UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
2013 Mission Team Visits Shelter for Homeless in Kyiv, Ukraine!
As the work among the children of Ukrainian orphanages concluded, the Mission Team of College Students of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Subdeacon Yurii Andreiko, Subdeacon Adrian Mazur, Taylor Gladys, Kaitlyn Zimmerman, Irene Onufrey, Paul Micevych, Christopher McNaulty, Alison Sailer, Svitlana Lymar, Lesia Mahlay, Anna Pasakas and His Grace Bishop Daniel – Spiritual Father of the Mission Team; Pani Olga Coffey – Lay Team Leader and Pani-matka Ivanna Wronsky, advisor) traveled to a shelter for homeless people in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv in order to learn about the new outreach ministry of St. Andrew Society, a central organization of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
About a year ago, His Grace Bishop Daniel and Prtotodeacon Ihor Mahlay, director of Consistory Office of Christian Charity, who also serves as the President of St. Andrew Society visited LOGOS Center – a Charitable Christian organization in Kyiv, headed by an Orthodox priest Fr. Mykola Ilnytsky.
Several months ago, due to a charitable contribution of St. Andrew Society to LOGOS Center, a new tent was purchased in order to facilitate temporary housing for 10 homeless individuals in the capital of Ukraine. In addition, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, through the donation of St. Andrew Society, invested about $5000 towards the completion of construction of a new rehabilitation center and soup kitchen, where volunteers – doctors and caregivers will provide complimentary basic treatments to those in need of assistance.
Addressing the residents of the temporary tent, His Grace Bishop Daniel assured them of prayers of the faithful of the Church and with the blessing of a Prime Hierarch of the UOC of the USA - His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, presented a monetary donation of the Mission Team to Fr. Mykola for the charitable needs of the Center.
In his address Vladyka Daniel recognized the many benefactors and volunteers who employ themselves daily to taking action on the words of Jesus, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me...” The bishop continued: “…The witness of charity... belongs to the mission of the Church together with the announcement of the truth of the Gospel… man doesn't just need to be nurtured materially or helped to overcome moments of difficulty, but he also needs to know who he is and know the truth about himself, about his dignity. And the Church must always be committed to announcing to all the truth of man, that he is loved by God, created in His image, redeemed by Christ and called to eternal communion with Him." Through the actions of those who offer their services," pointed out Bishop Daniel, "this initial group of ten people has been able to rediscover... dignity, sometimes lost through tragic events, and find again trust in themselves and hope in the future."
"It is important, he added, to promote the recognition that we compose a single human family. The ideals of giving and volunteering freely must be rediscovered today "as constitutive elements of daily living and interpersonal relations" so as to "prevail over the logic of profit and seeking individual interests."
Concluding his visit to the Homeless Shelter, Vladyka Daniel stated: “…“In today’s busy world, it’s easy to forget that we all need to make time to devote to the needs of those around us. When taking about the responsibility of running a homeless shelter, or other service organization for the homeless, we all need more than just good intentions and a willingness to work.
Homeless people are in a very fragile and precarious situation, one that could easily turn for the worse, so homeless service providers MUST make certain that what they do for, and to, the homeless will actually help and not hurt them. This is one of the biggest challenges that this unique and yet so needed ministry faces… The Mission Team of College Students of the UOC of the USA and I are very pleased to spend part of the morning with the residents, learning about the work with those who are homeless and disadvantaged.”