KIROVOHRAD, Ukraine – Bishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A (UOC-U.S.A.) visited the orphanage in Znamianka on June 10 while on a humanitarian aid mission to central and eastern Ukraine. During his trip, he visited with refugees and the wounded soldiers of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Bishop Daniel was joined by Subdeacon Andrew Swanson at the orphanage in Znamianka, led by director Tetiana Valko. Bishop Daniel also had a chance to visit the remodeled Montessori schoolrooms, as well as test the remote-controlled air-conditioners, donated by various parishes of the UOC-U.S.A.
The children enjoyed a full day of activities. They performed a concert for the bishop of 20 songs and 15 poetry recitations for the bishop. After an afternoon nap, the children boarded a bus that was donated by the UOC-U.S.A. to Chelitano pizza restaurant in the central district of Znamianka.
The restaurant staff was moved to tears to learn that the children had come from the local orphanage and that it is sponsored by the UOC-U.S.A. One particular waitress, Olia, donated balloons and presented them to each child. Other clerks from the local stores came to the pizzeria and began gifting the children small items.
After returning to the orphanage, Bishop Daniel bid farewell to the bedridden children before his departure for Kyiv, promising the children that he would return in the near future and, as requested by the children, would bring with him missionaries from past summer and winter trips.