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Thoughts on Agape's School for Adaptation Center Leaders (Maxim Batig)

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Agape Training School

 Thoughts on Agape's School for Adaptation Center Leaders (Maxim Batig) 

My family and I live and minister to teens in one of Agape’s Ministry’s Adaptation Center in Kramatorsk, Ukraine.  4-5 teenage orphanage graduates live with us year round. These are either ‘true orphans,’ who have no parents – or kids who have parents/guardians still alive… but those parents either abandoned them at an early age, or their parental rights were terminated.

We began taking part in this ministry wanting to give them a refuge, a safe and comfortable home for body and soul. My wife and I have always done our best to give these guys the love that they so need – the love of God that we ourselves receive without any merit on our part, but simply because we have a loving and merciful Heavenly Father. The main goal we’ve had has been to give these boys everything they need to be able to experience and come to truly know the unconditional love our Lord has for them.

That was the goal we constantly were aiming for from our first day living with our first orphanage graduates. However, as time passed, the more we began to get to know our guys, the more we felt our lack of knowledge and experience in working with such needy teens. These kids had already gone through some really hard times in their young lives and their hearts had been deeply wounded time and time again. How could we help them find healing? Where to start, even? Where were we supposed to find the time, attention and patience for each one… and how were we to react to their grudges, hurt feelings and incredible rudeness towards us? We often found ourselves at our wit’s end. We just ignored the problems that we had no answers to… but our guys became more and more upset with us while we ourselves didn’t know what to do with the pain and frustration daily building up in our own hearts. We finally felt like we had hit a wall and didn’t know what to do next. Our strength was running out, our faith was faltering, we felt like we were hollow, used up, running on empty. We had to find answers; we had to find some way out of this situation.

 Praise God – He knew our problems and had already met us in our need, preparing an answer to our dilemma – we just weren’t aware of it yet. Agape Ministries opened a training school for us, for ministry leaders of Adaptation Centers. What a blessing! We’ve already learned how to find a way out of many conflicts with troubled teens without inflicting pain upon them - or ourselves - in the process.

We’ve only completed three sessions of the school so far, but we’ve already gained priceless knowledge that we were in such need of in our ministry and in our own lives. We’ve been given tools for ministry, and we’ve gained experience as we study and minister simultaneously. We’ve studied orphan psychology, causes of problem behaviors, and the wounded hearts of orphans and how to help them begin healing. Each subject was like a cup of cold water on a sweltering summer day for us. I now know how to listen and respond to an orphan in such a way that will encourage him to open up about his pain and personal history. I know how to better pray for and with them so that they can come to forgive those who have hurt them. I’ve already been able to start practicing what I’m learning and that really is a blessing.

This training school has not only given me knowledge that I sorely needed for working with orphans; it has also really helped me grow stronger personally, spiritually and emotionally. As I’ve gone through the training seminars each session, I’ve been analyzing my own life and my own spiritual condition. The breakout sessions during the school, prayer times in small groups, just spending time with other people in the same ministry – realizing that we’re not alone – that has helped me gain strength and healing for my own heart.

 

 I want to thank each and every one who took part in organizing and financing this Ministry School for Adaptation Center Leaders. This is something that we have a great need for. We thank the Lord for providing this opportunity to study and grow. 


Maxim Batig,

Adaptation Center leader with Agape Ministries