Stories & UpdatesThree Homes Work to Bring Hope to War-Torn Ukraineby susantanderson

War, drug addiction and disease have exposed the children of Ukraine to trauma that will last them a lifetime. Hope is scarce but Serving Orphans Worldwide is proud to support three children’s homes who are working to change the fate of the children left abandoned and orphaned as a result of the harsh realities they face.

Eastern Ukraine is still involved in a conflict that has left much of the country devastated. Since it began, thousands of civilians have been killed, and 1.7 million have been displaced. As with most systemic problems, they are interwoven, with one prompting another, creating a whole host of problems for its citizens.

Substance abuse is one of the most prominent issues in Ukraine, with heroin being the primary substance of abuse because of easy access and high availability. According to the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), released by the US Department of State, 68,220 drug addicts were registered in Ukraine as of May 2015. However, the report also estimated that the actual number of people with substance abuse disorders in Ukraine could be as high as half a million. With drugs flooding the nation, the country has been ranked as having one of the highest rates of HIV infection in all of Europe.

Pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko knows these realities all too well. In the city of Mariupol, Pilgrim Republic Children’s Home is located just nine miles from the front lines of the war. Many of the children who have been rescued by the ministry were abandoned because of drug addiction and other devastating issues. They were left defenseless on the streets, exposed to crime, drug abuse, sexual assault and violence. Pastor Gennadiy believes that an integral part of the healing process is to restore trust and build positive relationships between the children and law enforcement, and to overcome any negative associations that the children may have because of past interactions.

The staff and volunteers at Pilgrim Republic have been working in partnership with the local Police Department, creating a series of events designed to get to know the children, educate them about resources available and inform them of their rights. Most of all, these events aim to rebuild trust, and help the Pilgrims see the police as a helper and friend.

This past month, the children were nominated by the police for positive attributes like academic studies, appearance, behavior and many others. The winners received personal gifts with police logos and certificates.




The city of Slavyansk, also in Eastern Ukraine is home to another refuge for children that SOW is proud to partner with. Sails of Hope also rescues children who have been abandoned and orphaned because of these same issues.

Recently, Lisa, Nastia and Sascha came to Sails of Hope, and for the first time in three years, they are regularly attending school and they beginning to see hope for the future.

Four years ago, Lisa, Nastja and Sascha’s parents had a successful business and lived comfortably. When the war started, they had to flee. With the crash of the Ukrainian economy, they lost their business and their mother became sick. After several months of suffering, and without access to medication, their mother died. Their father couldn’t cope and turned to alcohol. For the next two years, their father moved them from city to city in search of income and to find healing from the past, but was unsuccessful. Since reaching out to Sails of Hope, their father is attending church, going through a rehabilitation program and has been sober for two months.

Pearl Orphanage is located in Alexandria, a small village in Northwestern Ukraine. Home to 37 children, Pearl Orphanage is a much needed refuge. Though giving care and love is their top priority, their ultimate goal is to find a permanent placement for their children, so they have a forever family to call their own. This month, they were able to celebrate the adoption of four of their children- Alina and her sister Alexandra, and brothers Roman and Maxim. We are truly blessed with such a wonderful news.

To learn more about how you can get involved or to designate a gift directly to one of these homes in Ukraine, visit: and 100% will go directly to meeting the needs of these children in Ukraine.


Story by: Susan Anderson

A Big Win for the Children & Staff at Shalom in Tanzania

by Reece Anderson

A recent study by the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities and the Duke Global Health Institute looked specifically at the rates of “Poor Health Among Orphaned & Abandoned Children and Their Caregivers.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has visited a children’s home in the developing world that conditions are less than favorable in most of these environments. When Serving Orphans Worldwide comes alongside a partner home, we want to do more than just send money each month when there is a real opportunity to increase the quality of life for both the children and staff.

Our four focus areas are Home, Health, Education, and Faith. When we make investments in those areas, children can have a foundation to build on.

In the summer of 2017, we identified a need at Shalom Children’s Home in Tanzania. For the 73 children plus staff who live on the campus, there were only three toilets and no shower stalls on property. One staff toilet and two other toilets shared by all 73 children can become a major health concern.

Thanks to a special gift from a family in the US, they have just completed a major update to their campus and have enough facilities for all children, staff, and even future visitors!

The Story of Shalom:

Edwin’s Story – Dreaming Big in Guatemala

by Reece Anderson

At the age of 7, Edwin and his two siblings were taken to Casa Shalom orphanage in Guatemala after their mother fled the country during a time of civil war and their father was involved in a tragic motorcycle accident.

Before coming to Casa Shalom, he had never been to see a doctor. Edwin loved to play soccer, but he struggled to catch his breath and keep up with all the other children. As part of the intake process, Edwin received medical care, and a life-threatening heart condition was discovered that required immediate surgery.

After multiple surgeries and years of recovery, Edwin was able to experience life to the fullest and participate in sports after school with all of his friends. There was still an emptiness in Edwin’s heart that he carried from losing his family, but God was able to do an amazing work in Edwin’s life.

Having every excuse to settle for mediocrity and to live in a place of bitterness and depression over what was a very traumatic childhood, Edwin decided instead to have joy. God promised him a future and a hope.

After High School, Edwin was able to attend University and live at the Casa Shalom campus for a few more years. His dream for many years was to save up enough money to start a business, so he studied Business Administration. Once he obtained his degree, he got a job as a teller at a local bank and saved up enough money to import a car from the United States and re-sell it for a small profit.

Using the knowledge and tools that he learned from University as well as Casa Shalom, Edwin has been able to build a thriving business that now also employs other former Casa Shalom children including his little sister.

He dreams about a day when his country heals from some of the wounds still left over from the civil war and economic hardships of the past. He believes that God will continue to use him to make a difference in the lives of more young adults who need a hand up and a chance to work and earn a living.

On November 10th, 2017, Edwin travelled to Texas to attend the World Without Orphans Gala where he was presenting with the 2017 Innovation Award.

The Father’s Love in Action in Uganda

by Reece Anderson

Serving Orphans Worldwide is excited to add a new ministry to the growing list of homes that we support in East Africa. The Omwana House in Uganda is a program of Parental Care Ministries and they provide a loving home for abandoned and orphaned infants and toddlers. We want you to meet a three year old little boy named Arnold ­— adorable with a beautiful smile and filled with the potential and love God has placed in him.  He lives in a mud hut in a village in Uganda.

His mother abandoned him — and his father leaves him at home every day while he is out looking for work.  How could he possibly survive, much less thrive? When the local authorities heard that Arnold and his siblings were home alone, they stepped in. They brought Arnold to the Parental Care Ministries Omwana House. “Omwana” is Ugandan for “baby”.


The team at the Omwana House prayed for Arnold, provided nourishing food, medical care and loved on this child knowing he had a Jeremiah 29:11 purpose for his life.

Today Arnold is a thriving, happy, even entertaining child.  He is a natural born leader and is looked up to by the other children. He is six years old and goes to one of the four Parental Care Ministries primary schools. We are thankful for the way that the Lord meets the needs of the babies that He brings to the Omwana House.


About The Omwana House

When Jesus said “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18), He was revealing the work of the Holy Spirit through the lives of His people. This Scripture comes to life at the Omwana House, a loving home for orphaned and abandoned babies in Uganda.

The Omwana House is a safe haven where the helpless can turn for hope. Whether children were orphaned at birth or faced with the trauma of abuse or neglect, our goal is to welcome them with love and care.


Story by: Heather Allen – Parental Care Ministries

Education. Putting the Power of Possibility Into the Hands of a Child.

by Reece Anderson

The written word has the power to set people free. Throughout human history, God has given us a narrative that reveals our creation story, our past, and even our future in Christ Jesus. When the persecution of the early church and 1st century followers of Christ wasn’t enough to squash the spreading flame of the gospel, the enemy attacked our ability to access and read the Bible. For hundreds of years, nobody except an elite few had access to scriptures and text to read and study in their own language.

Literacy is a gift that sets captives free.

One of our biggest focus areas around the world at each home is education. We fight for the education of every orphaned child around the world because we believe that education puts the power of possibility into the hands of an orphaned child.

UNESCO estimates that there are approx. 120 million adolescent children without any access to a basic education. Most of these children have been orphaned or abandoned.

One of our homes on the front lines of this crisis is Bethsaida Home for Girls in Tanzania. In certain parts of East Africa, only 1 out of 5 girls ever attend high school, and those figures are much lower when you consider the orphaned population of children.

In a culture where girls are told they need to prioritize everything else above going to school, many of them are just trying to survive. Studies have shown that when girls attend high school, their chance for early pregnancy and other major risk factors goes way down!

Despite the fact that all of the 150 girls at Bethsaida have experienced a lot of trauma during their short life-times, there is so much joy in their hearts and they are loved!

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