Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas With the Lost Boys

We received an e-mail from across the ocean the last week in December.

The words in the e-mail were sweet indeed.

The pictures were even more precious.  

In the last week of December, Alyona and her crew drove up to Aaron's old village and shared the Christmas story with about twenty of the Lost Boys.  (Yes, the tiny boy in the caretaker's arms is one of the Lost Boys...Break.My.Heart - We believe he has only just recently been transferred there).

They learned about Jesus and that He Loves Them. 

They were given small gifts.

They were allowed out of their empty, lonely rooms for one precious hour.

And of course I cried.

Three times this year Alyona and her team have ministered to the Lost Boys.  That equates to THREE HOURS.  Three hours that the highest functioning boys have been allowed out of their rooms.  Three hours where they were not sitting in a shed.  Three hours where they could laugh and sing.  Three hours. 

Of course it isn't enough.  Of course we noticed right away all the 40 walking and wheelchair boys who are missing from the picture.  


Of course we realize that there are 40+ more boys laying in misery in their beds in hidden buildings. 


Yes we are counting heads.

Of course.

But it is something.  In September 2010, a week before we took Aaron out of the gates forever, we wrote THIS POST about the Lost Boys.  How hard it was to leave them behind.  The reality of their existence.  That we would leave no stone unturned to try to get them help.  We prayed that God would send someone to minister to the boys we left behind.

God is slowly but surely answering those prayers.

In this last year, three times these few boys have been allowed to encounter people from the outside.

The significance of that sentence is huge.

The director has been at that institute for TWENTY FIVE years.  When we walked through the gates in July 2010, we were the first people to ever break into that world.  The first.  And it scared her.  

She didn't know what to do with us.

She resisted our presence.  The last day we were on the grounds she threw a fit I will never forget about our taking Aaron out of the institute.

But in the last week of December 2011, just a few days ago, she sat with the Lost Boys, with her granddaughter by her side...

And when Alyona finished, the director made sure that the boys understood.  In Alyona's words:

"After we told the boys about Jesus birth and finished our program, she started asking the boys how much they understood and what they remembered, she wanted to make sure they remembered who Jesus was and why we all celebrate Christmas."


But what was even more unbelievable was what happened next...

The director talked to Alyona for a LONG time.

And at the end of the conversation - she welcomed them back.  She wants them to come.

She wants help.

 The director was very welcome to us. She, that used to be pretty difficult, opened her heart before us and asked that we could come more often and work with the children as much as possible.

Slowly but surely the doors are opening.

God is doing a new thing in that closed mental institute across the ocean.

But understand this...

It can't happen without the church.  Alyona and Slavik minister to a whole host of other extremely needy children and adults in their region.  They go into orphanages, they work with families who are choosing to keep their special needs children, they minister in a teen prison for boys (most of the boys are orphans), they minister in a special needs institute for girls and they minister to poor children who attend the public schools.  The list of things they do is unbelievably exhausting.  

Here is their most recent prayer list and need list:

· Pray for our team of volunteers as we all minister to the children;

· We need a minivan so we wouldn’t spend so much on transportation that we hire. We spent about $8000 a year just on that.

· Orphans to get into families;

· New curriculum, wisdom and ideas on how to work with special need children (mentally and physically).
 This opportunity requires us to get more and more information how to work with special need children! Please, please, please, those that are involved in such programs, share with us ideas. We would like to learn from you as you have better opportunities and great programs. We need to get a good curriculum for such boys and girls while the directors are open to partnership. It is such a great privilege to enter the sanctuary of those that this world considers as trash. We want to show that they are loved by God and us. 

Financial support.

If you can help in any way - If you are experienced or have access to curriculum they can use - Please let me know.  


Monthly support is essential to keep their ministry going.  They are doing what many of us desire to do - THEY ARE MINISTERING TO THE LEAST OF THESE!!  

Donations to Alyona and Slavik can be made to Harvest International - their link is on my sidebar. 

PLEASE KEEP PRAYING.  Keep praying.  There are 110 Lost Boys in that institute.  Only two of them are currently listed for adoption.  Heath and Hanson.  Please.  Prayers matter.  We have been storming heaven for those 108 other boys.  Praying hard the the director would list more boys.  We have been praying for a family for Heath and Hanson for well over a year now.  It is hard to keep praying when it just seems like all is lost but Our God Lives and I know He hears.  I know He is moving and working in this institute.  I know this. 

Pray for Our Lost Boys and Pray too for the Lost Girls.  The director in the Special Needs Girl's Institute that Alyona and her team visit keeps the girls there locked up tight. NONE of them are allowed to be available for adoption.  The door is closed there.  The director refuses.  Once a girl is transferred in - they are forever Lost.  But God can change hearts.  We know this.  We have proof under our roof.  God can change hearts. 

Pray church.  


Give.  Support.  Come Alongside.

The Lost Boys and the Lost Girls across the ocean desperately need YOU.

P.S. Please do not remove any of the pictures from this blogpost!  Thank you!


  1. In tears just hearing how God is working. Praying for all the boys and girls.

  2. Praying Julia!! For hearts, for funds, for the children...

  3. I wish that little boy above had all his freckles from spending hours playing in the sun. Oh how I pray for the lost boys... and GIRLS!

  4. It always gives me chills to see pics. So eerily similar. Only the faces are different. The desperation is the same. Oh, the little boys break my heart! Get those boys out of there!


  5. I found your blog through Reece's Rainbow highlighting little Heath. My husband and I are just beginning to test the waters of adoption. As intimidating as international adoption is to me I long to one day adopt a child with Down syndrome. The heartbreak of these lost children overwhelms me, only in the context of God's mercy and justice can I even witness their pain. I may never go and see their faces but I'm glad to be made aware so that I can pray!

  6. Praying for all these lost boys & girls!

  7. Thank you for sharing. In tears now. Praying for the door to continue to open!

  8. Thank you for posting...I will pray for guidance in this area!

    Elk Grove, CA

  9. Oh, Julia. We will continue to join you in prayer for these children and for the heart of the director. I'm so thankful for Alyona and her family's ministry. I will be praying for their financial needs to be met and for God to continue to strengthen and equip them to do this good work. I'll pray also for God to send helpers to work alongside them, as I know the need is great. Thank you for being a voice for the lost boys and girls.

  10. Love this!!
    I have been praying about just this for awhile! My husband works for a county board of mr/dd and I have been praying about how to expose these kids to the activities and therapies kids here have available. I'll talk to the teachers Mark works with.... So many activities are easy to do with found materials... We'll get some ideas flowing!!

  11. Wonderful!!!! They do need a minivan so badly. When my sister and I went with them to the institution, we all piled in their small car (there were 4 of us squeezed in the backseat and the trunk was full of stuff). I wonder how much they cost there??

  12. Oh, Julia! God is a Big God! Praise Him!!!

  13. When donating to HI online if I just type "Alyona and Slavik" in the comment box will they know who to send it?

  14. Couldn't somebody set up a Paypal account, so we could make donations for a minivan???

    Oh, how these pics tear my heart up... I want to bring those poor babies home. Injustice doesn't quite cover it. But it is SO great to hear that the heart of the director is softening - PRAISE THE LORD FOR THAT. Its is a start.

    Praying with you all!

  15. Such hope! Praying for this team and all the others working in and for orphanages like these. Praying for each child to know love, the love of God and a family!
    Thanks for posting!

  16. Please email me about the need for someone to train the missionaries in EE to work with special needs children.

  17. If you put Alyona and Slavik in the donation line Harvest will definitely get the funds to them!! The issue with setting up a Paypal is that it is not tax deductible which is what people like to donate to...

  18. Wow! I am so glad I took the time to read your post, Julie. When I saw the director smiling . . . WOW and heard about her asking the team to come back . . . WOW WOW WOW. That little Heath just grabs my heart. Please do not give up your efforts. God listens to our prayers.
    Joy McClain, RR

  19. Oh Julia! This post made me cry confusing tears! sadness for these lost souls and joy for what you all did for them. God is good!

  20. I remember Alyona telling us about this trip. We were in country and Peter's adoption was Dec 26, 2011. It amazed me that she was doing this while being there AT our court date and on their Christmas Eve she was with us all day getting Peter's birth certificate, Visa, his account and then HIM. We talked a lot about this trip and that is when we learned of their efforts. We talked about ways to help these kids. I loved Alyona from our first email, her excitement over the 'Book Scrapping' supplies we brought(I went a little crazy at Hobby Lobby), the fight behind the scenes to not lose Peter to the priest. She is the most remarkable woman Ive ever known. We were fortunate to visit her in San Antonio this summer and she was able to see Peter 3 years later. Im glad I found your blog today.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!