A group from Southgate Community Church is back from Odessa, Ukraine. The church partnered with World Hope International (Canada) on a mission trip to Hope House, which provides a safe place for girls who age out of the orphanage system.

Pastor Ben Last was one of nine people to take part in the trip. He says Odessa is one of the worst places in the world for human trafficking. Last says Hope House provides educational opportunities and a fresh start for the girls.

He says you travel halfway across the world thinking you’re going to be helping somebody, but then you get there and realize it’s actually them helping you. Last says it makes you realize what’s truly important in life.

The group fixed up a living room at Hope House and brought snowsuits and boots for the kids in First Step, which is a before and after school program for social orphans. Last says local businesses donated items for the girls at Hope House, including laptops.

He says the trip was a life-changing experience. Last says some of the girls living at Hope House were rescued from apartments where their parents were murdered and others were found abandoned in ditches. He says despite all the hardships, these girls are excelling thanks to Hope House.

For more information about World Hope International (Canada), click here