“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world….Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
James 1:27, 2:15-17
The year 2020 was difficult for almost everyone around the world, but for those who were already struggling, the situation was even worse.
In eastern Ukraine, there is an amazing ministry called Peace to your Home that is doing an incredible job of reaching out to families in need. Through their work, we became aware of a particularly difficult situation and we knew we needed to help.
It was a 14-hour train ride from Kiev to Zaporozhye, where we met Yarik and his grandmother. After witnessing the death of his mother, 12-year-old Yarik and his grandmother were left to face the future on their own, starting with the harsh winter. While grieving the loss of Yarik’s beloved mom and his grandmother’s beloved daughter, the pair was also faced with the very real challenge of survival. Understandably, when we arrived with Christmas presents, bags of groceries, and winter clothes for Yarik, they were received with joy.
We connected with them and discovered a talented young man who is passionate about art and has a future full of potential.
We also discovered a cold apartment with windows and doors that leaked terribly. In the winter, they set up a makeshift kitchen and bedroom in the tiny living room where they huddled around a small heater to stay warm. It was too expensive to try to heat the rest of the apartment.
Legacy Refuge was able to raise the money that was needed to replace the leaky windows and doors with new ones that will keep out the cold for many winters to come. Our contacts with Peace to your Home used the money we raised to organize the purchase and installation of these windows and doors. We will continue to stay in touch with Yarik and hope he’ll be able to attend our next summer camp.
It may seem like just a simple Christmas gift; just a new pair of boots, a coat, and some jeans. It’s just a bag of groceries, which probably won’t last long. But it’s so much more than that.
Your contributions through Legacy Refuge bought windows and doors that will protect Yarik and his grandmother from the cold wind and give them a warm home for years. As significant as this is, it is still more. The true gift goes beyond all the practical assistance.
Yarik and his grandmother, an orphan and a widow in a war-torn region, are seen and known.
People across the world, in a country they’ve never seen, considered their lives valuable and worth investing in. Those boots and jeans and groceries and windows have become symbols of love and hope for the future.
Thank you for giving to help Yarik. At the end of a year when we all struggled in so many ways, thank you for seeing these precious, vulnerable people and sending a gift to show them they are loved. We are grateful for your partnership.
We serve an amazing God who is able to take something as simple as money and transform it into life-altering hope.

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