The destructive effects of alcoholism are rampant within Ukraine. And when both parents are abusive alcoholics, it often makes for a very unsafe environment for the children. In fact, many Ukrainian orphans are social orphans, meaning they have a living parent, but the home environment is so destructive that the child is placed in an orphanage for their own wellbeing and safety. Darina is one of those children who never returned home.
Darina was born in a very abusive family, where both of her parents are alcoholics. The children in the family often were starving and beaten severely by their parents when they were under the influence of alcohol. Despite Darina’s tender age, she would often run away from home and go to a nearby café to beg for food and money.
Her escape from home was usually during the daytime, but she would return in the late evening, so she could sleep in her own bed. Once Darina left home for three days and was detained by the police and sent to a children’s homeless shelter. In the beginning, she really missed her family and wanted to go back home, but after 6 months at the center, Darina began dreaming of having a new foster family. She understood how toxic her upbringing had become. She no longer wanted to go home over the fear that her parents drinking would lead to more physically abuse.
A bond was created between Ira (our employee) and Darina. Darina was always excited to see Ira visit her. Ira would encourage her, pray with her, support her, counsel her, and of course, teach her about Jesus and other Sunday school lessons. Darina has always been a willing participant in our group discussion too. She wanted to do whatever she could to help out, so she acted as Ira’s assistant in setting up and packing our supplies and materials. In general, Darina is a happy and wonderful girl who needs our Savior Jesus Christ. She always longed for a “normal family” that would love and take of her and I am pleased to report that she was recently adopted into a family! We believe she may still be in process of accepting Jesus. She came to church and was open, but we don’t remember her repenting publicly, so please keep her in your prayers.