By Denise Huska, Ministry Leader

St. Francis of Assisi is piloting a ministry this summer to offer support to orphans from the Ukraine.  Much in the model of the Children of Chernobyl ministry, families will host children from Eastern Europe for a few weeks in the summer.  Redline United is the host agency that will bring 11 Ukrainian Orphans, ages 7 – 15, from 3 provincial orphanages to the Raleigh and Cary area for a 3 week stay beginning Thursday, July 19 through Sunday, August 12th.   The mission of the collaboration in performing God’s Work is two-fold:

  • To bring hope and joy to orphans of Ukraine and break the recurring hopelessness revealed by UNICEF statistics:  80% of orphaned children will turn to crime; 65% of orphaned girls will become prostitutes; and 15% of orphaned children will commit suicide.   The Children will stay with host families within the Triangle to experience life in America and most especially God and the happiness found within a faithful and loving family.
  • The second part of the mission, for families in the Triangle interested in adoption, is to bring these children before those families in the community to explore the possibility of a forever loving home.  Redline United has partnered with Stork International Adoption Services of Virginia to assist and support a family through the adoption process.

How can our parishioners become involved?

a.       Become a non-adoptive advocacy host family for 3 weeks in the summer and support the child’s stay, faith-building, and outreach to potential adoptive families.  This summer, Jay and Danielle Merritt-Sunseri Family will host a child!

b.      Become an adoptive family of a Ukrainian orphan alongside the support of Redline United and St. Francis’ Ukraine Hosting and Adoption Ministry.

c.       Become a camp counselor, full or half days, during their stay to support the activities, play, and Bible lessons during their daily camp in Raleigh.

d.      Provide or connect the ministry to Russian translators.

e.       Become a shuttle driver to/from daily camp in Raleigh and on Friday’s for field trips to the beach and area lakes.

f.        Community Outreach Coordinators are needed to plan weekly events at parks for potential adoptive families to meet the Children.  These events vastly increase the successful connection of children to new families!

g.      Make charitable donations to Redline to support the travel costs and/or the children’s needs while in the US.

h.       Pray for the Children, their Orphanages, Redline United, and this Ministry!

3.)    The two important Community Outreach Events to meet the Children this summer will be held:

July 29th and August 5th from 4 – 7 PM at the Preston Village Picnic Shelter in Cary.  It’s a wonderful way to meet the children, their caregivers at the orphanage, Ministry leadership, and enjoy a FREE dinner while your children share time on the playground with new friends.

There will be opportunities and summer events to learn more about this Ministry in upcoming bulletins!  For more information now, or to support this summer’s experience, please contact Denise Huska at or 919-380-1867.

What better way is there to show that we are all truly one family under God than to open your hearts and your homes to children from another part of the world—children who have bleak prospects for their future unless a family adopts them in and a whole community encircles them with love!

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