Editor’s Note: The story and image below was provided by an Orphans Reborn team member in Kazakhstan.
What orphans needs to hear most is how much God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them, and to call them His own. Praise God that Olya heard this special message from an Orphans Reborn team member named Larissa, as the church volunteer discipled and minister to Olya for more than 20 years.
Today, Olya is working alongside Larissa in ministry at her church. Olya shares her story below and expresses how much Orphans Reborn ministry and finding out that God had not forsaken her powerfully changed her life . . .
“Hello, my name is Olya.
I graduated from the orphanage №1. I would like to share with you my story, about how I met Jesus Christ while in the orphanage, and how it influenced my further life.
This is one thing I’d like to say right away: every single child who is brought up in orphanages receives mental trauma, and this has a very detrimental effect on their future, their entire life. They become insecure, withdrawn, closed off and unhappy. As for my personal experience, I got to the orphanage when I was 12 years old. I even remember that it was on Tuesday, as on Saturday some people came to visit, and all the children happily ran to welcome them. These people were hugging the children. I was wondering who they could be. Because the orphanage educators and workers do not usually behave like that, they never hug children, do not pat them on heads, do not kiss them, and none of them greets the children like those people. I did not know who they were. When they saw me, they also came up to me, hugged and kissed me, were very gentle and kind to me. And so, we met. I felt such a big difference, as I have never ever been surrounded by such warmth, and did not receive such tender embraces. Those were our ministers who still visit our orphanage and other orphanages, bringing the Good News to children, telling them about Christ, and that even if our parents have left us, we should not feel abandoned and unwanted, that the Lord has not forsaken us, that He loves us. These are very important words for every child in the orphanage, and this is a very important, very responsible and serious ministry. Praise God for such ministers!
However, the greatest pleasure for all the children and the time they always waited for was the Christian camps. For us, kids, the camp was the place that reminded us of one real friendly loving family. This is also important, as through such events the children are forming the ideas about how to live with each other, how to respect each other, learn to love each other, learn to do something together. All this helps children to create families in the future, learn to love, be a caring person, give care and love the way we were loved in our young years by our Christian ministers. I am very grateful to God for all those people that He sent us and for the fact that He gives His love to all children who lack hugging hands—through not only talking about love, but also showing it in practice, and that what our dear ministers did.
How can one explain that the Lord loves you, and then just walk away? When you truly love, you show it, you will hug, kiss, pray, teach, show empathy. These are the most valuable people. You all are carrying out a very valuable ministry, and we are very grateful to you. Thank God for you!”
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