UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
2011 Mission Team Concludes Its Visit to Puhachiv Orphanage!
The village of Puhachiv was the first stop of the Mission Team of College Age Students of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to Ukrainian Orphanages, following their departure from the USA on August 5, 2011 and arrival to the capital of Ukraine – Kyiv on August 6, 2011.
Puhachiv orphanage is located in the rural outskirts of Korosten town located in the Zhytomyr region and is home to 85 girls with special needs between the ages of 4-30 years. The orphanage is classified as an institution for children with most severe disabilities. While fifteen of the children are bedridden with multiple disabilities and are in need of constant special medical care or surgeries, diapers, and supplemental feeding, the majority of the children can walk or crawl and use wheelchairs. Due to the children’s mental state, the work of the caregivers is crucial. Namely the above mentioned projects were on the list “to do” for this year’s Mission Team under the spiritual leadership of His Grace Bishop Daniel and a Team leader Olga Coffee.
Outside of daily activities in the rehabilitation center, the youth of the Church worked closely with the staff of the orphanage at the playground of the institution, assisting the teachers and caregivers with providing care and entertainment to the children with mental and physical disabilities. However, the most important contribution of this year’s Mission Team was their participation in the opening of the Montessori Center, a building which was reconstructed, repaired and developed through the sponsorship of the UOC of the USA and cooperation with Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund, located in NJ and Kyiv.
Being welcomed by Ivan Hryhorovych Hulidov, director of the orphanage, over 50 visitors, representing local and state government offered their sincerest gratitude to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA for the prayerful and monetary support of the facilities and the children of the institution. His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel were among the recipients of certificates of appreciation for their dedication to the charitable ministry with the handicapped children of the orphanage. Receiving the awards, Bishop Daniel offered his reflection on the Church’s ministry and expressed his personal gratitude, as well as gratitude on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Antony, stating that these awards truly belong to the thousands of faithful and clergy of the Church, who with prayers and contribution provide the means through which the Church and the Mission Teams are able to develop and continue to maintain the Orphanage Support program.
At the conclusion of the opening ceremonies, the Monstessori Center was blessed by His Grace Bishop Daniel, Rev. Frs. Steven Masliuk and Vasyl Sendeha, while the Team members prayerfully chanted the responses to the dedication service. On behalf of this year’s Mission Team, the youth of the Church presented the orphanage with an icon of Volodymyr Mother of God.
Prior to the Teams’ departure from the orphanage, the clergy of this year’s Mission Team served an abbreviated Holy Unction service, offering their prayers for the health and wellbeing of the children and caregivers of Puhachiv orphanage. As the team departed, a spiritually uplifting words “Jesus, Remember Me, when You Come into Your Kingdom…”, chanted by the Team members remained as a reminder of our Lord’s love and the Mission Team’s presence in the hallways of the orphanage.
Because of the Church’s involvement with he orphanage program, over a dozen of various Ukrainian-American and local Zhytomyr district companies offered their support to the needs of Puhachiv orphanage. Among them such companies as InterContinental Hotel – Kyiv, Boeing, etc.
On Thursday, August 11, 2011, the Mission Team of College Students of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA returned to Kyiv in order to prepare its way for their missionary efforts in Znamyanka orphanage, located in the Kirovohrad region, which hosts up to 120 children between the ages of 4-22 with special needs.
This year’s team in comprised of: Christine Chroniy (Maplewood, NJ), Jordan Gladys (Pittsburgh, PA), Christopher McNulty (Philadelphia, PA), Tanya Hluchaniuk (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada), Rev. Fr. Steven Masliuk (Bridgeport, CT) and Rev. Fr. Vasyl Sendeha (Palos Park, IL).
Please return back to this page for the updates from Ukraine on the ministry of this year’s Mission Team of the Church at Znamianka orphanage.
2011 Mission Team Concludes Its Visit to Puhachiv Orphanage! - 08/11/112011 Mission Team Concludes Its Visit to Puhachiv Orphanage!