I hope all of you are well. This letter will update you on the recent events at SCM. May you be encouraged by this month’s update.
Before sharing our primary story with you in this prayer letter, I want to inform you that we have begun ministering in eleven locations (in theology, English evangelism, and orphans ministry). Please pray for all of our courses!
Father of the Fatherless!
As I reported to you in our last prayer letter, Father’s House Orphanage had been battling a group of evil businessmen within the Ukrainian legal system for several years. I am proud to report to you that Father’s House Orphanage won their lawsuit in the appellate court! This is a terrific “first”; victory for our Lord … and the kids!
Yliana Yriavna, the orphanage director for Father’s House, is praising God for his mercy and she wants to thank everyone who supported the children and staff in prayer during these difficult years! Here is a snapshot of the situation from Yliana’s perspective. She writes,
Our shelter is over seven years old now. Since our beginning, we have always prided ourselves in being able to provide plenty of Christian love to these children. There has always been a very good atmosphere between the staff and the children. So far, we have invested heavily into seventy children within our orphanage.
About two years ago things took a surprising turn for the worst. Even to this day, we are unsure why it all happened, except to assume that certain businessmen wanted to steal our property because it is on a very expensive piece of land that is in a prime location for development. I am sure they wanted to take our land and sell it for great financial gain. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence in my country!
For the last two years the plaintiff’s were trying to sway the courts and the government to relocate our children by transferring them to government run institutions. As you can probably imagine, this is not the best situation, if you want to minister to kids daily!
They tried desperately to close our Christian ministry. And for the past two years or longer, we have all been on edge, frantically trying to protect these children and keep them within our Christian environment of love and care. All we wanted to do was keep our family together. But not knowing the future, all of us (adults and kids alike) shed many tears.
During this on-going battle, we have proven to the court time-and-time again that the plaintiff’s lawsuit was groundless, and that all of the claims were fabricated! Despite our legal defense and emotional appeals, it looked like the children were going to be transferred to somewhere else. Our greatest fears were unfolding before our eyes when the district court favored on behalf of our opponents.
We immediately appealed their decision and filed a complaint in the appellate court in Kharkov. Then after another round of grueling legal proceedings, the appellate court decided “It is impossible to agree with a conclusion made of the first court, and this court has decided that the lower court made a mistake in their decision. Their decision was unreasonable and without proof.”; As a result, the district court was overturned and we were able to keep the children!
It is difficult to describe what a huge joy and sense or relief we felt when we received this decision! Everyone was overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus! The children were exuberant and went into instant elation! Once again, tears were flowing in the eyes of everyone, but this time they were happy tears! But now, more sad news – these evil businessmen just began a “new”; lawsuit against us just today (September 16, 2009). We were just served with papers. So here it goes all over again!
Nevertheless, we thank our Lord Jesus for his mercy, and we are steadfast in believing that he remains a protector and father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5)! Thank you for your ongoing prayers!
As you can see, despite the long hard fight, they can now rejoice for a moment; but clearly, the evil one will not let go! Another lawsuit has just begun! Please continue to pray for these sincere believers who are constantly being persecuted!