In April of this year, I shared the story of Peter.

Peter, a child abandoned at the terrible Romaniv Boys Orphanage, suffered through terrible living c0nditions, violent “playmates” and negligent caretakers, all while being confined to his wheelchair by a form of muscular dystrophy.

In the article, I told about Peter’s wonderful decision to follow Jesus despite his conditions and the subsequent joy that decision brought to the staff of Mission to Ukraine.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Peter’s story was far from over.

Since the writing of Peter’s article, God has been working in the hearts of several Americans and Ukrainians, orchestrating a “rescue” that has absolutely taken my breath away.

Peter and I at Romaniv

Peter and I at Romaniv

With a little financial aid from some, a little insistent prodding from others and a large dose of generosity from one Ukrainian family, Peter has now officially been taken out of Romaniv orphanage and placed into a loving home!

On Friday, June 12, folks from MTU took Peter away from Romaniv and to his new family. On Sunday he went to church for the first time in his life!  As Oksana put it in an email, “I have never seen him look so happy.”

Yuri, Peter's new foster father.

Yuri, Peter's new foster father.

The icing on the cake for me is the fact that Peter’s new family was my host family while I stayed in Ukraine.  The father, Yuri, would be appalled to know that I am making that public because he is so darn humble, but with five kids in his family already, I believe their bravery deserves to be recognized!

Currently, the government is allowing Yuri’s family to keep Peter for 3 months, longer if things go well.  So one major need now is prayer.  Pray that the government would be gracious and extend his stay.  Pray that enough financial aid would come in.  And pray that Peter’s physical condition would improve.

Mission to Ukraine is looking for financial supporters to help Peter through this transition.  Apparently they need around $150 a month, as well as some money to cover the cost of ongoing medical treatments.

I know this isn’t an easy time for any of us financially, but think about it… would you be willing to help?  Who knows?  Perhaps you could be the one to help write the next chapter in Peter’s story!

All that to say, I am overwhelmed thinking about how fast this has all happened.  Every now and then it hits me… Peter is home.  Peter is safe.  Peter is free.

Be blessed Peter, and may your new family show you the true meaning of love!

Enjoy this post? Get future updates sent to you for free! Join by email or RSS

Next Steps
    • Support Peter financially through Mission to Ukraine (email or call 317-846-7990 for more information on how to give)
    • Get some friends together and send a care package to Peter's new family!
    • Check out MTU's Facebook group here!
    • Sign up to receive updates about Peter (email Mission to Ukraine at to sign up)
    • Pray pray pray pray for Peter!!!
    Next Steps

About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

More posts by Follow Barry on Twitter


  1. Amy Sorrells said... 


    June 17th, 2009 at 7:17 am  

    All I can do is weep. Praise God. P.R.A.I.S.E. G.O.D. We love you, Peter, and can’t wait to meet you someday–either here on earth or to run through fileds of gold in Heaven behind you!

  2. Tucker Sorrlls said... 


    June 17th, 2009 at 7:56 am  

    Wow!I can’t believe someone with 5 kids is already odapting anther. But it’s so cool that Peter gets to live in the house that you stayed in while you were in UKraine.

  3. Brad Ruggles said... 


    June 17th, 2009 at 8:32 am  

    Wow, that’s awesome! How cool to see something that you write about take root in someone’s heart and lead to life-changing actions. I can only imagine the smile on Peter’s face as he went to church for the first time! I’m sure it was matched only by the smile on our Father’s face as he rejoiced over him.

  4. Jo Nading said... 


    June 17th, 2009 at 9:55 am  

    Joy. Lump. Sting. Joy. Lump. Sting. Wet. Blur. Joy. Relief. Relief. Relief. Joy. Smile…SSSSMMMMMIIIILLLLLEEEE! YES! Ahhhhh.

  5. Aaron Elliott said... 


    June 17th, 2009 at 2:07 pm  

    Only God can do things like this. Too cool!

    Oh, and I love the practical ways to get involved at the end of the post. SO HELPFUL, immediate, and easy to do!

  6. Annie said... 


    June 17th, 2009 at 11:05 pm  

    What an amazing story. I love the way God works like that. I just read Peter’s story for the first time a few days ago and wondered if there was any way to get him out. Apparently he was ALREADY out as I read and prayed for him!

  7. Dave Rod said... 


    June 18th, 2009 at 5:28 pm  

    What a rescue. Just think of all the followers of Jesus who contributed to the saving of Peter: the MTU folks who discovered Romaniv and cared for Peter, Barry and the WND team who revealed Peter’s story to an international audience, the group of people in Indy who were captivated by his story enough to act and give, and now this incredible family who have taken him in. Wow.

    One little boy, loved by God…his life transformed. That is justice. That is joy.

  8. Mary Ann Gifford said... 


    July 21st, 2010 at 8:08 pm  

    I just returned from Zhytomyr yesterday and I know Peter’s family well. They love him and he is so happy. I worked at the special needs camp last year with MTU and it is a great camp. The moms go with the kids and everyone crys when they have to leave. I also visited Romaniv orphanage last year and really enjoyed seeing the pictures of how it has been fixed up. It looks so much more cheerful now. After working with special needs kids for 30 years, my heart was broken seeing this place for the first time. MTU is doing a great job fixing it up and working with the kids! And God is leading the way. Praise the Lord!!

  9. Tasha Simons said... 


    March 25th, 2013 at 10:12 am  

    How is Peter doing today? Is this the most recent update on Peter? His story impacted so many, including me.

Leave a Reply