Making a difference!

At camp we played an acting game, where two players would pass an invisible orange back and forth to each other that would get bigger every time, until it was just too big to carry. Andre has been coming to our camps for 16 years, we’ve seen him grow up before our eyes, and yet he still amazes me time after time. His acting when the orange was just so big, that it flattened him, was Oscar worthy.

In our Bible study as I was explaining to the moms this game that we play with their children, showing them a video of Andre’s acting, it really hit me just how much that invisible orange, is like God’s gift of grace to us.

We were talking about the Apostle Paul, who even after he met the Lord Jesus on the Road to the Damascus, was forgiven and received God’s call to preach the Gospel to the gentiles; and even after he was arrested for preaching that gospel on many ocasions, received beatings and lashings, he still considered himself the chief of sinners. As he grew in his faith, he grew in his understanding of just how sinful he was, and how much bigger is God’s gift of grace.

Yes as Christians, grace is like that orange, every day we realize this amazing free gift of salvation from God, that we did not earn or deserve, but have simply received by grace through faith, is a little bigger, until that love of God overwhelms us.

Andre and Scott

Of course it is our hope that all our campers understand how deep, how high and how wide is the love of our amazing God. I’m happy to have the opportunity to share that love with the people of Ukraine.

Praise the Lord! We are blessed to be back to doing home wheelchair deliveries. Since the beginning of the pandemic family members were coming to pick up wheelchairs and walkers from our office, but now we have resumed our in home ministry taking all the precautions we can. I had the chance to deliver some wheelchairs and walkers with Valeriy and Ruslan. In this home a woman had been given a wheelchair that was not even close to being the right size for her.

Thankfully, Ruslan was able to fit a new wheelchair for her perfectly, as Valeriy took time to get to know her and her family needs. I’m thankful to be able to work with our team as every person who receives a mobility aid hears of Christ’s love for them.

Sasha with me and Lena at our GHT camp

If you would like to support Pastor Scott as a missionary in Ukraine, you can write a check to God’s Hidden Treasures with Pastor Scott written in the memo and send it to

God’s Hidden Treasures
Nita Hanson
Attention- Vicki
3321 SW 39th St.
Ocala, FL 34474

A Decade of Ministry!

Ukraine played a huge role in this last decade of my life.  In fact I spent more of the decade in Ukraine than anywhere else!  I have been so blessed to be a part of the ministry of God’s Hidden Treasures, I wanted to share my favorite Ukrainian photo from each year of this decade!

2010

2010

In 2010, I made my second trip to Ukraine. I was serving my vicarage at Ascenscion Lutheran Church  in Waterloo, Iowa.  Here I’m having some fun with Yaroslav Kulagin.  I’ve been blessed to see Yarik grow up to become a strong Christian and awesome soccer player!  After volunteering at this summer camp, I knew I wanted to see these children again!

2011

2011

In this photo I’m kneeling with Alina, Masha and Anya.  Three awesome girls who bring so much joy to our camps.  They would become my Ukrainian family!

2012

2012

Roma has been a blessing in my life.  He has an amazing smile, and is a very patriotic Ukrainian.  He asks that we pray for the Ukrainian president every evening at camp!

2013

2013 Andrei

This photo is priceless.  Andrei has been to every one of our camps.  The whole decade he has dominated me at arm wrestling.  Maybe I’ll have more success in the next decade.

2014

2014 vashavanka

This was a special year of camp.  This was my first camp as a full time missionary in Ukraine, the first camp after the war in Ukraine began, we had no American teams this summer, but God worked powerfully through a team of Ukrainian camp counselors!  This photo was taken on my 30th birthday!

2015

2015 Marta

Marta is the sweetest!  I’m so glad she has come to our camp, I wish Marta and her family lived closer, so I could see them more, but I’m always happy to see her at camp!  She has so much talent, I love hearing her sing and read poems.

2016

2016 team

One of my favorite years of camp.  Having my Iowa family come and meet my Ukrainian family, oh and by the way, first camp with my future wife Lena!

2017

2017 Wedding

Only one thing can top a camp photo, and that is a wedding photo!  I’m so lucky to have Lena as my amazing wife.  I didn’t think anything could top our parties at camp, but a Ukrainian wedding took it to a new level.  Endless food, dancing, games, gypsies kidnapping my bride, all kinds of craziness, and having my family come to Ukraine made it even better, could any party top this?

2018

2018 night to shine bogdan 2

In terms of energy, I don’t know if I’ll ever feel a party top Night to Shine, the prom for children with special needs we did with the Tim Tebow Foundation in 2018.  It was an amazing night, where each guest received the VIP treatment and named the King or Queen of the ball.

2019

2019 camp photo

What an amazing way to finish off the decade, this was the first year we were able to invite children from the deaf community.  Another new way God’s Hidden Treasures has grown as I now get to visit these kids at the school for the deaf every week.

God has blessed me beyond measure this decade.  So many camps, VBS at the Boy’s orphanage, a new wife and a wonderful new Ukrainian family.  I can’t wait to see what God will bring in 2020 and beyond!  Thanks for reading.  If you would like to support my ministry in Ukraine in the decade to come you can visit this link.

https://ukrainepastor.wordpress.com/giving/

Thank you and God bless,

Scott

Night To Shine!

On Friday February 9th, God’s Hidden Treasures hosted Night To Shine a prom for people with special needs sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.  This is a worldwide movement celebrating God’s love for people with special needs with over 90,000 guests honored in 16 countries.  We were so privileged to bring this celebration to Ukraine and it was a fantastic night of joy, dancing, food, singing, and so much more.  The best part, was at the end of the night, every guest was named the king or queen of the ball and given a special crown or tiara.

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The night began with hair and makeup.  Lillia from our office did an amazing job organizing different hair stylists from around the city to come and do free makeovers for all our female guests.  One of our guests Masha Klipach spent the whole time in the makeup chair sharing that it had been her dream to have her hair and makeup done for a red carpet event.  It brought smiles to all the volunteers.  Following hair and makeup everyone took a limo ride to the cafe where our event was held.

 

 

At our location there was a red carpet, with fans and paparazzi waiting for the arrival of our guests.  Every guest was partnered with a buddy for the night.  We had  amazing volunteers who helped make the night extra special.  Each guest went down the red carpet to cheers and applause.  From there we opened with prayer and kicked off our night of festivities.  There was a big dance floor, and a huge buffet table that the guests were free to visit all night long!  Throughout the night of dancing, we would take some breaks where many of our guests shared their talent by singing songs, reciting poems or even playing an instrument.

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The celebration climaxed with the crowning ceremony.  Romans 8 tells us we are God’s children, and because we are His children, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.  It was my privilege to announce that they were all kings and queens of the prom because that is how God sees each and every one of them.  As they received their crowns, confetti dropped from above which capped off a night none of these guests will forget.

I am amazed at how God worked through this event.  His love for all people shined. That love was made known to every person who walked through those doors.  New friends were made, old friends were reunited.  An event like this would not have been possible without a lot of help.  God’s Hidden Treasures staff put in countless hours organizing and preparing for this prom.  We had a volunteer chef with a huge group of kitchen volunteers from local churches who helped make all the food.  We had volunteers helping kids in and out of the limos and in and out of the event hall. We had over 75 volunteers who signed up to be buddies for our guests.  These were some of our former campers, who also help with our summer camps, others were volunteers from local churches as well as volunteers from the Red Cross Ukraine.  In all, we had over 120 volunteers.  For them, I am so grateful.

There is so much more to say about this event.  I look forward to sharing more stories from the kids and volunteers themselves.  Please check out our Facebook page to see even more of the photos!

Our first Night to Shine prom for people with special needs in Bila Tserkva Ukraine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow…

Posted by God's Hidden Treasures on Saturday, February 10, 2018

Night to Shine is Coming!!

God's Hidden Treasures Church of Hope Social Media Post

Hey everyone, this Friday we will host Night to Shine, a prom for people with special needs.    All the preparations are coming together, and the excitement is through the roof.  I’ve been listening to our guests for months talk about what suits and dresses they’re going to where, what colors they are picking.  They are ready for Night to Shine.  We are so excited to work with the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring this event to Ukraine.

Please, be praying for all of our honored guests, as well as all the volunteers who will make this night possible.  I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through this event, to demonstrate His love for people with special needs.

 

 

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Christmas is always a special time here at God’s Hidden Treasures.  We take on the big endeavor of visiting every person new to our organization that year.  All year we have been giving out wheelchairs and mobility aids. Our doctor and nurse have been visiting new stroke patients.  We have new families who have come to our summer camps.   Well now we have a chance to see them again while bringing some joy into their homes for Christmas.  We visit over 200 families during this time of year.  I had the pleasure of being Father Frost on Tuesday December 26th, and we visited 20 homes that day.

 

On these visits, Father Frost and his grandaughter, Snegurochka (the Snowmaiden) enter the home with a bag of gifts.  We greet them with a song or a Christmas verse.  Then we tell them they have to work for their gifts.  If they want their present they have to sing a Christmas song or recite a verse from a Christmas poem.  This is a Ukrainian tradition, most children have memorized verses to recite for the holiday.  If they can’t remember any, we just invite them to sing along with us.

Many of the visits are times of great joy, with lots of smiles and laughs. Other visits can be very hard, we have many people living in very difficult situations with no family to help them.  We have to wait for neighbors to come to open up their apartment and let us in, because they can’t get out of bed themselves.  These people love the opportunity to talk with someone.

IMG_20171228_131025 It takes our staff as wells as many volunteers to make these visits happen.  Above is Valeera one of our staff members and Nastya one of our volunteers getting ready to go out to make visits.

We also visited the Boy’s House Orphanage in Bila Tserkva.  Here we sang songs, and enjoyed sharing the Christmas story along with crafts of Jesus’ birth.  We look forward to a trip with the kids from the orphanage to Kiev early next month after Christmas in Ukraine (January 7th)

 

We at God’s Hidden Treasures want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We thank you for all your prayers and support.  Please be praying for Nita as she begins a speaking tour in California in January, as well as for all the remaining people we will be visiting this week.

God bless,

God’s Hidden Treasures

Kidlandia

Yesterday, we took children with special needs from Bila Tserkva to Kidlandia in Kiev.  It is a small town for children where they can try their hand at different professions in the city.  Our kids were firefighters, police officers, dentists, pizza chefs and many other professions for one day.

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The kids had a wonderful time going around the city and trying many different jobs while earning Kidlandia dollars which they could spend at the Kidlandia Toy Store.  Even better, a parent came with each kid and got to enjoy watching their children enjoy the town.

We would like to thank the Friends From Norway charity who helped sponsor this Christmas trip for the children.  We look forward to another trip in January with the children from the Boy’s Orphanage.  We also would like to thank McDonald’s who gave free Happy Meals to all the kids that were thoroughly enjoyed on the bus ride home.

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The man on the right side with the grey briefcase in his hand is Valeera Guk.  He is  is our newest staff member, he helped lead the excursion and along with the other volunteers helped get the kids in and out of the bus.   Many of you already know his wife Marina, who has been working for us for many years.

This is a busy time of year for God’s Hidden Treasures, we have begun our Father Frost annual Christmas visits to each new family.  I look forward to sharing the photos with you on our next blog post.

God bless and Merry Christmas to all,

God’s Hidden Treasures

 

 

Church of Hope!

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October 29th, 2017 marked a very special day for God’s Hidden Treasures.  It was the first worship service at our very own Church of Hope.  Our goal has always been that a wheelchair, walker, or any aid given to a person or family, would be just the first step in our being involved in their lives.  Having a church where we can continue to minister to and disciple these families is a dream come true.

It was so great to see many families who attend our summer camps for children.  Following the service we had fellowship time with tea and a cake commemorating our first service and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

During the service we sang worship songs in Russian and Ukrainian,  heard some Bible lessons as well as a sermon from the text of Matthew 14 with Jesus walking on water.  Following the sermon we joined in the Apostle’s Creed and the Lord’s Prayer and held an offering to raise support for food packets for families in need.

Please be praying for our church.  We are the Church of Hope.  God’s Hidden Treasures has been bringing hope to the forgotten of Ukraine for over 20 years and now we will bring hope every Sunday through preaching Jesus Christ, who died for our sins on the cross, and gave his life so that we might have life eternal.  In him we have hope that can overcome anything we face in this world.

Our second service was held the following Sunday, on the 5th of November.  Here is Nita sharing a message about building your life on the rock, Jesus Christ.

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Pray for all the families who will be attending, especially during winter as it become much harder for the moms to get their children out of the house and around the city. Pray for our driver who is picking up people in wheelchairs throughout the city, that they would be safe every Sunday.

We also have another important prayer request for Masha.  Her and her son Sasha have attended every one of our camps.  She has recently had two operations on her back and needs a third operation to remove painful gallstones.   She is delaying the operation because she cannot afford it.  Please pray that the Lord will provide for her and Sasha and if you are interested in helping contact me at ukrainepastor@gmail.com

Here are some photos of Masha and Sasha at camp.  Thank you for your prayers!

God’s Hidden Treasures

 

Weekly Ministry

It is always exciting to share the big things God is doing, the doors he is opening, and how he accomplishes what we could have never hoped or imagined.  Nita and I spent August sharing all about “the big three”, our plan for a village for orphans, manufacturing wheelchairs for children, and planting a church for the disabled.  But today I just want to share about the stuff that is happening every day with God’s Hidden Treasures.

First, there are orphanage visits.  Whether it is the Baby House, Voloshka, or the Boy’s House, it is amazing to visit these kids, teach the Bible, sing songs, play games, or just simply hold them.  Marina, Olga, Luba, Tonya and me all make visits to these orphanages.

Along with our orphan ministry, our wheelchair delivery team visits homes every week to give out free mobility aids.  Tuesday, we visited a home of a man who had a stroke two months ago.  We walk into the apartment and found the man lying on the floor, on a blanket, no mattress, his wife says he spends most of the day on the floor because he kept falling off the couch and hurting himself.  He has been home for over a month and has not been doing any sort of rehabilitation.  We signed him up for our free stroke rehabilitation program, so now Dr. Tamara will visit him regularly and help teach him exercises so he can begin to retrain his paralyzed muscles.  When we gave him the wheelchair, and helped get him into it, his face lit up, he was so happy to be mobile and just be off the floor.  This was just one of five visits our wheelchair team made on just that Tuesday.  They are out at least 3 days a week visiting multiple homes.

This is just a small picture of the ministry happening every day, because it doesn’t even include, Tonya and the prayer team who go out visiting homes every week, Luba and her visitation to shut-ins, and so much more that is happening.  I am so amazed by the wonderful team of Ukrainians God has blessed us with, and ask for your prayers, for every one of our staff members, and the ministry they are doing every day.

God bless,

Scott Yount

Night to Shine

NTS Tim Tebow final

God’s Hidden Treasures Church of Hope is proud to be an official host church for Night to Shine sponsored by the @TimTebowFoundation on February 9, 2018!  Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older.  To learn more and see the more than 450 churches that are already part of this worldwide movement, visit http://www.timtebowfoundation.org #NightToShine

Nita and I have both been in the US speaking at different churches in August, so we haven’t posted much here on the blog.  But I’m very excited to announce that we have been sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, to host Night to Shine in Ukraine.  I saw Tim Tebow on the Tonight Show speaking about Night to Shine, and dancing with a young girl with special needs and thought it would be amazing to host this event in Ukraine.  We applied and have been approved.  Praise the Lord!  And keep the event in your prayers.  Check out the official video from last year!

The Village: A Dream 21 Years in the Making

This has been a historic week for God’s Hidden Treasures and here’s why!

21 years ago God gave Nita Hanson a dream to build a village for orphans in Ukraine.

https://www.godshiddentreasures.org/the-village-dream

 

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Over the years she has built strong relationships with local mayors, pastors, the orphanage directors and even signed a 50 year lease on land to build the village. However, the time to begin building never came. Over the last 21 years our wheelchair ministry has grown from 3 wheelchairs brought in on a Delta flight to large containers bringing 300-500 wheelchairs ever year.  Each one is personally delivered and fitted to the recipient, offered with a Bible and prayer.  So many of our most meaningful relationships began with a mobility aid personally given.

While this ministry and others multiplied and thrived, the village dream had been simmering for over 20 years until God’s timing was right. Little did we know just how much God was working behind the scenes preparing a very important meeting last week. Last year, Kurt and Cindy Petrich who are planning on coming to Ukraine as full time missionaries were introduced by a friend of Nita’s to the personal adviser of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.  The advisor, Nickolai Kubela has been charged with reforming the orphanage system in Ukraine.

 

This led to a meeting in Kiev last month with Nita, Kurt, Cindy, and Nickolai.  Nickolai shared his vision for orphanage reform in Ukraine and Nita shared the dream of the village.  The adviser was intrigued by Nita’s dream, but was leaning toward a similar plan of his own.

Nikolai

The first meeting (left to right, Kurt, Nikolai, Cindy, Nita)

 Nikolai asked for another meeting, and asked if Nita could gather some Pastors from the Bila Tserkva area and some local mayors, to discuss the idea of reform a little further.  Nita in just a week was able to gather, the mayor of Fursy, the Kiev Region, three orphanage directors and two pastors.

This time the meeting was held at the President Poroshenko’s Office building.  The adviser again shared his vision and plan for the orphanages, point by point.  But during the meeting, the mayors and orphanage directors all shared about the dream for the village, and how Nita has been in Ukraine so long helping people, and she keeps her promises, Nita really didn’t need to open her mouth to share about her dream for the village.  Nita showed that in our region, all the pieces are already in place, to do something about the orphans in our region.  The local government, churches, orphanage directors, are all willing to do something.  Nita wants this village to be an example, that all other regions in Ukraine can follow, getting orphans into small homes, with adopted parents who have been educated in how to care for children with special needs.

Kiev meeting 2

Meeting #2

Well, a week after the meeting, Nita received this email from Nikolai, the President’s adviser in Kiev.

“Hi, dear friends, Nita, Kurt and Cyndi,

 

Thank you so much for the wonderful time we have spent together. We (in Kiev) are ready to go forward together with you. Think please about the pilot project being in the region you take care of.  At the meetings, we realized that there is an amazing potential in your region and that all resources are already in place, i.e., your organization, the churches and the authorities are ready for these changes.

Meanwhile any project should be started with the assessment of the communities, children and family’s critical needs. Together we can define the priorities for your region, take the first steps in reforming the child care system and create a successful model for the rest of regions all over the Ukraine.”

 

Nita’s own words

“To say this is amazing doesn’t come near to telling the immensity of all of this.  To think that God’s Hidden Treasures is going to be used as the pilot project for Ukraine’s reform of the orphan system is beyond my capability to comprehend.  God has been orchestrating all of this these past 21 years since He gave me the dream to build a Village.  And He has steadfastly been putting all the pieces, including governments, in place.  I am rejoicing and more than humbled to be allowed to be a part of this.  So many people have faithfully prayed over the years for the Village to be built.  Wow!!!  I have found myself praying the words that King David wrote in Psalm 8 throughout the day:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
 The moon and the stars, which you have ordained,
 What is man that You are mindful of him,
 And the son of man that You visit him?”
Love and blessings to all of you, Nita
Please be praying for God’s Hidden Treasures, as we are working with the Mayor’s, Pastors, Orphanage Directors  putting the final plan together to give to Nikolai the President’s adviser.  For the next few weeks there will be lots of meetings, and much to do, but it is all very exciting to see what God is doing.  Thank you for your prayers!