YWAM Vinnitsa, Ukraine – Orphan Care Ministry

…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself…Luke 10:27

Australian born Andrew Ford served for 12 years with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Kiev, Ukraine, before stepping out in faith to answer God’s call to establish a YWAM base in Vinnitsa, Ukraine.  In 2010 Andrew and Oksana Ford moved to Vinnitsa to begin ministering to the orphans in and around the region west of Kiev.

The primary purpose of YWAM Vinnitsa is orphan care ministry.  The Ford’s and their team make weekly visits to local orphanages and baby hospitals where orphaned babies live until they are released to an orphanage.  As they built relationships with older orphans they saw the need for a transition home for kids who “graduate” or “age-out” of the government run orphanage system.  Typically these kids at around 9th grade age are released from the orphanage, some attend trade school but many end up on the street.  Though the trade school sounds like a wonderful opportunity for an orphan, often these kids are quickly introduced to a life of alcohol and drugs as they are ill-equipped to live on their own.  With barely an education or life skills, no money or family, these kids face a nightmare of a future.  The girls are especially vulnerable to human trafficking since traffickers target orphan girls knowing they are easy prey.

YWAM has established a transition home just outside the city of Vinnitsa as a safe place for girls who age-out.  Managed by house parents, John and Fritha Washington, the transition home can house 6 girls in a family style environment.  The girls have an opportunity to further their education, gain life skills, and experience the love of God and family.  The Fords hope to expand and provide a transition home for boys in the near future.

To learn more about this true “love your neighbor” ministry or to contact base directors, Andrew and Oksana Ford, and YWAM Vinnitsa check out their website YWAMVinnitsa.org, find them on Facebook, or listen to our Orphans No More radio interviews with them dated 12/5/14 & 12/12/14.

Submitted by Sandra Flach, Executive Director of JFO