Agape news

A special day at the orphanage 


“We want to share a little with you about something that was a real joy for us to be a part of – our trip to an orphanage in the village of Zhovtnevoye.

On the 11th of October, 19 of us set out from Krivoy Rog for Zhovtnevoye, a village in the Dnepropetrovsky Region of Ukraine. (Over 43 miles from Krivoy Rog.)  For a year now, we Agape staff and volunteers have been visiting the children in the orphanage there. We go and teach Bible lessons, teach them songs, put on skits and plays for them, etc.

This time, we had a great group and played a really interesting, thought provoking game with the kids. The game was called “Life in One Hour.” All of the kids and even some of the staff became really involved in playing. Our team had put a lot of time into preparing for this game, and it was very nicely done. Every separate part of the game was fun, interesting, and exciting even for us ‘grown-ups.’ We all got a real kick out of it. ‘Life’ was divided into different sections/stations: school, college, work, wedding, supermarket, church, café, homeless beggar, con man, etc. …it was all done so well, and so true to life! The most interesting part was at the very end, when the active part of the game had concluded. The game leaders connected the dots for the kids, explaining how they choices they made in the game illustrated how the choices we make every day in real life affect us.

When we left that day, lots of the orphanage staff came up to thank us, and we could see they were sincerely grateful. The kids themselves had a great time, you could see how overjoyed they were… and I really think that the conclusions drawn at the end of the game are something that they’re going to remember for a long time.”

Dima C.,
Agape ministry team, Krivoy Rog


"I was excited to go with the team to Zhovtnevoye… but I was anxious as well. I was even afraid that I might break down crying… I had no idea how I’d react to what I’d see at the orphanage. However, the first thing I heard as we arrived was “DIMA! DIIIMA!!” as the children greeted their friends from Krivoy Rog. The orphans there were so full of energy, they hugged me, offered me apples, and just warmed me through and through. The joyous, enthusiastic warmth they greeted me with overwhelmed me. I want to go back again!”

Katya P., 
Agape ministry team, Krivoy Rog


“At first I had a hard time even forming a picture of the upcoming visit in my mind. I had no idea what to expect, it was my first time going into an orphanage. It was great! Now that the visit’s come and gone, I still can’t quite put into words how much I enjoyed it. I want to go back again… and again and again! It was great getting to know the kids a little. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with them, our team did a great job. I was just really pleased with the whole day and everything were able to do, and I’m excited about what we’ll be doing in the future.” 

Vitaly P., 
Agape ministry team, Krivoy Rog

“In the game “Life in One Hour,” I played the part of a clerk in a store. The game turned out to be even more fun than I’d thought it would be. It was quite interesting to see how the children chose to use the ‘money’ they’d earned.  Just like in real life, the children’s reactions to receiving their paycheck greatly differed. Some ran straight to the store full speed, desperate to spend every last cent as quickly as possible. Others tried to earn as much as possible first and then chose a purchase that cost more, but was better quality or longer lasting. There was even one boy who came up to my ‘store,’ closely inspected all the prices and turned and walked off without buying anything at all. (I was also amazed that even with all of the stuff we had set out for the store none of the kids try to pocket anything on the sly.)

I was touched by how generous the children were upon encountering the ‘homeless man’ in the game, played by Maxim Britsko, an orphanage graduate himself.By the end of the game, Maxim had earned more money by begging than any of the children themselves could have earned.

 In short, it was a really cool game – in the course of one hour, all of the children got a real taste of how the choices they make influence what kind of life they have. At the end of the game, I had children running up to my ‘store,’ hoping for a last chance, even though they’d just learned that the money they’d guarded so carefully was now worthless.

 It was also encouraging to see how many children chose not to ‘sell their hearts,’ new hearts they’d received after ‘repenting in church.’ They found out at the end of the game that regardless of how the game had gone, what they’d gained or lost, they had something of immeasurable value – eternal salvation.

I am convinced that God touched the hearts of these children as we played this game of ‘Life’ together. As I took part and observed the children during the course of the game, I found myself reflecting on my own life and thinking about what truly is precious in this life we’re given. I am very grateful to God and for everyone who made this special day possible. Hallelujah, Amen!

Natella P.,
Agape ministry team, Krivoy Rog