Meet … Ruslan Maliuta, Breakout Presenter, Summit VIII
My favorite childhood memory is when I climbed to the top of Mt. Goverla when I was 14. At 6,761 feet, this is the highest mountain in Ukraine, and when I climbed Goverla it was winter. After many hours of fighting the challenges of cold weather, steep slopes, and my own fears, I experienced such joy in reaching the top. The memory of this moment and the joy I experienced is just as real today as it was then.
I first was made aware of the plight of Ukrainian orphans in 1999 when I met street children in downtown Kiev for the first time. I was deeply shocked when a boy refused to exchange a plastic bag that contained the glue he sniffed for a couple of bananas. I grew up in the Soviet Union when bananas were a rarity and I thought that something must be very wrong and unjust in the life of this boy if he preferred a dirty bag to such a treat.
The biggest hurdle I overcame was defying the stereotype that orphan care is something for people with a specific ‘calling’ and that it is not ‘real ministry.’ (What nonsense that is!)
People should come to this breakout session if they are interested to learn how God is raising up a movement of local Christians in Ukraine, Russia, and beyond to care for orphans, adopt them into families and impact their nations
in a powerful way. We are interested in meeting those who would like to support what we are doing and participate in this amazing work that God is making possible in countries where perhaps people thought it least likely.