Church of Hope!

20171029_111800

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.

20171105_112543

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

 

Advertisements

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

 

264001_668831175370_4424001_n

 

 

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!

Celebrating the 5th of July

No, that is not a typo.  The 5th of July, 2017 marks the three year anniversary of the liberation of the city Kramatorsk, in Eastern Ukraine, from Russian backed separatists.  This weekend, I took a trip with Bruce and Donna Culver, and my wife Lena,  to the city of Kramatorsk to view a possible manufacturing plant for wheelchairs in Ukraine.

20170704_154314

A memorial to the soldiers of the war

We were taken on a tour of Sloviansk and Kramatrosk. We saw a hospital, school and kindergarten that were all bombed by the Separatist forces.  There were so many homes that were completely left in ruins.  It was a strong reminder, the seriousness of the current conflict that is still ongoing in the East of Ukraine.  While it might not be reported on in the USA, fighting is still happening daily.  Please continue to pray for Ukraine, that God would bring peace, and reunite this country.

Below are some of the photos of the possible site for wheelchair manufacturing that I took on our tour with Bruce and Donna Culver.  Bruce and Donna are long time friends of Nita Hanson from Southern California.  Nita worked for Bruce before coming to be a missionary in Ukraine.

 

The Manufacturing Plant

Please be praying for wisdom for God’s Hidden Treasures on how to pursue this dream to produce children’s wheelchairs here in Ukraine.  This last week, Dr. Phil Gassman a professor from Iowa State University visited us in Ukraine.  He is helping us partner with graduate students in the engineering department at ISU to develop a design for a wheelchair to help with the poor conditions of roads and the lack of handicap accessibility here in Ukraine.

 

On the trip, we visited with Vallodia, our partner in the East, who went through our wheelchair seminar and is in charge of distributing wheelchairs to the East of Ukraine.  Through us, they received a shipment through God’s Hidden Treasures from Joni and Friends.

20170704_150844.jpg

Of those nearly 200 wheelchairs that we sent, here are the only two remaining.  Two smaller chairs that they haven’t found anyone to give to yet.  The need for wheelchairs in Eastern Ukraine is very great, and it is on top of the hundreds of wheelchairs we give out in Bila Tserkva.  Please pray that God would continue to provide wheelchairs for God’s Hidden Treasures.  If you want to support God’s Hidden Treasures, visit our website https://www.godshiddentreasures.org/support-us or contact me atukrainepastor@gmail.com

God bless,

Pastor Scott

VBS CAMP 2017

God’s Hidden Treasures Camp 2017

P1000396

This summer a team of 8 Californians came to us through The Sending Place mission organization to run a camp for children with disabilities.  We had a fantastic team who were true servants, completely focused on loving these kids with all their hearts this week.

(Left photo, from left to right, we have Rylie, Cindy, Phyllis, Marjorie, Erik, Kim, Grace and Janet)

This was our 14th year of hosting  summer camps and yet this year was truly a unique situation.  For the first time we invited campers from the war-torn East of Ukraine to join us.  It was an amazing outreach to these children and their families who came with them. When they arrived, fresh off of a 15 hour train ride, I witnessed something incredible.   A young girl Anya from the east got out of the van, went right to another girl from Bila Tserkva, who was new this year to camp, introduced herself, and became instant inseparable best friends.   It was so fun to watch these two together all week helping each other wherever they went.

19577213_691475087708081_2575735955232382948_o

Anya and Lena, instant best friends!!

To add to the uniqueness of this year, we also invited three young sisters from one of the local orphanages Valoshka.  They came from a broken home but were able to become part of a new family this week.  The whole camp of moms were watching out for them and helping their grandmother take care of them.

Phyllis handing out the awards to the three sisters.

God worked powerfully in the lives of these families through this Sending Pace team.  The kids learned about the love of Christ, and how God can carry us through any storm in life.  The week involved daily Bible studies, crafts, worship songs and much more.  Every night the kids had an opportunity to share their talent with the group.  The last talent show of the week was the moms singing songs thanking the American team and the GHT staff for the camp.

While the team has made it home safely back to the USA, we look forward to continuing our ministry to these children.  They are all invited to our annual picnic, and they have been told about our plans to begin church services for people with disabilities at the local CP Center.  Thank you so much for all your prayers for our camp.  One of our campers from the East, Nikita will be having an operation on his leg around the 5th of July, so please keep him in your prayers.

19620529_691470464375210_8941495941030654808_o

Nikita working on his craft with Epic, oh wait, I mean Erik.

 

God bless and thank you for your prayers

God’s Hidden Treasures

Urgent Prayer Request

Nita’s grandson Jacob died in a car accident yesterday.  He was 26 years old.

jacob and mandy 2017

Nita just arrived here in Ukraine on Monday and was completely brokenhearted when she heard the news.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers.  Pray for comfort and peace for the family in this difficult time.  Pray for wisdom for her as she considers arrangements to attend the funeral.  The whole office was there for her today giving hugs and listening to Nita tell stories about her grandson.  Thank you everyone for your prayers, and your love for Nita.

Below is another photo and words from Nita about her grandson.

unnamed

 

Jacob with his nephew.

“Jacob was 26, a young man with the kindest, most generous and loving heart I have ever known.  He cared nothing about material possessions and everything he got, he always ended up giving to someone who he felt needed it more.  A loss for our family and everyone who knew him.  He was part of my heart.”
Blessings, Nita

 

 

So it begins!!!

This Friday we head to camp!  Sunday the kids arrive and the crazy summer of 17 gets started.  This summer we have two camps, a VBS at the Boy’s Orphanage, our summer picnic for the disabled, and lots of important work on designing a wheelchair for Ukraine.  I’m very excited, and can’t wait to get started this weekend.  If you want to know what our camp is all about, watch our video!

I’m always excited for the Sending Place team to come and this year is no different.  We have an amazing team heading this way.

sending place

From left to right we have Riley, Cindy, Phyllis, Marjorie, Erik, Kim, Grace and Janet.  Some have been many times to Ukraine and for some this will be their first mission trip. Please pray for the team as they travel this Thursday.

Nita just arrived in Ukraine yesterday for the summer.  She is very excited about all God has planned this summer.  Please keep our camp in your prayers this weekend and next week.  This camp will be very special, we invited 5 children and their moms from the East of Ukraine, where the war is taking place.  We also have many young kids coming for the first time.  One of the orphanages we have worked with for the last 20 years closed down this summer, and we have invited 3 young sisters from that orphanage to come to camp.  Check out some photos from past camps, and keep us in your prayers.  God bless,

Pastor Scott

 

Meet Our Staff

Liliya Yatsenko

P1000218.JPGI have the pleasure to share with you about our office manager Liliya.  She has worked for God’s Hidden Treasures for 13 years.  Like many of our staff, she came to know Nita through one of Nita’s Bible studies.  God would change her life, and through Liliya many lives have been changed.  Liliya spends countless hours overseeing and scheduling all the different ministries that are going on at GHT. She does so much behind the scenes work in preparing our camps for the summer, scouting out locations, contacting the director, the campers, all the families, along with finding new children to come to camp. She keeps everyone on track, and helps figure out the logistics for every big event we have.

5AiaSkUGtoULiliya helping lead a seminar with Nita.

Liliya has a huge heart for ministry on top of her many responsibilities; she leads a grief counseling group for those dealing with the loss of a loved one as well as a Bible study for caregivers.  We often found the ones in the family caring for those who were sick, became sick themselves, and wound up worse than the one they were caring for.  The 24/7 job of caring for a loved one with a stroke or disability can feel like a prison, and people find themselves in a situation where no one understands what they’re going through, and there is no one to whom they can talk.  These are the people whose lives have been changed by Liliya as she shares the hope of Christ with them, showing them they are not alone, that there are many going through the exact same thing.

P1000139

Liliya leading the Grief Support Group

 

Liliya has a husband and two daughters.  She has been married for 44 years.  She and her husband met in Bila Tserkva, 47 years ago.  Liliya has one grandson who is 10 years old and her first granddaughter is currently on the way.

When asked what her favorite part of working with God’s Hidden Treasures was, she said it is working with the youth.  For many years she has been involved in our young campers program, having youth group meetings throughout the year for kids from our summer camp.  Helping their lives and seeing them grow through the years brings great joy to her heart.  Her strong faith and incredible love for God’s people has made a huge impact on Ukraine.  We are blessed to have her at God’s Hidden Treasures.  Please be praying for Liliya and all of our staff at GHT, that the Lord would continue to work through them in powerful ways to reach the forgotten of Ukraine.