UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Church Presents Nativity Season Gift to Znamianka Orphanage in Ukraine!
The dream of about 120 boys and girls of Znamianka (Kirovohrad Region) Orphanage for physically disabled children came true on Saturday, January 12, 2013 when a 22 passenger minivan was delivered to the capital of Ukraine - Kyiv and officially transferred to the administration of the orphanage in the presence of His Grace Bishop Daniel, the President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
About three years ago, the director of Znamianka orphanage, Pani Tetiana Ivanivna Walko addressed the Consistory of the UOC of the USA with a prayerful Nativity season request– to seek a gift for the orphanage in the way of a minivan that would be able to transport handicapped children in the summer season (in the air conditioned environment) and in the winter season (in the heated environment) to various destinations, whether it is to doctor’s office or for recreational purposes.
About a year ago, the Consistory of the Church adopted a resolution to authorize such a purchase on the behalf of the Consistory’s Office of Christian Charity, under the leadership of Protodeacon Ihor Mahlay. The search for the vehicle was initiated by Metropolitan-elect Antony, who requested His Grace Bishop Daniel while he visited Znamianka orphanage during the regularly scheduled Winter Mission Trip in 2011 to seek proper channels in order to fulfill the generous gift of the Church to the orphanage. The selection process for a used vehicle lasted for several months; until the necessary help was provided by “LOGOS” Orthodox Christian Charitable Center of Kyiv. The 2000 Mercedes-Benz 412D model was selected and offer made and accepted, which officially became a 2012-2013 Nativity season present to the orphanage on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
As heavy snow covered the streets of Kyiv, the minivan was delivered to the capital and parked right in front of St. Sophia Orthodox Cathedral – the most profound spiritual center and cradle of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. His Grace Bishop Daniel, who at the time was visiting Ukraine for a number of meetings, met with the administration of the orphanage and formally signed the papers of ownership over to the orphanage. Passing the keys to the vehicle, His Grace reiterated to the representatives of the orphanage, especially to the director of Znamianka orphanage the mission of the Consistory’s Office of Christian charity, stating that it has been a prayerful ministry of the Church to promote the charitable outreach ministry to the elderly, sick, dying, lonely, shut-ins, unwed mothers, teens in need, disenfranchised within the parish communities of the Church and throughout the world… We prayerfully teach our youth today as in the past, that the Church as God's family must be a place where help is given and received, and at the same time, a place where people are also prepared to serve those who are in need of help. By presenting this humble gift, we also pledge our prayers and love to the children and workers of the orphanage. May this vehicle be a source of joy and enable the administration to provide yet better care for the children and those in need.
Responding to the bishop, Pani Walko offered her reflection on the last 15 years of ministry and work of the UOC of the USA with the particular orphanage, stating that the faithful of the Church can proudly call themselves not only brother and sisters of the children, but most importantly their Godparents.
In order to learn more about the Church’s Outreach ministries, please do not hesitate to contact the director of the Consistory Office of Christian Charity – Protodeacon Ihor Mahlay at firstname.lastname@example.org