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June 13, 2017

How a Farm Turned an Orphan Into a Leader: Meet Kolya

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Kolya knows the powerful impact of being loved while living in an orphanage. And because of it, the future just got brighter for kids in Ukraine.

Meet Kolya. He was just 13 years old when he entered the Constant Christian Presence (CCP) program at Loubetin. Looking for acceptance,  Kolya connected with friends who had a reputation for being wild.

Kol1But what Kolya didn’t know was that God had plans for his life.

As Kolya grew, he spent time with volunteers at CCP–listening to them talk about God and the Gospel. They offered him the acceptance he craved, and when it was time for him to age out of the orphanage, he moved into the Lifesong Ukraine transitional program where he was mentored by loving house parents in a Christian home.

 

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Kolya with his house parents, Denis and Tanya

 

“The chance to live in a transitional home gave me strong motivation to change my life for better. I wanted to use this opportunity wisely.” –Kolya

He did use the opportunity wisely. He received his college degree to become an architect and professional contractor. But far more importantly, it was during this time that Kolya trusted Jesus with his life and was baptized.

Kolya participates in a church service with his peers

Kolya participates in a church service with his peers

 

The Impact of Lifesong Ukraine Farm

After graduating from the orphanage, Kolya started working in the berry fields at Lifesong Ukraine farm–a sustainable business that creates jobs for orphanage graduates entering adulthood. He quickly earned a reputation for being a hard worker and a good thinker. His attention to detail made the farm program noticeably stronger.

In 2013, Kolya married Natasha (the daughter of a pastor in the community), and a year later, their daughter was born. Last year, Kolya and Natasha made the decision to work with CCP, investing back into the group that had invested in Kolya.

Now using his experience at Lifesong Farms in Ukraine in Kharkov, Kolya will lead the expanding farm in the Chernigov region. This will begin another opportunity for him to speak into the lives of young adults that have grown up in the orphanage system like he did … mentoring other kids the way he was mentored.

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As you can see in the video below, Kolya and his team are making great progress with Farm 2.

In recent weeks, Lifesong Ukraine has made huge progress on a Farm 2–a project intended to reach more kids, like Kolya, in Ukraine who need the love of Christ. Kolya and his team have planted blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Additionally, they have learned all they can about successful planting, irrigation, and pest control practices.

The future is looking bright for Kolya and for kids who will benefit from his leadership.

 

Farm 2 - 3
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Full-circle discipleship

While serving as the manager on Farm 2, Kolya has already actively built a team of local guys and Chernigiv grads. He is already investing in his teammates–giving them the support and acceptance found in the Gospel. Who knows? He may be investing in someone who will lead Farm 3.

In the words of one of Kolya’s mentors, this is what it means to break the cycle of hopelessness–

Orphans not creating more orphans, but mentoring, encouraging, and building!
–Denis Poshelok

Would you join them in praying for good weather and abundant harvest? Then would you contribute to this project so that the farm can reach more kids who need the love of Christ?

Help create a harvest.

GIVE A GIFT TO SUPPORT FARM 2

 

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “How a Farm Turned an Orphan Into a Leader: Meet Kolya”

  1. So inspiring to read Kolya’s story and see the pictures of a young teenager to having a beautiful wife and darling son and becomng a Christian leader helping others . Thanks for sharing.

  2. Judith Johnson says:

    What a wonderful story of how CCP and Lifesong have been a Shining Light in Kolya’s life for the Kingdom.
    Praying for great Blessings and His Grace as he leads the Farm#2 development. The video is incredible since I saw the “raw land” in 2016! His Touch is on this Farm.