Today four of us from Kyiv drove to Bili Tserkva (about 90 minutes away) to meet up with Greg and Edna Silva, missionaries living in this town. We were scheduled to meet with the director of an orphanage that housed children up to age 5 — including five children confirmed as HIV+ and several others who are waiting for lab results to determine their statuses. (stati?)
We actually met with the director for nearly an hour. Our Ukrainian social worker friend introduced us and gave his stamp of approval as people who have been consistently and faithfully working with HIV+ orphans. The director invited the doctor who works specifically with these children to join us once she realized that Jim is a pediatrician. Much conversation took place about how Jim might be able to assist the staff in providing better care for the children. Specialists, conferences, consultations. Ukraine Medical Outreach is going to be busy!!
I was able to add credibility to the Silvas (like they need it, right?) by explaining my work at the hospital and the months that they faithfully travelled to Kyiv to help me love on the hospitalized orphans. They shared their own vision for ministry within the orphanage, and have been invited to PLEASE come back in the spring or summer when the children will have long days and the staff will welcome extra hands and feet…particularly playing outside.
Greg took some great pictures of the orphanage and blogged about our visit on the Silva’s blog, On Second Thought. Please take the time to read his post and tour the orphanage. And then pray for God’s leading as they develop a plan for working with these children.