Christ’s Love Brings Peace to a Foster Family
Pastor Sergei (Mogilev Region, Belarus)
SGA-sponsored children’s ministries often send wonderful reports about how the Lord changes the lives of young boys and girls as they hear the Gospel and see His love modeled before them. A faithful missionary pastor in Belarus named Sergei recently sent us the story of a family who willingly took in a troubled young orphan girl 11 years ago. The foster mother, Tatiana, had previously come to faith, and as she tells the story through Sergei, her conversion helped pave the way for her adopted daughter’s path to Christ . . .
Karolina was seven years old when I met her in the orphanage. She was a real problem child. Several families had tried to adopt her but eventually had to bring her back because they could not cope with her behavior. She would crawl under a table and scream non-stop. I would visit this orphanage often, and Karolina would come up to me and try to stand by me as much as possible.
I began to take her home with me on weekends, and eventually she began spending nights at my home, and I would return her to the orphanage during the day, as she was in kindergarten. She gradually became accustomed to me. Then the day approached when she would have to go to school. The educators at school scared the children and the children saw school as a horrible place. Karolina was taken to Italy over the summer while I prepared the paperwork to adopt her (she didn’t know this was happening). She returned from Italy with a bandaged hand, and I found out that she was dreading school so much that she began gnawing her hand almost to the bone. When I told her that she was being adopted, the hand-gnawing stopped and her hand healed.
Then the problems began for my family during that first difficult year. Karolina didn’t want any strangers to come to our home. She would stand at the door and scream until the strangers left the house. It was then that I came to God and my life changed. So did the life of my adopted daughter. Constant fellowship with believers, Sunday school, Christian camps for children, and small group Bible study all helped to shape her as a young girl who thrived in a Christian world of acceptance, love, and security. She was no longer in a hostile world, but in a world where God’s security ruled. She repented and trusted in Christ, and now she is 18 years old. I am very happy that she has come to Jesus, and it was her own decision!
What a wonderful story of hope, testifying of God’s power to change lives. Yet while Karolina was adopted into a loving family, the vast majority of orphan children will not be adopted and will grow up in an orphanage. That is what makes SGA-sponsored children’s ministries so vitally important. You—our faithful partners—are making it possible for children’s workers in the churches to reach these children by supporting summer camps and outreaches such as Orphans Reborn and Immanuel’s Child. When children reached through these ministries begin attending Sunday school for the first time, their discipleship continues and many come to the Lord in saving faith. You are helping to build up the body of Christ as you equip the saints . . . for the work of service (Ephesians 4:12).