June 2, 2011

Last bell- ceremony

God is soooo good to us we could to visit 3 orphanages for one day!We were going to visit 2 orphanages but we have learned kids in third orphanage are going to home and we will not see them. It was special day to graduates and all other kids. It was special day, ceremony we call it Last bell.

The last bell - is a traditional ceremony in the schools of Ukraine and some other post-Soviet countries. The celebration is carried out just after all the studies were finished but before the final exams. The date usually falls on 25 May. But this year was on 27 May.  The pupils that are about to leave the school don the classic school uniform or formal dress; for the girls it has become customary since the 1990s to attire in the Soviet-style school uniform with white aprons and white bows in the hair. 

Every school or orphanage has their own tradition how to celebrate and conduct this ceremony.Some traditions are similar, some is different. Some traditions are still since post-Soviet time.

Here are some pictures and videos first orphanage we visited.

In the beginning of ceremony two 9 classes(grades)  came out and came along  to their place where they had to stay during all Last bell.

After that several pupils carried Ukrainian flag before all school.

Usually pupils receive a certificate of merit successful learning, helping workers in orphanage and many different merits during the ceremony.

                                            It is big privilege and honor for a pupil.
Also was a big blessing for our mission,  Director Misha could to speak to all pupils and all workers of orphanage about God, has read on the Bible. He gave them exhortation that all they  learned about God during all year,( what we trained them) children will carry it out in their life.
It was such BIG blessing, honor and privilege to us hear God`s Word in this time! Because many schools and orphanages have system since Soviet time and you will not hears God`s word on Last bell. It depends from the Director of orphanage. We were so glad Director of this orphanage,  let our Director Misha do it!
When Misha finished his exhortation our team presented gifts to graduates. They were surprised and happy to receive such gift!

                                Sasha presented to graduates little New Testaments.
Graduates made a present of flowers to sisters.How is sweet!
During the ceremony Last bell pupils also sing songs.

 Most of all is important a symbolic last school bell is rung, usually by a first-grader who learned successful during the year. It is big honor for him.

Graduates who leave orphanage.They were exciting in this day! Some of them were sure, they think they already "adult" and able to start own adult life. They are only 15-16 years old. Some of them were crying, because do not want to leave orphanage.They afraid and do not know what wait them in future...When you look at them, they are still children not prepared for a life, for future, not ready for many trials what they can meet. They are not protected in this life. Who knows what will happen with them soon...

They all visited Bible study and Bible lessons during many years. Many of them received Jesus Christ as their Saviour, some still no.But we hope the knowledge of God`s Word what they received until were in orphanage, they will remember and some day they will come to Jesus and give Him all their heart....That these God`s knowledge will help them in their life, will protect them from evil and inequity, will help do not make big  mistakes in their life, help them trust to Jesus and remember He loves them and cares about them.

Director of orphanage and workers told us, "you adorned our holiday." They were really thankful for gifts to graduates, as they receive nothing after leaving orphanage.But we know it would not be happened without you dear friends! Thank you to make Special Day in life of orphans to helping them! Thank you, you adorned their life!

We had bid farewell with kids and graduates, jumped into the van and were hurried up to another orphanage, where was beginning ceremony Last bell too.

Many of them were crying...We have spoken with director of this orphanage.He let us know.It was very emotional day for graduates because many of them do not have place where to live, many of them have parents who do not care about them and did not see their children during many years. Children do not know where to go where to live, who will help them start them new "adult" life, who will help them get to their feet???

Graduates told their last thankful words to workers, director and teachers of orphanages. Many were crying...

In this orphanage we took all graduates to special place and Misha Director could to spoken with them and gave exhortation to them. He reminded them all they did hear during the year about God. It was a blessing several parents of graduates could to hear God`s Word too!
   After our communing our team presented to them gifts.All of them were exciting!

On picture is traditional Ukrainian bread on embroidered towel for big holiday. The tradition is in the end of any ceremony or any big holiday everyone break and eat this bread.We call it coroway.
It remind a time when Jesus had last supper with His disciples. He took bread, brake it and gave to His disciples. Who knows, maybe this ukrainian tradition is taken from the Bible too? :)

Director wanted much we stay for graduation. It is time last fellowship with orphans. Orphanage serve on table different kind of food for graduates. But we hurried to another orphanage.It was sad we could not stay but we did not have other way, because other orphans waited for us.

In third orphanage we were in small room. This day was beautiful and sunny so was very hot in this room.But we were happy we could to see all graduates!

Misha reminded them about God, Bible etc. Also we did let them know if they will have any troubles, they can call to us or come we will try to help as we can. We let them know that they are not alone in this world.
                                                    Exciting of gifts! :)
                                                Reading the Gospel tract
                                                 Picture for memory

In this orphanages are kids with special needs, age 3-8 years old. They live  separately from orphans of this orphanage. When we came back they saw us and start to wave their hands.They came to us closer and asked, will come we tomorrow? Oh dear, how they sweet! We answered to them, soon. We hope God will bless and we will visit these precious and sweet kids soon!We want to bring a joy to them, see their smiles and happy faces!

 We have talked  with director of this orphanage and have learned they have many and many needs. Director asked us to help with clothes, shoes or sandals for kids, diapies for small kids, school supplies (exercise books, pencils, pens etc), chemical things( soap, powdered laundry soap etc), sanitariness( tooth brush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap etc).

Also big need they have, they need paint to dye a floor in buildings of orphanage. It is one of the biggest orphanage where we minister. There are a lot of children. They need about 600 kilo paints. It is about $1000! It is big sum! We have to pray much God will help us we can help orphanage! Please, remember these needs in your prayers!

Also we have a blessing! Children of this orphanage go to summer camp for all summer time. Director let us visit them often there. We hope and pray God will help us visit these kids with special Bible program, how we do all time, will bring to them sweets and have wonderful time! Please, pray God will provide everything we need for it!Thank you!

We were so blessed to give gifts to orphans!But in same time we were upset. Because we saw only few parents who came to children... If you would see ceremony of Last bell in usually school, you would see many and many parents and relatives who came to rejoice with their child. But it was a big difference in orphanages, only several parents came to ceremony Last bell and will take to home their children.It heartbreaking to see and know it.It is heavy to see how abandoned these kids, they unwanted, they nobody do not need...

Also in one of orphanages which we visited in this day, a one girl was crying.When we asked her what happened, we have learned she did not want go to home because her father was drunk and he did not come to orphanage will take her to home. Also her mom left her and Nastya saw her when she was a small. Now Nastya is 13 years old.Oh how it terrible and painful!  It is heavy to write it, the lump is in my throat and tears began to act but we could to console and prayed with her about her trouble.We could to cry together with her. When we prayed, she cuddled much to me like birdling and did not want to let me go.
She is very sweet girl, she is faithful coming to Bible lessons when we come.Each orphans has their own heavy story... We can not help in many ways but we can pray and tell them about Jesus Who can give you comfort and piece in your heart.We trying to do everything we able to make sunny and happy life of orphans... Please, remember these orphans in your prayers.Thank you!

Dear Friends, we so appreciate your help with raising the Fundraising!  Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus to the orphans. Thank you to answer on God`s recall to help orphans and to being blessings for them! Thank you each one who helped us in our Special Project to graduates, and for your such big heart and kindness! Thank you for helping to bring a joy to kids and thank you to being a part of this wonderful ministry! We cherish your support and prayers! May the Lord bless each of you!

P.S. In a week we are going to graduates in one more orphanage.

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