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For these newly-weds this time will be shrouded in struggle...

Sima & Masha are newly-weds with a new baby; such an exciting time of their lives!

In reality, this time will be shrouded in struggle. Both are orphans and haven't seen what parenting looks like. They live in poverty, rely on food hand-outs and their home is a single room. We're often asked...'Why, after such a negative experiences do orphans still desire marriage and children, even when they can't support themselves?' As a Christian I find part of the answer here in Ephesians 4: 16… From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. We are made for connection and for family. We are designed, physically and psychologically, to thrive in safe and loving relationships. Even for those who don’t believe in God, most would say the most meaningful part of life is to love and be loved; and the most traumatic childhoods don’t seem to quash that. Sometimes, it is easy to despair at the number of orphanage leavers becoming pregnant at a young age; well before we'd consider them stable enough. While it's important for our mentors to teach about contraception and the life-altering consequences of starting a family, it's equally important to empower those who've gone ahead despite their unstable lives... we mustn't forget that for them this seems like an opportunity to create the 'forever' relationships they’ve never had and fulfil that natural God-given desire for family.

Mentors Yan and Nadya have overcome this challenge many times. When Sima, who has learning difficulties, announced that his girlfriend was expecting a baby, they counselled the couple. Finding that they genuinely cared for each other, they encouraged them to make a commitment; to each other and their unborn baby. Yan, Nadya and their church gave them a special wedding day. Masha, who was very suspicious of church, found her opinion transformed and told them,"You have made my dream come true.”

Yan and Nadya are doing all they can to get this couple off to a good start. However, there is no doubt, life will still be hard for them. Sima is willing, but due to COVID19 he has been unable to find work of any kind. Yan and Nadya are helping the pair with practical things like groceries. As orphans, Sima and Masha have no personal experience of family so rely on Yan and Nadya as their role models.

Nadya said, "Sima is really learning how to be a caring, attentive husband, we are so proud of him and he is even learning to cook!"

We know all too well that without mentors like Yan and Nadya willing to help vulnerable orphans navigate their way through marriage and parenting, the chances of babies ending up in orphanages are very high so please pray for this brand new family.

You can support the work that Yan and Nadya do with orphanage leavers and contribute towards the cost of food parcels and baby equipment that help young people like Sima and Masha.

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