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Odessa, Ukraine
After her husband's death in 1986, Lela dedicated herself to the Lord in this new era of her life. She went on several mission trips over the next few years and knew that God had captured her heart for missions. In 1997, Lela went to Odessa, Ukraine. At the invitation of a Baptist Evangelical pastor, she visited a children's prison. God broke Lela's heart for these homeless  and  abandoned  street
 
children. He has placed with Lela a compelling desire, through His provision, to establish a home  for these children; a home where they can receive physical and spiritual food, love, and a warm bed.  House Of Hope (formerly, Heritage House) was established in 1998 and as of January 2002 has 41 children. Please pray for Lela as she shares God's love with the children of Ukraine.
 
 
Watch this video and hear Lela share her love for the boys and girls in Odessa, Ukraine, and the ongoing ministry of the House Of Hope.
 
 
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August 2010
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July 2010
Lela Steel : Birthday Celebration : June 28, 2010
Lela, Mason and MaKayla (Danny's Grandchildren)
Sasha, Lela, Katia, and Demi Weddington
   
Lela talking to Ron Steel on the phone
Lela blowing out candles, Jimmy trying to help her
   
Front row: Demi, Lela, and Jimmy
Back row: Suzette, Sasha Weddington, Karen Warren,
Katia Weddington, Tammy Fakhoury, Belinda (Danny's daughter),
MaKayla Lowery, Sandy Thomas (Danny's wife), Mason Lowery
 
June 2010
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January 2010
December 2009
 
 
 
December 29, 2009
Dear Family and Friends of Lela,
On the morning of December 24th Lela’s good friend Tom Schmidt went to visit Lela to give her a Christmas present.
The present was a mini concert by his children playing the violin. It was a very special present and brought many tears to Lela’s eyes. Tom is the Director of Haiti Mission for Harvest International. Tom and Ginger adopted the 3 children when they lived in Haiti in the early 90’s.
Lela was so happy to see the children. She had each one come up and give her a kiss, and then whispered something in their ear: “Jesus Loves you and so do I.”
The children all enjoyed playing for grandma Steel and she enjoyed every single song they played. If you look real close you can see the tears of joy in her eyes.
From Lela and me, have a safe and Happy New Year. We (Lela and I) will update you again next year.
God bless you,
Danny Thomas, Director
Harvest International, Inc.
 
 
   
August 2009
 
   
July 2009
 
 
~continued~
 
 
 
   
June 2009
 
   
 
 
January 2009
 
 
 
January 1, 2009
Happy New Year! Rejoice!
Yes!! My dears, we have much to rejoice about. Some of the children have been adopted, now live in America in Christian homes. But there are new children who come in from time to time---new hurts. And some old boys and girls that are still at the Internot. We must give each boy and girl many hugs, and let them know that Jesus loves them, and He tells us, "I will never leave you nor forsake you!!" And we are there to continue to love and give big hugs.
Thank you for your faithful support and prayers. We need both, and you are faithful in both. We will have Christmas when we go back soon. Their Christmas is January 7th. We will have a tree, and a small gift for each boy and girl. Yes, we will send photos, and we ask that you send maybe recent photo of you and your family. I wish you could see these boys and girls as they look at your picture that you send of your families. I tell them, "These folks love you, help you financially, and they pray often for you boys and girls." They love to hear these words. Thank you.
We pray for you and thank the Lord for you. I could not be here if you did not support financially---and pray!!! I love and greatly appreciate each of you!! And the Lord Jesus loves you also.
Lela Steel
Grandma Steel Bahbushka Lela
 
 
   
 
 
March 2008
 
 
 
March 13, 2008
Dear Lela Supporters,
 
 
As you know Lela returned to Odessa, Ukraine on March 5, 2008. I had the privilege of taking her to the airport to see her off. Some “God things” happened and she has asked me to write to you. I am writing this on Lela’s behalf but I am going to share from my perspective.
The day before her departure Karen Warren and Lela worked for about two hours trying to put six tubs of supplies and gifts for the children into four tubs. As most of you know, the airlines are getting more and more aggressive at limiting checked baggage. For International flights you are allowed two checked  pieces of luggage that weigh
50 lbs each. The cost for two additional tubs is $120.00 each. There was much more than that in supplies and gifts, so we decided to pay for the two additional tubs.
We arrived at the airport in Orlando, Florida two hours before her flight. The skycap that took her four pieces of luggage gave her a hug and then put her bags on his cart. He escorted Lela to the ticket counter where another person greeted her with a hug. The station manager for the airlines came out from his office as if someone had gone to tell him, “She’s here.” He also hugged her and they started the check-in process.
The first obstacle was that Lela did not have a ticket from Washington D.C. to Vienna. The solution from the ticket agent was to purchase another ticket. God’s solution was that they print her a new ticket at no cost to Lela. God won. The second issue was the overweight extra luggage. My solution was that we pay the extra money, that way, she could take the bags. God’s solution was that the extra bags be checked at no cost to Lela. God won.
The next issue was to get her to the gate on time. I looked at the number of people that needed to get through security and just knew it would take her 30 minutes to get through the line. Not a problem for the Lord. Lela, go to the head of the line. And off she went to Odessa. It was like the Lord said to everyone at the airport. “Now hear this. My saint Lela has arrived and I want everyone on their best behavior. Do whatever you need to accommodate her travel. That is all.”
It is absolutely a joy and a privilege to be around Lela, because no matter where you are with her the Lord shows up. Amazing things happen that can only be attributed to God.
God bless you all,
Danny Thomas, Director
Harvest International, Inc.
 
   
 
 
May 2008
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
July 2008
 
   
 
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December 2008
 
 
 
December 20, 2008
My dear SUPPORT TEAM—AND PRAYER SUPPORT:
I so very appreciate all of you folks--since I have been back to Odessa, Ukraine, I have been busy and when not running, my Computer was not working--Praise the Lord at this moment it is working.
Let me give you a report of what has happened in recent days:
No. 1: We got a new boy for our 6th grade class. He came with terrible scars on his face arms and other parts of his body. We were told he had been badly burned; how this happened, we do not know. Viktor visited many Special Doctors. Finally, he found one willing to do all that he could for this boy, so he started doing skin grafting. This is still going on at this time. Viktor has spent many hours at the hospital with the boy and we all continue to pray. His name is Yuri.
No 2: We still have folks adopting children, and of course, this process takes lots of time and we all do lots of praying.
No. 3 As you know, we have been working with boys who have run to the street, trying to restore them to a good, normal life-style—this is improving—so continue to pray for these boys. Fantanka is one of the facilities that take these boys. They now have between 40 and 50 boys. We are so thankful this facility seems to really help the boys. One of my boys that ran from Internot 4 and was off and on at Fantanka, has not run for a long time. He seems to be happy and content there—a big Praise.
A dear lady from the U.S.—I love her very much, and appreciate her love for these orphan children—she sent money for the Director to buy new winter jackets for all the boys, but they also are in great need of good sneakers, warm socks, and perhaps some warm underwear. So, we hope to be able to get these for the boys. We would appreciate your help in getting these items for the boys, and we will send pictures of the boys receiving these.
I am able to go to visit the boys almost every Sunday after Church. My dear Igor takes me, and we always take them some cookies. The children and Staff enjoy these, plus we give lots of hugs to the boys and Staff, and we have a Devotional for the boys, and we sing a few songs. The Staff and boys also love this time, and I have a Bible story. One time the Director had the boys did a story for Igor and me. We were sure the Direcot helped them with this. Yes, we thanked them for this. I must stop for now and get to bed.
I LOVE AND APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU MY FAITHFUL SUPPORTERS. YOU ARE A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT TO US AND TO THE CHILDREN. PERHAPS YOU CAN SEND SOME PHOTOS OF YOU, THE SUPPORTERS, AND STAFF, AND WE CAN GIVE THEM TO THE CHILDREN. I WILL TELL THE CHILDREN AND STAFF TO LOOK AT YOUR FACE AND PRAY A PRAYER OF THANKS TO THE LORD FOR EACH OF YOU.
I LOVE YOU, MY DEAR
GRANDMA LELA--BAHBUSHKA LELA
 
 
   
 
 
April 2007
 
 
 
 
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House Of Hope 2007
 
   
 
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May 2007

 
 
 
 
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Delivery To Ukraine 2007
 
   
 
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August 2007
 
 
 
 
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