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Ukrainian government shows commitment to change to help families.

By November 24, 2006

Ukraine (MNN) — Since the fall of communism in the early 1990s in Ukraine, Bethany Christian Services has assisted in helping address the multiple social problems in that former soviet country.

Bethany’s Bill Blacquiere says that they’ve always had their eye to the future as well as the present, “Bethany has always taken the approach that we can work with governments, so that we’re not only changing the immediate lives of families, but we’re also looking at long-term or institutional change.”

Recently, the government of Ukraine has expanded the work of Bethany by offering three new contracts to work there. Blacquiere says it’s an important move, encouraging to both Bethany’s work, and also the country of Ukraine itself. “It is very significant because we see the government’s involvement and partial funding of these programs, it shows their commitment to change, if you will, the infrastructure or the institutional arrangement for support of family.”

Many children in Ukraine are in orphanages. Through contracts like what the government has just offered, Bethany is providing a three-pronged level of family services. They do intensive work with families, to help reunite children with their families and enable families to raise their own children. They also help place children in foster care, rather than being raised in orphanages. And they also facilitate international adoptions.

Through church partnerships and long-term investments, Blacquiere says they’re addressing both the social and the spiritual issues for families in the Ukraine. “And the beauty of it is, when a church takes ownership of a program like this, their members become invested, and, you’ve heard this before, but people who would get involved in these trips and do ministering say they’ve received much more than what they’ve given to families.”

They are already working closely with a number of evangelical churches in Ukraine. Blacquiere asks prayer that they will be able to connect with more churches throughout Ukraine, to continue establishing a strong partnership for outreach and impact on children and families there.

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