Success for single mom with “no circle, no yard”

The Ukrainian idiom “no circle, no yard” means “no house, no home.” You’ll see it below, and it represents so well the situation of many of our youth. Nadia Shanyuk was a social orphan with limited help from family, but a lot of determination. She sent us this unprompted testimony, titling it “Success Story.” Thanks for helping us walk alongside social orphans like Nadia! 

Edited for brevity and clarity.

Special testimony from Nadia Shanyuk

My story is not that I’ve reached some pinnacle. It’s that I found the strength to change my life.

Ten years ago I came to Zhytomyr and entered the university. I was not the best student. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, but I didn’t enter the fifth year (a requirement for that career path). I confused the day of the entrance exam. Yes, it happens…

Later I find out I’m pregnant. I was shocked. With my bilateral hip dislocation, knee osteoarthritis, and several other diagnoses, I heard repeatedly that I couldn’t get pregnant, and if I did, the chances of having a child were very small. “Either your health or your child,” said the doctor, “So go get an abortion at once. You don’t have a job, a family, a husband, and you’re even disabled – how will you give birth?”

I wasn’t yet a believer, but I promised myself and God that after my child’s birth I’d thank Him every day for the happiness of being a mother.

I won’t go into the details of the difficult pregnancy, but after hearing the words ‘healthy girl,’ everything that came before was forgotten.

A year passed. We lived with my aunt and uncle (I called them parents). A year later, I decided to enter a master’s program. We moved to Zhytomyr. Eva was one year old, and I didn’t work or have my own house. 

This was the pivotal moment. In Zhytomyr, Eva and I were admitted to the Shelter, run by Last Bell. At the Shelter, I learned about raising a child and about God. 

I found my church, I found support. I studied, and for Eva there were godparents, friends, and everyone to whom I could entrust my child.

I repented and accepted Jesus. Later I was baptized, and I was called to the Sunday School leaders’ team. Then Young Moms started in Zhytomyr, and I’m on the team. Even though I wrote all this, I don’t believe it! 

My success comes from my faith in God. Only with Him could I become a beautiful daughter, a caring mother, a volunteer, and a kindergarten teacher. And my success is my child, in whom I have invested all of myself for almost six years.

This story is about an orphan girl, a person with a disability, a single mother (though I don’t like these labels), who had, as they say, no circle and no yard, who was still able to raise a child, study, work, volunteer, and serve in church. I write not to put myself forward, but to say that nothing is impossible for God.

Nadia’s dream is to establish a center for children with special educational needs. She finished her testimony with Psalm 36:4: “Rejoice in the Lord, and He will fulfill the desires of your heart.”

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Last Bell Ministries

Loving and restoring orphanage graduates toward life and community.


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