Meet some of our Vinogradov Children 20 Years Later

September 5, 2022

Meet some of our Vinogradov children more than 20 years later…

Vikicia Lapko on left with older sister Edita Merinher

Since 2001 LifeNets has sponsored a Soup Kitchen for street children and orphans and abused children coming from difficult families in Vinogradov, Ukraine. The background to the story can be found at We deeply appreciate those who helped, notably Scott and Carolyn Scharpen and their friends. Over time we sent people from the United States summer after summer to teach these children English among other things. We traveled together with the Scharpens in 2009 to Vinogradov. 

We have contact with some of these children and continue to communicate with them. Some of them call us their parents.

I’d like to spotlight two sisters whose names are Vikicia Lapko and Edita Merinher. They are now both married. They both still live in Vinogradov. We have been in contact all through these years. Vikicia or Vika, as we call her, has a little two-year-old Sofiyka. Edita and Vika lost their mother to cancer while they were young children. Their father abandoned them and this led us to meet them through the “Light of Love Mission” that you can read about at the above URL. Here is Vika’s letter to us on September 4, 2022:

Good afternoon, dear Victor Kubik, this is written to you by Victoria from Ukraine. My husband and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the help you sent us. I prayed to God and God answered my prayers, thank you. Both my daughter and I are sick, she is 2 years old, we are being treated. May the Lord bless you and your family, and may he reward you for your kindness. We would not have been able to buy the medicines ourselves.

This is my daughter Sofiyka. She will be 2 years old. She is a very good girl and I love her very much. I thank God that he gave me such a good daughter. He is our very best doctor. I was very young when I went to Polychko, Ira and Vasya and the “Light of Love” Mission. We lived across the street from them.

My mother died early when I was 8 months old. She had cancer. We grew up with an older sister. From the beginning, we were sent to kindergarten where we lived until the 4th grade. Then the reports [not exactly sure what this means] were taken away from us. It was very bad there. We wanted to live with our relatives. Then our sister took us away to care for us. 

2-year-old Sofiyka

Their mother Yolana died in 2000 at the age of 42. She had 12 children. Vika was the youngest

Thank God for this. We started going to Polychko to play with the children. I was not faithful to God, I did not know God, but I started to believe in Him. I started going to meetings at the age of 11 and thank God that I continue to go. I was later baptized and promised to serve God for the rest of my life. I am glad that I have a heavenly Father, because without him in my life I would be very bad, and so my childhood was very bad and in tears, but it all passed.

Thank God, we went for meals at Aunt Ira's. She helped us with food and clothes as much as she could, she was very kind to us and loved us. I thank God that I grew up with them, that they taught me to love God and helped us in my childhood because it was very difficult