A wartime love story
Tolik grew up in an orphanage. When we met, his wife had just divorced him and taken their baby. He needed hope.
Olya’s mother abandoned her. When she became pregnant, her housing options all collapsed. Her abusive boyfriend kicked her out in the cold. When we met, social services was ready to send her baby to the orphanage.
At that critical moment, our staff intervened.
Tolik joined the Restoration Project crew, renovating orphans’ homes—including his own! Around the same time, Olya moved into Shelter Crisis Housing, a safe place to be a good mother.
Olya and Tolik both decided to follow Jesus. Soon after that, we found out they were dating.
At first, their relationship lacked maturity. But our staff began teaching them about their new faith and about healthy relationships. They were baptized on the same day.
Just as Tolik was planning to propose, Russia invaded. In February, we helped Olya and her daughter Sasha evacuate. Tolik worked on humanitarian aid with the RP crew.
Finally, in September, Olya felt safe to return. In October they were married! Now Tolik shares his renovated home with his wife and daughter.
Over the wedding weekend, two staff members were grieving their best friends’ son, who died on the front lines. Because of the war, most weddings are low-key right now. But it was still a deeply joyful occasion for our community, which loves Tolik and Olya.
This is a sweet romance, but it’s also a story about God’s love for those the world abandoned. It’s about God’s Kingdom expressed in the actions of His people—your gifts, and our staff’s care.
Friends, would you consider making a year-end gift to help orphaned youth like Tolik and Olya?
God sends the right people at the right time to “set the lonely in families.” We’re so thankful for your generosity!