Article By CBN News
There are an estimated eight million children worldwide living in orphanages. Now a movement, led primarily by Christians, wants to change that dynamic and put those children in safe, stable and nurturing families. It's an ambitious vision of a world without orphans.
Gennadiy Mokhnenko has made it his life's mission to end orphanhood.
"The statistics show that if one or two Christian families will take one orphan we will have a world without orphans."
Mokhnenko is a pastor from Easter Ukraine. In 1998, he saw first-hand the plight of children living on the streets and in orphanages in his hometown of Mariupol.
"I just didn't know how I could have left them on the streets. When I saw their eyes, I understood the Father's heart of God. It was a crazy idea, but I knew we had to do something."
What he and his wife Lena did was remarkable. Over 18 years, they've become parents to 32 children. Most are adopted.
"My adopted children were living on the streets. Some of them were as young as 4 and 5, some as young as 2, but we knew if we didn't take them off the streets, most of them would be dead or in prison."
Today the Mokhnenko's run Republic Pilgrim, the largest rehabilitation program for street youth in Ukraine.
"Nobody needs to adopt 32 children like we did. My family is not the norm. But I strongly believe there are enough Christian families in the world who can adopt one maybe two and then there will not be any orphans left in this world!"