IN THEIR OWN WORDS
At a regular meet up with orphanage graduates in the new transition home in St Petersburg, we chatted with orphans about their lives and the support they receive from their mentors. It felt like a family get-together; relaxed and open with hugs displaying the mutual affection between the young people and their mentors. It was heart-warming to see. Read what they had to say below.....
(*Names have been changed for privacy and protection)
STAS, one of the older orphanage leavers couldn't wait to share the love he has for Yan & Nadya who have been there for him for several years. Stas: "They've helped me a lot, with my flat, with furniture, with my relationships. In the orphanage, although the helpers raised me for 11 years, I didn’t have any feelings for them. I didn’t want to share anything with them. But I'm close to my mentors."
Me: "So do you think they care for you?” Stas: "Yes. We feel it! We’re thankful because they keep us on a clean path when we could have been alcoholics or drug addicts… now we go to church!"
NASTYA told us; "They really want to know me…they care about me.” and about Nadya she said, “She's like my mum!" After we'd chatted, Nastya stood and hugged her. Nastya grew up in an orphanage for disabled young people after a doctor diagnosed her to be 'simple-minded' and 'unteachable'. There is nothing wrong with Nastya and now she is catching up on all the education she was once denied but needs to find work.
Because of a relationship with Yan & Nadya, abandoned & vulnerable young people now experience security.... They are learning they are loved by them AND their heavenly Father! It's clear that Yan & Nadya go to great lengths to instil in their young people that they are valued and worthy of their time, energy and effort. Knowing these things will create strong, resilient young people ready to face whatever life throws at them next. It was a real privilege to be in this room, hearing first-hand how Yan & Nadya's commitment and Love Russia's support for them is healing orphanage leavers from broken pasts.
You can be a part of serving orphans through our Guardians & Angels Campaign and supporting people like Yan & Nadya!