponsor children for this camp. A huge expense for this camp will be the transportation each day — we could do it cheaper closer to Kyiv, but we specifically want to be in this village. We may need to limit the number of children based on what size bus we can afford!

  3. This is all awesome stuff!!! 🙂

  4. sarah reynolds says:

    It’s great to see the progression of this vision. Thank you for keeping us updated, so we know how to pray. Miss ya.

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