“I am so thankful!”

A single mother living in poverty in Blahodatne, Ukraine is blessed by our Operation Christmas Love Appeal. 

“I feel guilty and ashamed that I don’t have a normal family. I wish my children had a good loving father and everything they need for a happy life.”

Growing up, Nadya was mostly raised by her grandmother, Nadia, who was a faithful worker at Mission Without Border’s Soup Kitchen, devoting about ten years of her life to ministering to children and cooking for them. She prayed every day for her daughter Valentyna – Nadya’s mother – who has long been addicted to alcohol and has shown little interest in Nadya or her sister.  

As Nadya grew up, she was very close to her grandmother, who passed away several years ago. She attended the Christian meetings at the Soup Kitchen with excitement and never missed a day. She knew a lot about God and his love. As Nadya grew up, however, she began to drift away from God and instead followed in her mother Valentyna’s footsteps. She started dating various men, trying to find real love. She became a single mother and is now raising her children. 

“I now share an apartment with my own mother who still has a drinking problem and doesn’t care about us,” Nadya said. “There was a horrible moment where I realised that one day, I’ll become just like her…”   

The Mission Without Borders staff at the Soup Kitchen had not forgotten Nadya, whom they had known since she was a little girl, and they knew that God had not given up on her. “We never lost touch with Nadya, even though she avoided us for a while,” said Inna, one of the staff. “I kept telling her that despite the wrong choices she’s made, God is waiting for her to return. God has a plan for her life and a better future for her children". 

One day we had a heart-to-heart conversation, and Nadya confessed that her life feels like a heavy burden and she needs help. Now her children attend Soup Kitchen regularly.  

Nadya became open to communication. Our church tries to help her spiritually, emotionally, and materially. Today we brought Operation Christmas Love food parcels to them. Nadya said, “Even though I’ve forgotten a lot from my childhood, I do still remember clearly that I was so happy every time I went to the Soup Kitchen. I hope that one day I will return to God for good.”  

a cute kitten

The Operation Christmas Love Boxes make it possible for Nadya and her children to celebrate a joyful Christmas together – and are a reminder that they are loved and cared for.  

Through Operation Christmas Love and other projects, Mission Without Borders and it’s faithful supporters will continue to reach out with the love of God, a love that never fails.


Mission Without Borders has partnered with the Soup Kitchen in the town of Blahodatne for many years, to provide material, emotional and spiritual support to people living in extreme poverty. Walking together with families like Nadya’s over many years, Mission Without Border’s presence here is like an anchor through the storms of poverty and family problems. 


Poverty isn't just about having a low income. Poverty is also the inability to access services such as healthcare, education, warm healthy homes and dignity without exclusion or marginalization. 

33% of Ukrainian families live below or at the poverty line which is nzd $2.80 per day.

(Borgen magazine, Poverty in Ukraine: war and economic crisis delay progress report September 252016.) 


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