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FRM Newsletter

April 2024: Abandoned Children, Come Find Me

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We were in Ukraine training chaplains and visiting front line locations as close as three kilometers from the front.  During one service over 150 artillery shells were fired at the city, but the church was packed because people are searching for hope. I will share more about it in the next newsletter, but I must first share what was so heavy on my heart.  If I had another life to live, I would willingly use it for this one purpose. Vitali and Natali are a couple we are working with in Ukraine. They are from the United States, but they gave up very lucrative careers many years ago to become missionaries. Because of the lives they live they are loved by the people of Ukraine and have a high standing within the military and police because of their heart to serve.

In Ukraine, there are no homes for abandoned or handicapped children. One day, Natali got a call from Vitali and he asked how she would handle it if he came home with a seven-month-old baby. Natali asked what was going on, and he explained that a woman in prostitution had a seven-month-old baby and would often not come home for days, leaving the baby completely by herself. The child was severely neglected, but the police would not do anything about it. The best that can be done in a situation like this is to call the hospital and take the child to emergency where the child would be kept for about three months and then returned home. The child was taken to the hospital, but when I asked Vitali where the child was, he responded that he did not know and that the mother had picked her up and disappeared. He went on to share with me that he and his wife would travel into very war-torn areas with police and find mentally handicapped children abandoned by their parents, just sitting on a curb or stairs of some building with a blank stare, not being able to understand. When I asked how they survived he said many do not. Sometimes, neighbors take pity on a child and care for them, but most have little to give. He went on to share that he went to a home where an alcoholic parent had severely beaten three small children but only spent a night in jail. I can promise that if we start a work with these children, we will intervene and not let this happen. When I think of a baby girl being left for days, it almost drives me insane. I cannot handle knowing that this is going on and the world does not care. I believe that the body needs to intervene. Folks, I want to raise $1,000,000 to start a first-of-its-kind children’s home for both abandoned and handicapped children. I realize that taking on a project of this magnitude will require tens of millions of dollars to maintain, but I am willing to take the first step and trust the Lord for the future. I want so badly to go out there and find every baby that is neglected and hold him or her in my arms and say, honey, you lay your head down and sleep and dream  the dreams that a child is supposed to dream; nobody is going to hurt you, not on my watch.

I would ask that you pray that the Lord give me strength because I do not have it. I am willing to give my last bit of energy to rescue these children, but I do not just want to rescue them. I want to let them know they are loved and wanted. I am sure if these little ones could talk, they would say, please come find me. I am hungry, scared, and alone.  Vitali shared with me that he went to visit a family with a mentally-handicapped child. He had been delivering food to the family, but when he arrived, the boy was nowhere to be seen, so he asked about the child. The mother said he is not here; he has been bad. So, Vitali persisted in asking about the child. Finally, when he went outside, he heard banging and crying from the top of a barn. He broke into the barn and found the boy badly beaten, with bruises all over his face and his cheekbone broken. The mother said that her boyfriend had beaten the child because he had eaten all the food in the house. Vitali rescued the poor, handicapped boy.  Another father abandoned his three small children, the oldest of whom was eight. He moved to Poland, where he found a new girlfriend. If you think this is hard to hear, folks, I live it all the time, and it keeps me up at night I do trust the Lord, but that does not mean it does not weigh heavily on me. The Apostle Paul talked about the stress he endured when he said daily I face the pressure of my concerns for the church. He gives a final warning to the church. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Christ Jesus is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified. II Corinthians 13:5 If you are able, I would ask you to give generously to start the first home. I realize we will need at least $1,000,000 to get started, and every penny given will be used to care for these children.  Jesus said when I was hungry, you fed me and He rewards us for caring for the hungry. How much more would He say, I was a baby and you found me, loved me, and gave me a home. In Proverbs 19:17, He says he who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord and He will reward him for what he has done. In Proverbs 28:27, we are told He who gives to the poor will lack nothing.  I cannot live with myself knowing this is going on, and I am willing to spend the rest of my life protecting and caring for those who do not have the ability to protect and care for themselves. I have always thought that if I reached an age when I was too old to travel, I would enjoy restoring a classic car. I enjoy watching shows that take an old car that is a wreck and bring it back to life. Truthfully, I would enjoy having a garage with half a dozen cars that I could slowly restore. Watching shows that bring a wreck back to a thing of beauty reminds me of how the Lord takes broken lives and restores them. But I would far more desire to save these children and set up places of refuge for the handicapped and children of all ages, including babies and toddlers. Please understand we plan on starting what does not exist in Ukraine, and when we find children who are being abused by parents, we will not allow it to continue.  When the laws of the land do not protect women and children, we, as believers, answer to a higher law, God’s law, and will do what is necessary to ensure these children are not harmed by parents or anyone, such as a boyfriend.

In March of last year, we wrote about children who were being sexually abused in Central and South America, and I was truly stunned by how the body of Christ responded. It was far beyond what I ever expected.  Because the response was so tremendous, many children are being rescued, but now we need people to come alongside and help us build the infrastructure to save children in Ukraine. You can sign up for a monthly amount of whatever you feel led to give. It could be $25, $50, $75 or $100. And if you can give far more because of how God has blessed you, we welcome the gift and assure you that these funds will be used solely for this project. I want to let you know that as we begin this project, we cannot send you a biography and photo of a specific child. Once we have children in our care, we will send you information about a child for whom you can pray. So please consider joining us in the rescue of these children.  Hopefully, in time, we will have the ability to facilitate adoptions. It would be my heart’s desire that the homes would be a place of love until we can find a family that will care for these children.  Folks, I have some investments that should bring a great return in the next couple of years, and if the Lord blesses I will willingly give it to care for these children.  The Bible says in Psalm 68:5-6 that He is a father to the fatherless and sets the lonely in families.  We will actively seek to follow every lead to find the children who are abandoned and abused. A few years ago, a couple was arrested, and when the police came, they found that the couple had a little girl. When the officers asked her what her name was, she responded, “Stupid.” The child had a black eye and deep-purple bruises on her arms and back, along with bruises on her wrists from being tied up. She did not know that Stupid was not her name. It is my prayer that every child who is abused will be found and loved by the body of Christ.

Wes Bentley
Far Reaching Ministries