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Heading back to Russia ‘with love’

on Wednesday, 04 May 2016. Posted in Good life, Faith, Local News

Heading back to Russia ‘with love’
IRINA, LEFT, AND HER SISTER KATYA IN RUSSIA IN 2000

Irina and Steven Creek are leaving on May 13 for three weeks in Russia. They are going to the Porkhov orphanage where Irina and her sister Katya resided before being adopted by a Florence family in 2002. The couple and members of their church in Pullman, WA, have been raising funds to install locker room showers in the orphanage, replace worn out playground equipment, and purchase gifts and Bibles for the children.

Irina said the city bathhouse where the children used to shower recently closed and the orphanage doesn’t have money to build their own showers. The couple has been wanting to do something for the orphanage and now that time has finally come. “I have been given so much and I have a desire to give back,” she said. “We have been praying about going back for a long time.”

There are currently 233 students at the orphanage school, with 135 residing there full time. With so many children, the orphanage relied on the community bathhouse until it closed. The orphanage has been using a few portable showers, but they do not meet the demand of the number of children. The orphanage’s director sent the couple a wishlist of items the children desire. These items include winter jackets, sneakers, dolls, and fishing gear.

The couple set up a donation site at www.gofundme. com/Porkhov As of last week, the couple had raised over $33,000. The original goal was to raise $3,000 for playground equipment, but as the donations passed their goal, they added showers and gifts to their list. Also, everything about the trip has fell right into place without any hitches, said Irine. They were able to get non-profit status and transfer money for the showers, equipment and gifts for free.

“God has really blessed us abundantly,” she said. The couple is paying their own way, so all of the funds go directly to assist the orphanage. They were invited to stay at the orphanage and plan to be there a week. The money has already been sent to build the showers and they hope to see them completed while there. Irina also plans to visit family, a sister and uncle, while in Russia. Donations are still being accepted.

Checks can be made payable to Amelia’s Attic with “Porkhov” in the memo, and mailed to: 1005 E. Point Cove, Hermitage, TN 37076. Amelia’s Attic is a Christian non-profit organization that was formed to help orphanages in Russia. They have over a decade of experience and are committed to helping the orphanage by processing all donations in compliance with US and Russian federal regulations.

Irina’s Story: Irina was born in western Russia in 1989. After being abandoned by her mother, she lived in two orphanages in Russia. From the ages of 6-12 she lived in the Porkhov Speech Correctional Orphanage School. When she was 10 years old, Russia opened the doors to missionaries, so Irina and her older sister Katya were introduced to Christ through the visiting missionaries and through Operation Christmas Child.

The children were encouraged to pray and understood that God will hear them. Irina and Katya longed to have loving parents, and through prayer, decided to ask God to provide a family to adopt them. Two years later, at the ages of 12 and 14, Irina and her sister were adopted by John and Carol Sims of Florence. Today, Irina is married and continues to trust in God.

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