Our newest SGA team member, Diana, shares in the story below of a young girl whose life was completely changed through SGA-supported Summer Camp ministry this year. “Day by day she began to blossom. We just can’t find another word for her change. It really looked like a withered flower, which began to be watered with love and warmed.” Diana was able to witness this transformation firsthand, as she and her husband were leaders of the camp and also faithfully minister to orphan children in Central Asia through the Orphans Reborn ministry.
Diana is an SGA team member. She is located in one of the former Soviet countries of Central Asia, and along with her husband Sasha, faithfully ministers to orphan children and impoverished families. In fact, she is the daughter in law of Larissa, who leads Orphans Reborn-supported ministries across the country. She has given her heart and soul to serving Christ, and often with tears conveys the stories of the people she meets daily. Now she will share them all with you as well. Please also pray for their most tiring ministry, as she and Sasha, along with Larissa serve seven days a week, sold out for Christ and with a deep love for the lost and hurting in this world.
Julia is now 14 years old, but she has lived in the orphanage since she was 3. Her parents are alcoholics and lost their parental rights. All this time, she was in another city and experienced various emotional and psychological difficulties. Julia has made three suicide attempts over the past few years. Julia’s character is strong-willed. She often has conflicts with teachers and peers. She got into a fight and ended up in a bad environment. For caregivers, she was an “uncomfortable child.” This was the reason that Julia was transferred to another orphanage.
Julia herself says:
“I was influenced by other girls from the orphanage. Each time they set different tasks for me; it was difficult for me to cope with them. I saw no way out. I was in despair.”
Julia moved to our city and visited our Christian camp for the first time. On the first day, she was quite withdrawn and irritable. She was not attracted to communication or games. She looked like a prickly hedgehog. Day after day, our entire team tried to give her love and care, especially tried to celebrate her achievements, and praise her for her success. Later, on her continual angry face, the outlines of surprise, and sometimes interest in everything that was happening, began to appear. She began attending Bible classes. Later she started asking questions. Day by day she began to blossom. We just can’t find another word for her change. It really looked like a withered flower, which began to be watered with love and warmed. Julia began to smile and became open to hugs. It is valuable. Orphans are very fond of hugging, but Julia is different.
“In the beginning, everything seemed very strange to me. I haven’t seen anything like it before. Everyone was very friendly and hospitable. I have never received such attention and care. I saw their sincere intentions and understood that I had nothing to give. Later I got to know Sasha and Diana better. We talked a lot. They told me about themselves and their family.”
We started talking with Julia a lot. During any free time, she would immediately run up to ask about something. In the evenings, we walked together, and she shared a lot of experiences and began to open up. Lots of questions about God and Jesus Christ. Day after day, God did his work with her heart. On the last day of the camp, she asked us to help her pray to God. She opened her heart to Christ. We gave her a Bible and noted where she should start reading.
Julia was leaving already different:
“I really liked the camp. Here I learned about God. I liked the story of the builders who built their own houses. Built on sand means living without God. And the other is built on stone, which means to live with God. I prayed for the first time in my life. I really want to come here again. Here I found new friends. Thank you all very much!”
Now every Saturday, we will visit Julia and take her home for the holidays. We believe that this is the beginning of her new journey with Christ. Please pray for Julia and for her change with the Lord. This amazing story with Julia inspired us personally and inspired us to trust God for every orphan. After all, everyone has their own path. We must do our best and trust Him.”
In a time of great uncertainty, God is bringing help, healing, and hope to the people of Ukraine through SGA-supported pastors, churches, a seminary, and SGA-sponsored Compassion Ministry. Be a part of God’s incredible work with your generosity and prayer support.
Your gift of compassion helps struggling people with emergency aid that generally includes Scripture materials, food, medicine, warm clothing, and shoes.