Love Them As Your Own
“In 2010 I realized that God was directly related to my life and since then, my relationship with Him has changed the direction of my life. I never imagined that I would have anything to do with working with children, but the Lord had this plan and started it with a simple announcement of the need for volunteers to help children from orphanages and boarding schools.” - Volodia, Staff Member at Future for Children in Ukraine
In 2014, the war in Ukraine caused many refugees from Eastern and Southern Ukraine to move to Lviv. Some of these families started attending Volodia’s church and eventually Future for Children began as a safe haven for these children and families, helping to meet some of their basic needs. Volodia would volunteer occasionally and help with camps when it was needed, but it was not his plan to devote all his time to working with children. As the Lord began to expand the ministry of Future for Children, they were praying for a male staff member who could work with the boys in the group. God moved in Volodia’s heart to respond to this call and he’s been working at Future for Children since 2018. He began part-time, but the ministry began to fascinate him and he knew he wanted to give more and more of his time to see it flourish. Now, both Volodia and his wife serve together at Future for Children.
“I used to joke that I wanted to have a big family (10 kids to be exact, so that we could form a soccer team). At the moment, Anna and I do not have our children, but we are happy to use this time to serve children and teens at Future for Children.”
Volodia says that there are of course different seasons in the ministry – sometimes great excitement and enthusiasm and other times emotional exhaustion. He knows that God put it in his heart to love these children as his own and the Lord has directed him all along. It is Volodia’s deep desire to become a spiritual parent to these children, that they may know and trust their heavenly Father.
“This is why I want to see Christ and my relationship with Him at the center of this ministry.”
Some of the teenagers now attend youth meetings with Volodia at his church, which brings him great joy. He wants them to know the One who has changed and continues to change his heart. His hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will touch their hearts and lead them to Jesus. Someday, Volodia would love to start a church near Future for Children so that those they serve have the opportunity to become faithful followers of Christ and to serve others as they are being served.
Volodia regularly spends time with the boys from Future for Children – playing sports, riding bikes, chatting with them over social media and watching movies. He knows how much this time means to them and how important it is for them to have strong, male role models in their lives.
“The Lord has called me to this ministry, but without His work in me, none of this would have been possible. And just as I try to influence these children and adolescents, they influence me by polishing me and helping me grow in unconditional love, patience and dedication.”
Thank you to Volodia and all the other men involved in the ministries of Children to Love who pour themselves out for the children on a daily basis.
Happy Father's Day!