Bridges of Faith formed to bring short term answers and long term solutions to the 100,000+ orphans in Ukraine. Kids who stay in the orphanage face bleak statistical futures. The majorities are social orphans – products of alcoholism, abandonment, or imprisoned parents. Every year, around 2,000 mothers abandon their babies in maternity hospitals. An estimated 6,000 to 7,000 more are abandoned at an older age or removed from home because of crime or neglect. These Orphans typically grow up in large state-run homes, which may house over 200 children. They are “evicted” at about age 17, insanely unprepared for life in the real world. With a lack or worldly skills, the majority of these orphans going into prostitution or the drug trade. Within five years of graduation from the orphanage, ten percent of the children commit suicide. More than ten percent go to prison. Only ten percent make meaningful lives. The others live in the grip of life-controlling problems; drugs, crime, and mafia involvement are common for them. Sixty percent of the girls are trafficked.
In contrast, adopted Ukrainian orphans fare quite well. Self-motivated and highly appreciative, they often outpace their peers. A prime example of this is Natasha who was adopted from Ukraine at age 13. She learned English quickly and adapted to the American school system. As she grew in the Lord, she also graduated as salutatorian of her high school class. That summer, she fulfilled the beginning of her dream to help other orphans in Ukraine. She spent the summer with BOF in Ukraine helping to lead Bible camps with orphans. Then, after earning all A’s in her first semester of college, she spent her Christmas vacation interpreting for the first group of orphans we brought to Alabama! Our programs give direction, hope, opportunities, and life.