by Nadya Gural, Youth for Christ’s social ministry coordinator in the Ukraine & Luda Kashuba, coordinator of Day Care in Khmelnytsky

December 8th, 2012 marked the seventh anniversary of Youth for Christ’s first day care centre in Ukraine. According to the staff there, the day care centre is not just a name, premises or institution – it’s a kind of family formed by all children and teens who attended or attend, as well as their parents.

Many day care graduates still return to help new children. It is part of the mission of the day care centre for attendees to make friends and to accept each other as they are, to help in daily needs, to love, to forgive and – most important – to learn about the love of God, coming to know him as a Saviour.

This year, the day care centre celebrated with a new group of children from 8-12 years old. The new group consists of 10 children. One particular 10 year old boy came from the public school on the request of the school psychologist who asked the team to help and work with him. Since arriving at the day care centre, he has begun freely communicating with everyone there and has promised to continue to come to the meetings.

Through a friend of the ministry, the group was blessed with free rent of the  “Paparazzi” café for the celebration with the children. The café offered a delicious spread of good food and everyone enjoyed the leisure time. The children wished different blessings to each other and reminisced about how they got into the day care centre. Finally, they exchanged gifts, which they prepared in advance for each other.

Following their time at the café, the children were blessed with the opportunity to go ice skating, which was a first for many of the participants. While some could not skate and were at first afraid to get on the ice, they eventually overcame their fears and learned to skate – or at least tried.

At the end, the children thanked God for keeping them safe and giving them a wonderful holiday.