Illness kept them from camp, but God had a better plan!

Vyacheslav, coordinator of the Orphans Reborn team in Russia’s Khabarovsk Region

Vyacheslav and his family took in Anton (left) and Maxim (right) at the orphanage's request.
Vyacheslav and his family took in Anton (left) and Maxim (right) at the
orphanage’s request.

One summer day, we received a call from the administration of the orphanage where we conduct Bible classes. Their request was unusual. We were asked to take two boys—(Maxim and Anton) and Eva, a girl who was 13—for a month. Due to health issues, they could not be sent to the camp since it was far from civilization and it would take a long time for an ambulance to get there if one of them had a problem. My wife and I, after a half hour’s consideration, agreed to do it. We had about two weeks to get the house ready—food, beds, etc. But God had everything worked out. We found everything we needed and even more.

Anton, Maxim, and Eva with Vyacheslav's children.
Anton, Maxim, and Eva with Vyacheslav’s children.

The first week of us all living under one roof was like a honeymoon. We all read the Bible together in the evenings, and during the day my wife taught lessons with everyone participating. We went swimming and had other activities. But afterward, the boys’ behavior issues that we had been warned about surfaced. We were hoping that our clearly defined rules and a Christian atmosphere of love and encouragement would make an immediate difference, but it didn’t work out that way. The boys started to negatively influence our older adopted sons (Nikita and Seryozha, who became a part of our family in the spring). Together they broke many toys, a child’s bicycle, a scooter, the balcony door, and two chandeliers. Maxim and Anton started off every morning insulting each other. And both needed to be under constant supervision and direction in order to guide their future actions, even in little things. 

We wanted to give up, but we saw God working with the girl we had taken in. Eva enjoyed reading the Bible and Christians books, which she borrowed from our library herself. She told us a lot about herself, always turned to us for advice, and during her stay with us, she ended her relationship with her boyfriend. Eva told us that being in the orphanage, getting to know us, and the entire month were the answers to her prayers, including some prayers from her childhood. Eva asked in her prayers that God would show Himself to her, reveal Himself to her, teach her how to build a relationship with Him (she wanted so badly to believe that God exists, but she didn’t know how to believe). So, when she and her sister had been placed in an orphanage, she immediately got to know our church, about which she was very glad.

Anton and Maxim's behavior has improved after staying with Vyacheslav's family.
Anton and Maxim’s behavior has improved
after staying with Vyacheslav’s family.

After a while, we also learned to love Anton and Maxim more when we realized that God was also working in our hearts. We were able to model the Gospel to them even better, not only during our evening family times of worship, but also in our day-to-day affairs—when we disciplined and pardoned them, cared for them, and guided them. All three were with us in the camps we held at orphanages and the church—God helped them dive into the truth in His Word.

Now, every time we come to the orphanage, Maxim and Anton behave well just like all the other children. Unfortunately, Eva had to leave us for a while, exchanging letters with us on occasion. She misses us and wants to visit us – it is mutual, we are looking forward to seeing her. We would love to take her in if she wanted to come, but we might not be ready yet—we just recently had another son, whom we named Ilya. We now have five children with two adopted ones. Please pray for all the children, and especially for Eva.

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