Annual Report 2019
STANDING TOGETHER IN JOY AND SUFFERING
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another.
The Bible – Letter to the Romans 12:15-16
We have experienced a lot in the past twelve months, ups and downs of feelings, many moments of laughter and crying. More and more we learn to appreciate the value of living as a community in these times. It is such a gift to share good and bad days with each other.
In this annual report 2019 we would like to give you an insight into many small and big common experiences. In all these we are filled with deep gratitude. Gratitude for all support, preservation, encounters, friendships, for all children and families who live out conviviality in our “Living Hope Community”. Also we are grateful for a great team of fulltime workers and volunteers who serve daily in the day centers. We are truly blessed!
Starting with our Christmas celebrations in January and continuing with the many meetings that took place throughout the year, the summer camp and the family camp were undoubtedly joyful highlights in 2019. At the family camp we could observe how the participants became more and more relaxed from day to day, had fun with each other and how the parents, above all, drew more and more hope for the future. A participating family, in which the father had died a few days before the camp after a long serious illness, was in deep grief in this situation and was very afraid of what was to come. Due to years of treatment, debts of over 1000 Euro had accumulated. For these people under the given circumstances a terrible burden. Friends who heard of this distress decided to step in and pay off the whole amount. I will never forget the indescribable joy and relief of this mother when we paid off the loan in the bank. Isn’t it a precious gift to be able to make other people happy? In the 23 years that I (Nicole) have been living in Ukraine, I have experienced again and again that “Giving is far more better than receiving”.
We were especially encouraged by the spontaneous healing of a seriously ill mother. Only a year ago there was no hope for that woman and we made plans to find an alternative place to live for her daughter. Thank God there are still miracles and so both of them were even able to attend the family camp this year, having so much fun and spending their first vacation in a very long time.
In 2019 we had a lot of occasions to celebrate together. It is a fixed ritual that we celebrate their birthday with every child who
attends to our day centers. Unfortunately it happens again and again that we are the only ones who think about the anniversary and make the day special with a gift and many congratulations.
This year was very special, because we were invited to celebrate the wedding of Misha and Kristina. Kristina came to the day center herself since she was 11 years old. After her successful graduation, we were able to co-finance her psychology studies with the help of friends from Germany and since then she has been a reliable and hard-working team member of our association. Among the guests were not only children and teenagers, for whom she cares today, but also many former day care visitors, whom we had not seen for a long time. What a joy to see that friendships that grew in the early years are still alive today.
VOLUNTEERING MAKES HAPPY
This year 6 young Ukrainians decided to volunteer in different social institutions in Slovakia, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Finland. We are grateful for this important opportunity and for their willingness to get involved.
Maryam and Daniel from Germany have also settled in well with us and are a great enrichment for our day centers. It is wonderful to see them improving their Russian and taking on more and more tasks and responsibilities.
A FULFILLED LIVED SERVING CHILDREN IN NEED
The worst and saddest moment of the year for all of us was the death of our co-worker Viktoria. After a terminal cancer diagnosis, she fell asleep peacefully at home on October 25 at the age of 44. Since 2001, Vika has been the good-hearted soul of the first day care center, an always faithful companion, taking the role of a mother for many children and youngsters. Her death leaves a big gap. She is missed deeply by all of us! We are grateful beyond measure for the many beautiful memories and the almost 19 years of common service.
Fulfilled life is possible in spite of unfulfilled wishes.“
TO MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER IN JOYFUL ANTICIPATION
More than 20 years passed since the foundation of “Schiwa Nadija” (Living Hope NGO) in Odessa. Much could be done and changed during this time with God’s help and thanks to your support. Also for 2020 we have many plans. For example we have already fixed the dates for the summer camps and the trip to Germany with about 40 children and teenagers in July. The interviews with the future volunteers are already going on and we are curious to see what else the New Year has in store for all of us.
…all who stand with us in joy and sorrow and encourage us through prayers, calls, emails and financial gifts.
We wish you all God’s protection and blessing in the New Year!
Slavik and Nicole Borisuk with Rebekka and Sarah and the children
and staff from the day centers in Odessa and Petrivka.
We asked our kids how they would like to see their lives in 15 years - here are some answers:
Lebendige Hoffnung e.V.