The world, the family, and the mother did not welcome Nastya’s birth. She was not welcomed into life with the smile or a mother’s love. Even as she grew, she would not know what it would feel like to be cuddled, hugged or comforted.
She was not just a second-class family member. She was despised. She simply was not there to exist from the very beginning. Her early years were spent, desolate and forsaken. She would eat when she could find food. The streets, back yards and caves were her turf. She felt more secure being outside the house in her hiding places than she did at home. Each night she would crawl into the house hoping to stay unnoticed by yet another strange “visitor” – men that came to be “entertained” by her mother.
She learned to be a “ghost” child. She would sneak out of the house before sunrise and come as late as possible. She became a pro in staying unnoticed. To her that was her world, and life at its best. She knew nothing else.
Pastor Vitaly was driving from Kiev with his wife Nadezhda, when he got a phone call from one of the pastors. “There is this girl, Nastya – her mother wants to get rid of her. Maybe you can take her.” The words just hung in the air and penetrated the very core of Vitaly’s soul. “How can we not take an unwanted child?”. There were no further questions.
Vitaly quickly dialed the number, “This is Vitaly. We would like to help you with your child.” As he was trying to find the right words, the answer struck quick and unexpected, “Sure, come and fetch her, if you need her!”. A thousand and one questions rushed through Vitaly’s and Nadezhda’s minds, and each started saying “How could a mother …?”
Turning around and making hundreds of kilometers return journey was not even an issue. The life and soul of this little girl were at stake. When the GPS brought them to the address given, Nastya and her mother stood with her passport ready. She did not have anything to take with her.
Vitaly and Nadezhda knew they’d have much to learn about the life of the little girl, but that was all for later. In due time. For now, they wanted to show Nastya love – that was a foreign language to this forsaken child.
A few months passed, and just like a little flower, placed in the environment of love, Nastya bloomed with happiness and laughter. She is now a happy little girl, living in the House of Hope. She is catching up with her schooling and improving in health. Above all she has embraced the love of Jesus that brought her to this place of security, where she has dreams of a good future.
Nastya has her life ahead of her. Many challenges and obstacles are still being overcome, but one thing is certain, she was introduced to a world of love and she quickly learned to respond to it. Just like many others in the House of Hope family she justifies its name – The House of Hope!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29 11
Thank you for making HOPE arise for these precious children.
On our recent visit to Odessa in April we visited and ministered to the youngsters in the House of Hope. They had gone through a horrendously cold winter but were in good health in spite of that.
It. was delightful ministering to these precious, once homeless young people. They were so hungry for God’s word and embraced the teaching very eagerly. They were craving to have their own Bibles, so we were able to provide many Bibles for the adults, teenagers and children. They expressed their gratitude very vocally and held on to their Bibles like wonderful treasures.