“Thank you for letting me live here.”
Shared by Yulia Los
Snizhana G. and Katya D., young women who previously lived at the Shelter, have been renting an apartment together since February. Before they left, during a bedtime Shelter meeting, we’d been talking about life, the future, and the Shelter.
Sometimes we have to talk about difficult topics, and that was a difficult night. Our young people didn’t respond well and were getting angry and worked up, screaming and saying negative things. We were trying to calm everyone down.
[Editor’s note: transitions can be very difficult for orphans, and they often find it easier to invent a problem than to acknowledge how hard it is when things change.]
Suddenly Snizhana started to talk about herself, and tell her story—very private things she’d never told us before. Here’s part of what she said:
“I’m really thankful to the Shelter and to every one of you, the leaders. This has been a very good time for me. Thank you for letting me live here.
“When I graduated from Berdichiv orphanage and entered Trade School #15, I had a lot of fears because of the atmosphere there. I saw a lot of girls who were pregnant at an early age. They didn’t have husbands or guys who would take responsibility for them and their babies.
“And I was afraid this would happen to me also someday—I’d be pregnant and remain without help. I often had nightmares about this.
“When I was at Berdichev, I went to church sometimes; and I really wanted to go to church in Zhytomyr as well. One girl promised to give me an address for a Christian church, but she didn’t. I prayed that God would help me find a church and Christians.
“One day leaders from the Shelter came up to me and offered for me to move from the dormitory to the Shelter. Then I started to go to church.
“I’m so glad I had the opportunity to live here. Thank you for everything!”
This story, we believe, touched every heart in the Shelter. The atmosphere changed immediately. Sometimes we don’t see changes in our young people, but when we hear such stories, hope starts to rise!