Every year, Epiphany gives a gift as a congregation on Christmas Eve. This year, we will be helping Safe Haven, a Christian foster home that has been dislocated and separated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our goal is to raise $5,000 through the Christmas Eve offering during our 5pm and 9pm services to help them manage a host of expenses and needs such as food, gas, medicine, school supplies, and rent.
Anya and Bogdon, who operate Safe Haven, have fostered more than 80 children over the years who chose to leave the state-run orphanage system to live in their Christ-centered foster home. Before the war, Safe Haven was located in Kyiv. Now, Anya and the younger children are refugees in the Czech Republic. Bogdon has been called up to intermittent military service; in any case, he and the older male children are not allowed to leave Ukraine due to the military mobilization.
Currently, Anya is parenting the children and organizing supplies and aid in the Czech Republic. Bogdon ferries women and children to the border when he is not on military duty, then turns around and drives back into Ukraine with the aid Anya has gathered.
Safe Haven as a ministry is affiliated with First Love International, a non-denominational Christian mission agency, through missionaries Daniel and Janna Ross. Epiphany also has a personal connection with Safe Haven. One of our members, Erin Seroka, who grew up in Kyiv where her father was a seminary professor, is a family friend of Anya.
“Every year part of our Christmas celebrations at Epiphany is showing our gratitude for all that God has given us by giving to others. This year, we have an opportunity to help our Christian family in Ukraine, who has suffered much since the war began. Let’s give generously both to provide practical help, and to let them know that they are not forgotten,” said the Rev. Peter Frank, Epiphany’s rector.