Looking for love in all the wrong places. This was the life story of Maya*, who for many years was trying to replace her earthly father’s lack of love with the “love” of abusive and drug addicted men. Man after man, she spiraled even further into the depths of despair. Always seeking, yet never finding.
Thankfully, a volunteer from a Christian women’s shelter found her! She offered Maya a new love … love from her Heavenly Father and love from the family of God in a place where she could call her new home. The last 10 months have resulted in a new Maya—one who now seeks God and desires to draw closer to Him.
Please pray for Maya as she continues to put aside temptations of the world and finds true peace in the love of Christ.
Angelina in Israel wrote to us about Maya …
We have a house for women in Beer Sheva, where we help victims of violence leave their abuser and get out of the sphere of unhealthy relationships and into a normal life. The purpose of our home is to teach a woman what normal life and relationships look like through the atmosphere in the house and through our attitude towards each other.
First, we strive to satisfy physical needs for safety and then satisfy social needs for love. After this, we satisfy personal needs for self-improvement. Most importantly, we satisfy spiritual needs throughout the entire process of a woman’s recovery from the very beginning.
The war affected women greatly. At the very beginning of the war, about 320 feet from our house, a rocket fell on the roof. Before the war, these women were traumatized by the violence they experienced in the family; we even have women who had previously run away from their husbands from other countries. And this war has further aggravated their traumas. Some women left for quieter places. But some want to return to our women’s house because their fears have worsened due to the war. We do everything, we evangelize them and bring them closer to God. Some women are open to Scripture and attend services regularly.
I want to share about one woman named Maya* …
Maya grew up in the far northern region of Russia in a small village. Her father worked as an oil driller and was away from home for weeks. And when he did come home, he preferred going out with friends rather than spending time with his family. This continued throughout Maya’s childhood. When Maya was 17, her father left home one day and never returned. Sadly, Maya still does not know where he is or what happened to him.
Some say that girls have a much greater need for fatherly love than boys, and the lack of it in their childhood often leads them to spend their whole lives looking for it. As I see it, this is exactly what happened to Maya. Her story somehow reminds me of the Samaritan woman from John 4, only Maya did not have six, but many more “husbands” because, apparently, none of them could quench her thirst for the father’s love.
It is important to note that Maya gives an impression of being a very strong, intelligent and talented person. And yet, due to this acute lack of love and attention, all her men had a very powerful and, sadly, negative influence on her, which eventually destroyed her life.
Her first boyfriend made her leave the college she had dreamed so much about. Her second boyfriend was the leader of a criminal gang and, as a result, Maya became a very active member of this gang until the boyfriend was sent to prison. In the gang, Maya acquired a couple of new “professions” … she became an expert in card games and various kinds of theft. Due to these activities, she could afford a lot, including drugs, since by that time Maya had already become a drug addict.
If she had continued to abuse heavy drugs for more years than she did, then most likely she would have already been dead. But Maya fell in love again, this time with a guy who hated the fact that his girlfriend was a drug addict, so he helped her shift from drugs to alcohol.
Her next boyfriend was an alcoholic too. She gave birth to his child, married him, and immigrated with him to Israel (he was Jewish), but soon divorced him, because, on top of everything else, he turned out to be a crook. He did not want to work, stole money from the family budget and regularly left his wife and son without any means of support.
The next man Maya fell in love with turned out to be violent and an abuser. Maya lived with him for eight years, suffered beatings and bullying, and as a result, her drinking problem got much worse. She gave birth to her second son, but at some point, both he and the older one was taken away by social services. Then Maya met another guy with whom she moved to Beer Sheva. He turned out to be a drug addict and soon died.
One day, one of the volunteers of our Women’s Shelter was walking down the street and saw Maya. Her condition was terrible, and our volunteer offered her rehabilitation in the Shelter. Maya agreed and came to us the same day–about 10 months ago.
Maya’s rehabilitation is going very well. She started solving her various problems and gradually draws closer to God. I see and understand that Jesus loves her very much, otherwise how can you explain that a person like her has lived with us for such a long time, leading a completely clean lifestyle, reading the Bible and attending church regularly?
Of course, it is not easy for her, sometimes she strongly feels like drinking, sometimes she is tempted to steal something, and she is still looking for love from men. But Maya copes with these desires surprisingly well.
Please pray that she would forgive her earthly father and would build a close, personal relationship with her Father in Heaven who loves her so much!
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.