SGA-Sponsored Orphans Reborn Team (Russia)
Valeria is only 10, and on first sight she seems to be a normal child in this orphanage. She was admitted four years ago from another orphanage that had a very poor reputation, and the authorities closed it down due to some criminal issues. Valeria had been abused, and the trauma probably contributed to her behavior being so unruly—to the point that all the teachers could do was leave her alone.
The first year she was at our orphanage, Valeria did not come to our lessons very often. When she did come, she would sit quietly in a corner and not say anything. She’d sit with her arms closed and sway from side to side. It was a very sad picture, and as I pondered it, I began to pray for her and trusted God to begin His work in her heart. And He did! As time went by she changed, and was like a frozen flower that was returning to life by means of light and warmth.
Over the last academic year, she became the best student in our class and proved to be a very diligent and clever girl. Valeria recently gave me a very pleasant surprise. At the end of the lesson, I asked the children to tell me which of them reads their Bible on regular basis, and not only for completing homework, but who also reads the Bible when they have leisure time. Very few raised their hands. But when the lesson was over, Valeria came to me and said that she had something important to tell me.
Quietly, she began to speak. “I try to read the Bible very often because I need to know the way I need to live. Since I invited Christ into my heart, I need to know more of how to please Him and not to sadden Him with my sins. He healed me. I had a nervous breakdown and I asked Him to heal me, and He helped, and now I am healed.” Amazed, I asked her when all of this had happened, and who helped her to come to Christ? She looked at me somewhat puzzled, and replied, “I was just reading the Bible and it became clear to me. I realized what I needed to do. Do I need someone’s help to turn to God?”
Of course, the answer to her question was no, but how wonderful to hear that a child was able to come to the point of understanding such a serious decision, that we adults try to process with some amount of doubt when we hear such words from a child. God really can do anything without external help! He can accomplish His work in the hearts of sinners, and it does not matter for Him whether you are an adult or a child.
Friends, I beg you to pray for Valeria, asking that God will strengthen her faith and keep the fire burning in her heart, as well as granting her assurance in Christ. Today I can see the changes in her life, and the teacher also witnesses about it. This brings joy to our hearts, and gives us understanding our labor in Christ is not in vain!