I would like to share a story about a boy named Yura, who has lived in an orphanage for the past eight years. Currently he is fourteen years old and is pleasant to be around. Yura doesn’t have many memories prior to entering the orphanage, except his recollection that there were many problems within his home. Both of Yura’s parents died of alcoholism and he was raised by his grandmother until her disabilities made it impossible for her to care for him. Unfortunately, Yura had to be moved to an orphanage at the tender age of six.
Because of these very difficult and impressionable childhood experiences, Yura had some deep emotional wounds; he was very reserved and an extremely frightened child. Whenever any conflict arose, no matter how minor, Yura would immediately run and hide in a corner of a room and not speak to anyone for multiple hours. I am unaware if it was a place of protection, preservation, solace, or a place of self-induced discipline based on earlier experiences. His actions have been difficult for both kids and staff because they wanted Yura to be free from his self-imposed imprisonment due to unhealthy coping mechanisms. He was often alienated from the orphanage community.
Over the years, his temperament has slowly changed; he has opened up more, improved in school, and improved in his interaction with other children. It was discovered that Yura excelled at art, advanced math, and computer skills. His artwork was shown at different art exhibitions and he has received multiple international awards, including an art award from the Governor of Kharkov. Over time, he has been unshackled by fear, to which we are very grateful.
Yura knows the Bible fairly well and has accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior! When SCM workers visit his orphanage he is very active in participating in our Bible lessons. He enjoys our team and he continues to grow in his biblical knowledge and faith. Our team has contributed to Yura’s emotional growth and spiritual development. Yura still has many obstacles to overcome in life, but your prayers, our encouragement, prayers, and teaching, and the Lord’s blessing and oversight of Yura, we hope that Yura’s future will be better than his past.
There are many orphaned children that exhibit emotional scars and it isn’t a surprise to us, but we pray that by your generosity, Vova and Lena, our orphanage workers can continue to invest in lives of many children every week!