Ukranians get taste of Southern hospitality

Published 11:00 pm Monday, January 1, 2018


Bridges of Faith, an organization that works with Ukrainian orphans, brought 10 orphans to visit Andalusia’s Candyland on Thursday.

The group had lunch at First Baptist Church and played games with some of the congregation, and then set out to witness some of Andalusia’s Christmas magic.

Candy Parker, who volunteers at Bridges of Faith as their event coordinator, said, “My family knew someone who had adopted through the organization and just by knowing them and meeting the kids I knew I had to do something more for them.”

This past summer, Parker and her son Ben went on a mission trip to Ukraine, and have helped host many of the kids who come to the States through Bridges of Faith.

“One touching thing about this group of kids is that they don’t understand what it’s like to have someone be genuinely nice to them,” Parker said. “They have never experienced Southern hospitality so they reciprocate the kindness shown to them.”

When they come to Alabama they stay at a camp and spend their time visiting different cities and learning about the word of God through their experiences here.

“It really is a great thing to see the excitement on their faces. Hopefully in the short time we spend with them we can inspire hope that there is a better world out there for them.”

Parker wants to extend the invitation to people who want to volunteer and meet these kids.

“They usually come a couple times a year, so anyone who wants to volunteer will always have an opportunity and we would be glad to have them, even if it is just by hosting a couple kids at your home!”