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Children at Risk
Trip History

22 - October 2019 (Kherson,  Odessa)

Traveled with friend and distant cousin Dale Miller to an orphanage in Kherson.  Good trip but missed flight back to U.S. and had to scurry about the country and make new reservations. 

21 - December 2019 (Kramatorsk)

Traveled with team: Jane Gordon, Suzi VanHal, Laurie Smith, and Sheanna Smith her daughter to Kramatorsk.   Huge program called "Christmas in Kramatorsk."  Dinner for pastors and wives.  (22 attended from various denominations).  Good worship, provided dinner, gave gifts of canned caviar, candy, and Michael share a sermon of encouragement.  Had a dinner with gifts, and groceries for 80 widows.  Michael and team shared words of encouragement.  Shared with pastor Yuri's church on Sunday. Provided a dinner and grocery supplies.   A final staff party at a restaurant.  And the biggy...rented an auditorium in a building that looked like our White House but twice the size.  A Christian troop of actors dressed as super heroes tried to save the world but could not.   At the end of the 1.5 hour production, Father Christmas came out and told the story of the one who can save the world.   He spoke for twenty minutes to 950 kids and adults, many of whom had never heard this story of Christmas.  Afterwards we gave everyone a huge candy bar and booklet about the Christmas story.  

20 - October 2018 (Kherson,  Odessa)

Joe Solitro and Michael Wetzel visited Kherson for an orphnanage visit and meetings, then on to Odessa to meet up with John Murphy and his new church.  We visited a Jewish orphanage, and the spent a day traveling to a distant village orphanage.  We delivered $1,000 worth of new shoes for kids there.  Other meetings. 

19 - October 2017 (Kiev, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odessa)

Joe Solitro and Michael Wetzel met Pastor Yuri and his wife Alyona (from Kramatorsk) in Kiev.  Then on to Kherson for meetings and a visit to an orphanage.  Michael also had a reunion with Nastya (our poster girl) who is now 26 years old, married, and doing well. Praise God.  Also joined a community, inter-denominational prayer in the city square for an end to the war.  On to Mykolaiv, met a new partner, Pastor Igor and a visit to an orphanage they work with.  We are now partnering with Pastor Igor in some projects. A good trip overall.

18 - May 2016 (Kiev, Kramatorsk)

Joe Solitro (A friend) and Michael met Renee Flory, and Sergey in country.  They prayed on Maidan and then spent the rest of the week in Kramatorsk.  They spoke to a local church, a local pastors/wives group, staff at the orphanage, and more.  They were able to provide grocery bags, picnics, dinners, supplies and much more for the people on the edge of the war zone.  They were also able to take 58 orphans and staff on a bus to an Ostrich farm and nature center for the day.  Many God moments on this trip.

17 - July 2015 (Kiev, Odessa)

A friend and board member (John Anderson) and Michael Wetzel traveled to Ukraine where we prayed for the country on the square in downtown Kieve, and in a park in Odessa.   We also had a picnic for refugee and church kids, delivered and bought many supplies, encouraged our partners in prayer and other blessings, and much more. 

16 - June 2014 (Managua, Nicaragua)

Several of us traveled to Managua, Nicaragua.  We began work with the Isaiah Project and Michael Folsum.  He works with about 50-60 kids in the very poor area by the dump.

15 - January 2013 (Odessa, Kherson, Kiev)

A team traveled to Odessa, Kherson, and Kiev, Ukraine.   The team worked with The Way Home and Agape Ministries to bring Christmas celebrations to numerous orphanages, street kids at centers, and staff. 

May 2012 (Cherkassy cancelled - Kiev instead)

A team traveled to Cherkassy, Ukraine.   Due to a change in plans they spent the week at The Ark in Kiev, Ukraine.

14 - January 2012 (Zhytomyr)

Michael Wetzel - Traveled to Zhytomyr, Ukraine for Christmas.   400 orphans were provided with presents and candy.  Working with our partners there, the Christmas story was shared along with crafts and presents at various orphanages.

13 - June 2011 (Kramatorsk)

Michael Wetzel - executive director, Lisa Gootee - Country Liaison, Steven Bush, Ruth Kivimaki, Twila & Halle Foust, and two Ukrianian friends of Lisa's from her church in Kiev (Max and Nastya), all traveled to Kramatorsk, Ukraine for a week of camp with 38 kids.  We also held five days of English clubs with 18 local adults.  A very good week.

12 - January 2011 (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Michael Wetzel - executive director, John Anderson - board member, David Hendrix - Projects Coordinator, Lisa Gootee - Country Liaison, and several others jointed this team.  We spent a Russian Christmas with a boys home, a girls home, a home for unwed mothers, and a street kid home.  A good trip.

11 - May 2010 (Zhytomyr, Kiev)

Michael and Shirley Wetzel traveled to Zhytomyr, and Kiev, Ukraine with a team of five people plus the staff of Pastor Viktor.  We visited numerouls orphanages and a street kid center.  We were able to buy 50 pairs of shoes for street kids center, numerous supplies, and gifts.  Another good trip.

10 - August, 2009 (Zhytomyr, Kiev)

Michael Wetzel traveled to Zhytomyr, and Kiev, Ukraine.   He visited a new partner, Viktor, a pastor who is working with a group of volunteers in several orphanages.  Michael also visited Peter Billingham in Kiev and talked about "One Hope" a new orphan ministry to Ukraine.  He also visited Lisa Gootee, our staff in Kiev.

9 - March, 2009 (Krivoy Rog)

Michael Wetzel (Executive Director), David Hendrix (Board Member), Jane Gordon (Team Leader), Ashley Saltsman all traveled to Krivoy Rog to check out the ministry of two Canadian brothers, Adam and Curtis Nikell.  They work with several orphanage in this second world area.  A great trip and a great ministry.

8 - June, 2008 (Kiev)

I traveled with a team to Kiev, Ukraine (led by our new team leader - Jane Gordon)

May, 2008 (Kiev)

We sent a team to Kiev, Ukraine (led by our new team leaders - Steve & Becki Wilmot)

December, 2007 (Haiti)

Shepherd's Purse Director David Hendrix traveled to Haiti  in December.  David, a professor at Trinity Seminary and pastor of a Vineyard church, checked  out a ministry  and a program to feed the needy children of this country.

7 - May, 2007 (Kiev)

We traveled with a team of ten to Kiev, Ukraine.  For one week we stayed at a center called, "The Ark" which was begun by two American ladies who now run it.  There are 20 kids rescued from poor/abusive parents, abandoned, or from the streets themselves.  They broke our hearts.  Kids cried when we left.  We cried.  We also visited a children's hospital but this time only found a couple of abandoned babies there.  We also visited an orphanage for 3 years and under.  What sweet hearts.  Since it was government run they would not let us take pictures.  The conditions inside were like the 40's.  Outside was very poor.  Overall we had another great trip.

6 - January, 2007 (Odessa, Kherson)

I traveled with my son-in-law, John Nugent to Ukraine for our annual Christmas in Kherson.  This year we expanded  to Odessa also.  John is a professor of Old Testament Theology at Great Lakes Christian College and a pastor of several home churches in Lansing, Michigan.  It was a great trip!

5 - August, 2006 (Kherson)
From August 12-24, Dr. David Hendrix and I  traveled to Ukraine to research a book.  Together we will write about the plight of the forgotten ones in Ukraine and Russia.  Our goal was to observe, interview and to meet with ministries and the kids.  It was a very productive trip.  Our hope is to complete a book by the summer of 2007.

4 - May, 2006 (Kiev)

This last May a team of fourteen traveled to Kiev and worked with the Ark ministry.  My wife Shirley and I led this trip and it was one of the best ever.  Our team spent time with kids in a soup kitchen.  These kids live on the streets right now.  We visited a children's hospital.  This hospital has just opened a wing to help the street kids.  We visited the Chernobyl Children's Hospital.  The did not let us inside but did bring kids out to a courtyard for us to visit.  We have heard conditions inside are very sad.  We spent a week with the Ark and had a great time getting to know 21 kids rescued from the streets who live on the center's 12 acres full time.  It was sad to leave.  Everyone was in tears.  However, our team from Ohio is planning to return in October and again next June.  Shepherd's Purse served as a catalyst to connect hearts.

3 - May, 2005 (Kherson)

Eight of us traveled to Kherson, Ukraine.  Our daughter Megin and son-in-law Josh, my wife Shirley and I, and the Savonnen's and their kids from Monroe, MI.

2 - December, 2004 (Kherson)

I traveled to Kherson, Ukraine for our first "Christmas in Kherson".  It was a great success and a blessing to all of us.  I was working with "House of Hope", Andrey Revtov.  It was on this trip that I met Nastya for the first time.

1 - December, 2003 (Perm, Ufa Russia)

I made my first trip to Russia.  One week was spent in Ufa with my good friends John & Carrie Clemence.  We prayer walked around the city, led an English club and worked with their church which John & Carrie were pioneering.  The second week was spent in Perm where I: preached for two Christmas services, taught for a week in a pastoral training school and most importantly - met the street kids at Love's Bridge for the very first time.


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