Full of Life and Hope and Heart

 Evgeniy with two of his children.

Evgeniy with two of his children.

The Isaev family enjoys a rather unusual notoriety in their home country of Ukraine: they are the first family to ever adopt an HIV positive child. The family is now asking prayer for the father—Evgeniy, who was admitted to hospital with heart failure and is awaiting coronary bypass surgery (scheduled for Tuesday, March 8).

Evgeniy and his wife, Svetlana, are now part of the movement of Christians to adopt children within their own country, but at one time, Soviet Ukraine was almost totally closed to adoption, even of healthy children, who were left in State-run institutions. For children with special needs, hospitals took the place of homes, leaving these children with little or no hope for homes of their own.

Evgeniy and Svetlana opened their homes and hearts to as many children as they could house. They are parents to 11 children—two biological children and nine children adopted or in foster care.

 Sasha, happy at home.

Sasha, happy at home.

Sasha, their most recently adopted child, spent eight years in an orphanage for special needs children. Sasha’s mother left him at the hospital after he was born premature and weighed just two pounds at birth. Sasha’s mother suffered from HIV (after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine had one of the highest rates of HIV infections) and passed the virus on to him. Little Sasha spent the next eight years in the orphanage until the Isaevs adopted him this past Christmas.

The Ukraine Without Orphans movement has spread to more than 30 other countries through the World Without Orphans (WWO) movement.  Anita Deyneka, one of College Church’s missionaries, is a part of the expanding WWO Movement, which recently hosted a forum in Thailand. In which participants from 70 countries attended.

 College Church missionary Anita Deyneka and some of her young Ukrainian friends.

College Church missionary Anita Deyneka and some of her young Ukrainian friends.

“Evgeniy and Svetlana’s example is helping to inspire Christians and churches all over the world to care for the fatherless,” says Anita. “Our prayers for this family will help sustain them as Evgeniy undergoes surgery in just a few days. Globally, not only the orphans, but many watching are seeing the hands of Jesus as Christians embrace orphaned or abandoned children in their own countries through sacrificial people like Evgeniy and Svetlana.”

Let’s pray for Evgeniy during his heart surgery on March 8 as well as for the many Christians around the world who are reaching out to these millions of forgotten children.