Friday 26 July 2013 - 20:37:16         Posted by admin        

One for All and All for One

Super helpful
rgently needed


n point
Rarely absent

Different dictionaries give different definitions of the word “support”. The most common ones are: 1) noun: a thing that bears the weight of something; 2) verb: to keep something going on. While something that supports is a secondary thing the main item cannot exist without it like a lamp or a chair, it must have support. The same can be said about Gift of Life (GoL). GoL Support Staff has five employees: accountant/office manager, manager/translator, receptionist and two driver/mechanics - but in fact they are all one single body. As you see, the position of each Support Staff member can hardly be outlined by just one word. Indeed, the more tasks people can do, the more valuable they are. This rule fits a small non-profit organization, such as GoL very well.  GoL is like a happy, friendly family which works together to help GoL help others. The Support Staff is a family within a family. It supports, cooperates with and coordinates the other family members – Medical Clinic on Wheels (MCOW) and the five pro-life centers.


One has heard a lot about these two “super stars” due to the opportunities they provide to the Ukrainian Lutheran Church and the assistance they give to needy people in Ukraine. But has anyone heard of the Support Staff?  Probably not, because they are like a fighter airplane’s ground crew. The pilot gets all the attention, but he wouldn’t get off the ground without his support staff.
Let’s see why these few people are so valuable.

vita.jpgAccountant Vita Velykoshych is office manager, secretary, translator and more. Responsible for money, banking, staff records, salaries, dozens of government reports, work orders and on and on. There are only two people working in the main GoL office that being accountant and manager. It sounds very funny when someone calls asking to talk to the fuel accountant or transportation accountant or salary accountant. Here she is – all in one!

Receptionist Halyna Pastushenchyn is a certified pro-life counselor, courier, gardener, house sitter and many other things. While the clinics are located in Ternopil, GoL headquarters, she is the receptionist. You would have a hard time finding a kinder person when dealing with needy people – very sympathetic, always trying to help,  patient when listening to needs and complaints, checking with scrupulous accurately the needy people’s certificates thereby reaching the most needy from distant corners of the region.halya.jpg

guys.jpgDrivers Vasyl Mazurok and Andriy Dyachok are maintenance guys, technical coordinators and whatever else we need. They keep the almost 22-year old mobile clinics in top condition. The same is done with GoL property. There is hardly a thing they cannot do themselves. We rarely need to hire outsiders, which helps GoL to stay in budget. They both are perfectionists whether mechanics, driving or remodeling, painting, tiling, welding, metal work, wood work …. and even antiques restoration. These two guys, like the other Support Staff members, also assist GoL administration, Nick and Kerry Laper.

Manager/Translator, Nadiya Khodzinska is the humble scribe of this article. I am responsible for oral and written translation, managing GoL staff, developing MCOW traveling schedules, trouble shooting, updating the web site, public relations, and coordinating work of pro-life-centers including developing their budgets. I have been working at GoL for five short years. During this era my job became the main focus of my life. However, the Lord gave me my own “gift of life” and I will be taking maternity leave soon to care for this precious gift from God.nadya_2.jpg

The Support Staff know the work of GoL from inside. We know well the efforts which are taken by its administration and sponsors to make this organization -which helps thousands of people each year-- possible. We are thankful for paid jobs and at the same time, opportunity to glorify God by doing good work at GoL.  May God also bless you who do a good thing in supporting this mission!

Nadiya Khodzinska,
GoL Manager
Ternopil, Ukraine
May 8, 2013

Editor’s notes: The author of this article delivered a son, Bogdan (gift from God) on May 28, 2013, three months premature, weighing only two pounds. At this writing, he remains in the neonatal intensive care unit and is expected to go home in August. Please keep Nadiya and her family in your prayers.


Foreign based humanitarian projects should, at some point, transition to the nationals. Trustworthy, loyal staff, such as those mentioned in this article, allow GoL administration to spend additional time stateside or -- on another project. Given time, and Lord willing, Ukrainians themselves will run GoL in the future.


Alina Konkulovska trained for and aptly took over the manager position.
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