Read Part 1.
Keri: I know that you and Vitaliy both have a lot of ministries going on and you had talked earlier on about your nurse midwife dream and I’d like you to tell the listeners about how the Lord is bringing some of that to fruition in your life now.
Anne: That desire to be a midwife has never really left me. You know it goes under the water for a while but it always resurfaces. It’s like it follows me. About two years ago I started studying to be a doula and childbirth educator. I started studying with a Christian organization called Charis Childbirth. I never really saw how I could do it here because birth here is kind of a mystery for me. I knew women usually have horrible experiences, but it was hard to get any real details and to really know what it looked like. But I started studying this class and through women in my church, I started teaching them childbirth preparation classes. Then I was able to accompany them at their births.
That has been a major eye opener—seeing an actual birth in a birth house. Other women choose to have home births and I have watched how those things happen. The women in my church, and the husbands too, have been so thankful for this ministry that is unique and something that not very many people do. They are so happy to be having happy birth experiences.
Now I’m starting to get clients who are not Christians, and it has been wonderful to have chances to witness to them. Lately, I’ve been working with a couple from Belgium. They are English speakers. Vitaliy and I went out to dinner with them and he presented the gospel to them. It’s neat how childbirth is such an open time in people’s lives. Being educated about it and serving people makes them so open to listen to you about any area of life. It has made people really open to the Lord. I’m really thankful for that.
Keri: That’s wonderful. Tell us about your crisis pregnancy outreach as well.
Anne: I heard a couple of years ago about a man who had a dream here—a Ukrainian man here—to start a home for women who did not want to have abortions. I’ve always had this childhood dream to do that, so I called him about a year or two ago and he said he had just gotten a building to do that. So I started meeting with him to do that. Hopefully next year, Lord willing, we will be opening a home for women and teenagers who are pregnant and in a situation where they are being pressured to have an abortion or basically facing abandonment. We are going to open our doors to take in ladies like this. Lord willing they will come to the Lord and see what a normal family life looks like and the Lord can lead them from there—and their children.
Keri: I don’t think I realized that abortion was such a prevalent thing in the Ukraine. I think we think of that as an American problem.
Anne: You know, I’ve heard these statistics before: two percent of the world’s abortions happen in the United States, but ninety-eight percent of all pro-life funds are spent in the United States. Only two percent of pro-life funds are going out to the world where most of the abortions are happening. It is a major problem. My assistant, who is an OB-GYN, had a very strict rotation in the hospital where she worked. They would do births, prenatal care, and they do abortions. When it came her turn to do abortions, that is when she left her job—because she was a Christian. She just has told me that in that job, being an OB-GYN here, it’s more of a culture of death. Especially under Communism because abortions were how you got money. So they would very often encourage abortions, and there were no moral qualms about it. So they were done a lot.
Keri: That really puts it in perspective.
Anne: I’ve heard testimonies of women who have had 20; one woman stopped counting at 25. We’ve been doing post-abortion Bible study because we want to have this as a constant ministry—because there are so many women that come into the church because of abortions—for the healing that they can have in the Lord. They come to the Lord and become Christians and they are always asking forgiveness for their abortions. You have to get the healing from the Lord.
Keri: I want to switch gears now and talk a little about your family. Tell us a little bit about your girls and what you see coming in the future with your family so we know what is going on with you.
Anne: We have two little girls, Skyla is four years old and Vika will be three soon (Vika is Victoria in Russian). We have been for over two years now wanting to adopt a little boy who has some birth defects. We learned about him when he was put in the hospital. One of my friends has a ministry where she arranges for Christian women to sit in the hospital with him because they don’t have enough personnel workers in the orphanage to stay with one baby in the hospital all the time. So I got to stay with him one night. He’s a little boy named Paul. We have all of our papers ready, and we were really excited waiting to get him. But the laws in Ukraine… The current President is favorable toward adoption, which is wonderful because now there are many more adoptive parents. Because of that, the standards have become a lot stricter.
Right now, we do not own our own apartment. We did before, but we sold it. We need to become homeowners before we can become adoptive parents.
The difficulty with that is that normally people get loans through a bank, and we can’t get loans from [Ukranian] banks because they are not reliable, and the interest that they charge is like 30 percent. Right now they are not even giving loans because of the crisis. American banks don’t give loans for foreign property. We are hoping that some Christians might be able to loan us money to buy our own place. We are praying about it—if the Lord would burden someone about that. Hopefully, we will have another baby sometime soon. It’s been a very interesting experience doing all this. We will just see how the Lord works.
Keri: A lot of people go to the Ukraine to adopt a baby and it’s interesting to me that you are married to a Ukrainian and going to adopt there. It gives us a perspective here. So that leads us to how we can pray for you in the coming months. I know you will be coming here on a deputation/furlough type time. What kind of things can we pray for you about?
Anne: One thing that you can always pray about is that Vitaliy does a lot of witnessing and evangelism—and just constantly praying that the Lord will lead him to open hearts, people who want to hear the gospel, people who are ready to hear the gospel. Then, praying for our home for women in crisis pregnancy that is going to be open. We need a lot of wisdom and diligence as we work on that.
One of my major projects right now is doing our support raising. We’ve had a lot of our support changing in the last two to three years since moving to a major city and having another vehicle and having more ministry needs. I’ve been praying about this a lot—about how the Lord will bring friends into our lives as supporters. We will be in the States in April and May of this coming year visiting some people. We have several churches that support us, but mostly we have individuals who support us. They help us find others who might be interested in supporting us. It’s developing friendship with people and being generous to people and burdening people who want to be a part of our work here.
Keri: We will be praying that you get lots of meetings. I’ll be praying that you find a way to get your house bought. It sounds like Paul needs you and you need Paul. It’s been a blessing getting to know you, Anne. Your story encourages me and I hope it encourages those who listen to it.
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Keri is a wife and mother. She met her husband, Daniel, while attending Bob Jones University. They both consider 2001 a very good year since they both graduated and were married the same summer. After college, Keri put her business degree to use and managed a small records management company. She now manages her two greatest productions, Ethan, age 5, and Micah, age 3. She enjoys writing the Grace post, a collection of spiritual reflections, Bible study, and book reviews, in her free time.