We felt a deep conviction to make this endeavor bigger than ourselves and have decided to raise support for the organization, House of Comfort - an orphanage in Derno, Ukraine near where Nazari was born!
In 1989, Nazari's family immigrated to the United States in pursuit of religious freedom. His parents and grandparents had faced much adversity and persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ. For years, they had been praying for a way out of the Ukraine, in hopes of freedom and a better life for their 11 children. Because of this, the KGB followed them very closely. But God is bigger than the KGB, and he miraculously provided a way for their family to escape the Ukraine and opened a home for them in the small town of Trafford, Pennsylvania where they have resided for the past 29 years!
The Doroshes still have incredibly strong ties to their home country. Not only is it their culture and heritage, but they still have many friends and family who reside there. It has been painful to watch the turmoil faced by many in their beloved home.
One friend in particular actually dreamed of immigrating as well. He had many friends and family that had ventured across the world to Canada and the United States. However, he felt a deep conviction from God that he was to stay put.
You see, In 1991, when Ukraine became its own country, there was a boarding home left vacant. That building became very run down (leaky roof and walls); and a place to throw garbage. A nearby church wanted to acquire the building and use it for an orphanage. But this was easier said than done. Beyond the complicated logistics of acquiring the building, there was a substantial amount of work needed to get it in working (and living) condition.
Over the course of nearly 16 years, many wanted to give up on the possibility that they could turn this place around, and use it to serve and care for orphans. But God was with them throughout the years, urging them not to give up.
By 2007 - several hundred kids had no place to stay; whether they were orphans, or kids with parents who were drug and alcohol addicts and just couldn’t take care of them any longer. The need was obvious, and motivated those who had finally acquired the building to keep pushing onward. But there were no funds. And it was much too cold for anyone to work in the building to help with repairs and maintenance.
Over the next seven years, many joined forces to raise funds and restore the old, molded building with grand vision, many with their own funds and as volunteers.
Then, in May of 2014 - although the building was still far from being finished, those involved got a phone call from volunteers working with refugees in Eastern Ukraine. The war had started, and there were many people who had been displaced from their homes and cities and needed a place to go. The folks connected with the building, now called 'House of Comfort' were asked if they would be willing to receive refugees from eastern Ukraine. While far from ready, they faithfully said yes.
When completely renovated, the building capacity would allow the organization to house and care for 24 people. But before it was even done, they accepted 37 refugees. Everyone involved with the restoration had envisioned their space for an orphanage, war came and struck an already impoverished nation. On June 1, the first family of 5 arrived from city of Sloviansk - where war had started. They had seen tanks shooting their town and their own building had been destroyed by bombings.
From June 2014 - August 2016, House of Comfort helped 104 refugees: 70 kids and 34 adults. It served as a place they could safely live - until they found a permanent place to stay, or until conditions in their home towns improved enough for them to safely return home.
On Feb 29, 2016 - while still housing and caring for refugees from the war, House of Comfort was asked to start taking orphans into their space as well. Many of the current residents were finding work and apartments, so space was opening up to finally step into the original calling placed over the once vacant building.
House of Comfort agreed early on that they would be willing to take in any kids, regardless of the background and circumstances.
The first seven kids there were from a home of mentally unstable, alcoholic parents. The kids were starving and filthy (lice infested). They were miraculously rescued by protective services, and their arrival officially commenced the House of Comfort Orphanage, 20 years in the making.
In the past two years, they have cared for 72 kids. Five children have been adopted and 41 have been reunited with their families.
The mission of House of Comfort is not to take kids from their families but return kids to normal, healthy families. While they are loving and caring for the children, the kid’s parents are working with child services to heal and get sober.
The home is created for 24 kids - but from the day their doors have opened, they always have more! (From 25 - 31!) Currently the House of Comfort houses 26 kids! They accept children ranging from 3-18 years old. While they have been asked to take younger children (below the age of three) and would love to do so, they would need additional workers (and thus funding) to care for babies and toddlers.
House of Comfort is completely privately funded and strives to maintain 13 employees: 6 caretakers. 1 teacher. 1 laundry person. 2 cooks. 1 doctor. 1 director. 1 maintenance man.
All involved in the organization work much below minimum payment.
The older kids at the orphanage help out with the younger children and household tasks. They have a large garden on their premises - where they grow a lot of food. They are praying with kids in morning and evening and before meals, taking them to church and sunday school and teaching them a new way of life.
House of Comfort takes on all the responsibilities of caring for the children. From clothing, to feeding, to teaching and disciplining. Your donation to this incredible organization would help support their physical needs: food and clothing, as well as support the individuals who are devoting their lives to caring for and redeeming these children’s lives.
Would you consider supporting our mission to raise funds for House of Comfort as we train and complete our tri-athalon? Any monetary contribution will be of miraculous assistance - whether you are able to give $5, $25, $50, or $500.
- Cookie Miller
- Alexandra Schroder
- Evan and Emmy Kowalski
- Sam & Cayla Parente
- Michelle Hollenbach
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