Editor’s Note: The image and testimony below were provided by an Orphans Reborn team member in Russia.
While most parents plan birthday parties for their children and watch their excitement as they wait for their big day, grieving children in the orphanages throughout Russia long for their parents to be with them. What a present that would be for many! However, many children face the reality that they will never see their parents again.
Thankfully, God is using men and women through the SGA-supported Orphans Reborn ministry to fill in the gaps as much as they can. In the story below, it was as simple as having a few friends acknowledge a birthday and then bringing a birthday cake to a meeting to celebrate.
Let’s pray along with this dear servant, that more orphan children will find themselves being loved by families and have a home of their own in which they can celebrate their birthdays. And of course, that more and more eyes would be open to the love of the Lord . . .
Greetings to you, beloved brothers, and sisters, thank you for your open hearts and for your prayers for orphans!
It is always a pleasure to share the joyful and happy moments that we regularly experience in our joint ministry with you. And even when I write about sad and difficult situations from the lives of these orphaned children, I always have hope in the Lord, who is able to change their difficult lives. I was always a dreamer, and even now I believe in miracles! And the greatest miracle for me is love, the love which continues its struggle in spite of everything, the love which believes and grows stronger with every day. Honestly speaking, I dream that all the children in orphanages would one day find themselves in homes with families. But this is not a complete list of my desires. I want our churches and our homes to be enriched with adopted children. I know that with God’s help our dreams could become realities, and all of our efforts will not be in vain, because they are directed at people and at their hearts. There is nothing more important and more precious in this world than a human soul, especially when we speak about orphans! Within six years of my ministry to children I received much more than I was able to give. And it could not be any different, because when we give something material and receive back something spiritual, it is definitely something from God!
The last few years I have been surrounded by Roma people. I meet them in church, in the streets, and lately I see a lot of Roma children in orphanages. This is a very difficult people group, they are very expressive, explosive, and cunning people, but I like them in spite of all of that. I know that our meetings with them are not an accident!
I want to tell you about one Roma girl. She is very bright, smart, and strong. She is naturally a leader, but unfortunately, she channels this in the wrong direction. When I pray for children, God regularly gives me situations which helps me to grow closer to them, which allows me to have a better understanding of these children and I can therefore help them and have influence upon their lives.
A week ago, Lena did not come to our Bible lesson and missed school lessons. I understood that something was wrong. It was almost ten o’clock in the evening when I arrived at the orphanage. The children called Lena, and I started a conversation with her, trying to find out the reason for such behavior. She tried to hide behind a formal “It’s all right” phrase, but I did not give up. So, Lena admitted for the last five days prior to her birthday she had felt lonely and sad. And now her birthday was the next day.
I tried to ask her if she was willing to share reasons for her discouragement; was it due to absence of an important person or absence of presents? Then Lena, coming closer, whispered to me: “There would be neither father nor mother at my birthday.” I did not know what to say, and I replied, “but what if they come?” Lena started to weep so bitterly, and through her tears she said, they were gone. I hugged Lena, as a father, but I was not able to comfort her. All I could promise to her was that the Lord would take care of her tomorrow.
The next day, early in the morning, I wrote to all my friends about Lena, a girl at the orphanage, who had her birthday on that day. All of them were willing to reply to that need and throughout the whole day they congratulated her, visiting her with presents. On that evening Lena went with us to a meeting, and together we celebrated her birthday there. She said that she was really pleased and overjoyed with such attention and care. Lena finds it very difficult to do anything. Commitment and respect are not her strengths, but she is doing her best. I believe that she will one day be able to manage her character, and that God will guide the talents He gifted her!
God started knocking on the door of Sergei’s heart at an early age when he attended an SGA-supported summer camp in Kazakhstan. He pursued Sergei in his college days
Double blessings! At a youth retreat earlier this year in Russia, not only did one of the invited young people have her heart opened to the gift of God,
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