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Max & Amanda Fetisov (Gage) May 2019 - Fire International

Dear friends and family,

It’s official, Ukraine has a new president. It’s likely that most of you have heard a blurb or two about it on the news.  Called the “comedian” by the press, Vladimir Zelensky won the election by a margin of over 70%, the highest by which any presidential candidate has won in the past.  He and his wife are actually from the city in which we live, Krivoy Rog.  So it’s no surprise that 90% of our city voted for him.

The term “comedian” isn’t untrue.  Although he studied economics here in Krivoy Rog, he went on to start a famous comic troupe and variety show.  No one imagined several years ago when he wrote and starred in a television series about a common history teacher that became president, that one day it would become Zelensky’s reality. It’s unknown whether or not he planned to run for office when the show began, but the 3 season series turned out to be a brilliant political campaign.  

Zelensky’s overwhelming win is just proof of how desperate the country is for change.  The former president, Poroshenko, wasn’t terrible, but he failed to distance himself from the parasitic corruption that has plagued Ukraine for decades.  It reaches into every sphere of life. We have suffered from it in our efforts to help the orphaned and homeless.  Trying to get anything done without giving a bribe takes twice as long, if it’s possible at all.  Even doctors and teachers require bribes although health care and education are supposed to be free, making it extremely difficult for those like our orphans to get help.  

For now the people’s hopes are on Zelensky to be the president he portrayed himself to be in his tv series, a servant of the people who fights corruption (with humor of course.) 

I’ve recently been reminded by the election and other things, just how quick we are to put our hope in something or someone tangible.  We fault the Old Testament Israelites for being so fickle in their relationship with God, but human nature hasn’t changed and our hearts are just as quick to seek a saviour that we can see and understand.

Maybe it’s more obvious to some that putting your hope in government officials to better your life will just bring disappointment.  But there are other things, even good things that we look to for salvation.  Many of our orphans idealise family.  They imagine how perfect their life would be if they had one.  And while their life would be different, even an incredible family can not fill the emptiness that exists inside us all.  Many Christians idealise church.  If the preacher was better, or there was an active youth program, etc. their family would be closer to God.  

But the truth is, there is only one true Saviour.  All of these things are good, but there is only one that can make us whole and transform our lives.  And He is the only one worthy of our hope.

So, as the church in Ukraine and America continues to look to Jesus, lets to pray together that God would prosper His people and lift up these countries for His glory! 

Hidden in Him,


Max & Amanda Fetisov (Gage)

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About Max & Amanda Fetisov (Gage)

Amanda has been serving in Ukraine since 2005. With a burden for the children and youth, she has ministered in orphanages and detention centers since she first arrived. Throughout the years, as she watched these children grow up and repeat the same heart-breaking mistakes of their addicted parents, her focus shifted to supporting these aged-out orphans as they transition from the orphanage into their adult lives. Through bible studies, support programs and transition homes she is working to see the cycle of poverty, abandonment and hopelessness broken in their lives.