In April 2017, Sasha, my Russian manager, and I were in Kiev doing outreach seminars to the Rugby Chaplains and the Ivan Bogun Military Academy for teenage orphans of fallen Ukrainian soldiers. Then we went to Odessa to do some Evangelism Equipping seminars in a small local church.
At that time Peter E….., our Ukrainian manager, took me to meet the Homeless Kids Soccer Team who were working out at the Odessa Soccer Academy. I kicked a ball around with them for a while, gave them some some “ancient” soccer tips from my youth, and shared my testimony with them. That was very effective as all of them indicated they wanted to receive Jesus. Some of these were older orphans who were graduating from their orphan’s high schools. When they formed a club team, we helped them get uniforms.
This young man, Ruslan, who came into the team later on (4th from left in the second photo) got into a drug lifestyle and really got messed up. He had a couple of rough years but recently came to himself two days ago, and called out to Peter for help. So as a result of this valuable sports ministry, this young man has really given his life to Christ and come to stay with them at the House of Hope.
A New Drug Rehab Centre
This is former drug rehab centre somewhere just south of Odessa that has been standing empty and unused. Christians who used to run the rehab centre recently called Peter. They had heard about the work that Peter and his teams do and said that they wanted to let Peter use it free of charge for as long as they need it.
They are working on formalities to use it for street kids who have drug problems. This means that they can be helped, away from the younger kids at the House of Hope. Wonderful news indeed. I’ve asked Peter to give me a rough budget of what they’ll need to get this going.