This past September, we restarted several ministries, including our weekly involvement with four orphanages. As you may be aware, we work with hundreds of kids, teaching them Bible stories while trying to take care for a few of their practical and emotional needs as well.
Beyond the Bible stories, our teachers also try to instill godly values like internal beauty, forgiveness, love, friendship, and obedience. All of these are important qualities necessary for the orphans’ emotional and spiritual healing.
I can personally attest that our team of vocational staff and volunteers deeply and sincerely love Christ. They appreciate the spiritual rewards that come through this ministry, but they are constantly challenged by the immense needs of these kids. The stories of parental abuse and violence committed against these precious souls are unimaginable. Here is one story:
Hello, my name is Lena. I recently came to this orphanage. I was taken away by the authorities when I was in school. I lived in a village named Petrovski, which is located within the state of Kharkov, Ukraine.
Unfortunately, my mom is an alcoholic. I was living with my grandmother, who had been raising me, until she recently died. My grandmother loved me very much, and I loved her, too. Despite my mom’s difficulties, my grandmother always told me, “Lena, despite the problems with your mom, you should love and respect her.”
Earlier in my life, when I was about four years old, my mother had killed my father while she was drunk. My mom tried to kill me, too. Once, when she was drunk, she stabbed me with a knife. Thankfully, I was able to run away from her before she could hurt me even more.
During many of her drunken times she tried to harm me with the same knife. I now have many scars on my hands from trying to push her away during her drinking episodes. One time she stuck her knife so deep into my leg (just above my knee), that I had to immediately go to the hospital.
Because my mom was unable to care for me, I never had enough food to eat at home. But I never complained, because I remembered my grandmother’s words to me. Instead, I was accustomed to my life, until I was brought to this orphanage.
Now I am excited to eat warm meals, and that I no longer have to go to bed hungry. I have actually begun gaining weight! I have made friends here at the orphanage, and I like going to school once again.
I love my mom, despite her difficulties. I dream that she will stop drinking and take me back home. But I don’t think that will happen. I have learned from many of the other kids here that their story is similar to mine. I don’t think my mom will be cured of her disease.
I am very happy that there are Christians visiting me from Slavic Christian Ministries. They speak about God, pray for me and my mom, and they ask God to heal my mother. Before coming here, I never heard about God, and I never knew that we could pray to him too. – Lena, 10 years old.
I am sad to say that Lena’s story is not unique. Many kids have similar stories. Please continue to pray for all of these children. Pray not only for their healing, but that they will respond to the Gospel message, and accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Please also pray for the spiritual protection and emotional encouragement of our staff.