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The responsibility of being called 'Mama'

Do you ever think, ‘I've a lot on my plate'? Family, work, home, and church life all demanding of your time and energy? On top of all of the usual pressures, would you choose to actively be involved in other people’s life problems?

Yan and Nadya have two daughters and they are also leaders in their church. On top of normal life, they choose to ‘parent’ young adults who are still dealing with the knock-on effects of their orphaned childhoods and the damage this caused.

Although their young people are mostly in their early 20s, they have the mental development of youngsters in their mid-teens. Relatively speaking, their practical (or basic) needs are easily addressed. Through support from people like you, they can help their young people with a fridge or some furniture and teach them life-skills through group sessions and weekend camps which is so wonderful and very necessary.

Nadya gives so much love that most actually refer to her as ‘mama’. Though this is flattering and lovely, it comes with an awful lot of responsibility, especially when it comes to helping with emotional pain - issues that are not so easily addressed. As orphans, their problems are steeped in unresolved trauma.

Stepan is a young man who has been coming to the group for years. He seems shy and very young for his age. People have been using him for a long time by turning up at his bedsit to hang out and take their drugs.

Valeria’s mental health has suffered greatly as a result of her childhood. During the last year she stopped eating, most likely caused by depression that suppressed her appetite and she needed specialist psychiatric counselling. Nadya arranged it all and drove her to the appointments to make sure it happened as it should.

One of the more recent additions to the group is ‘L’. She is showing all the typical signs that there has been sexual trauma in her childhood and early teens. But, because of the coping mechanisms that allow people to process such awful trauma, it is so difficult for Nadya to ascertain the facts and how best she can help her. Please pray for ‘L’ and for the sensitivity needed in this situation.

In addition to all the hugs, listening, well-thought-out advice and guidance after conversations that leave them exhausted, there are all the practical needs to attend to as well. Yan helps make the places they live in bearable, plus they need to teach their young people how to shop, cook, clean and take care of themselves since orphanages neglect to teach these things.

This is challenging work for Yan and Nadya. But there are rewards in this…

During the last of Yan and Nadya’s weekend camps, after years of being on the edge, both Valeria and Stepan accepted God as their loving Father and chose to be baptised. Now, true healing can really begin for these two.

We're so grateful for people like Yan and Nadya who are willing to step out in faith by helping orphans trying to make sense of their pasts. Your donations mean they can spend time addressing practical needs as well as the longer process of helping their hearts heal.


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