Four years ago,
Misha and Vika’s life changed forever. On a cold, rainy Sunday, Vika was walking down the road with her little girl when Lifesong teammates Alexander and Tatiana stopped to give her a lift on their way to church.
This simple act of kindness was a divine appointment that would change Vika’s entire family.
See how God used you to reach Misha and Vika and preserve their family—
Misha and Vika’s story
Ukraine currently runs one of the largest orphanage systems in the world with more than 100,000 children living in 663 orphanages. Misha and Vika grew up as two of these children in orphanages, having been removed from their homes because of alcoholism.
By the time our team met Vika on that rainy Sunday, Vika had developed tuberculosis and her husband Misha was addicted to alcohol. They were living in an abandoned, broken-down home that was unfit for young children.
They were repeating the choices they had watched their own families make, and they needed help.
Their story is far too common. Today, many children and families in Ukraine are at risk.
According to the World Health Organization, Ukraine currently falls in the highest category of “years of life lost” due to alcoholism. This widespread alcohol misuse has led to an increase in poverty and a breakdown of the family structure. Ukraine has been called the country that is drinking itself to death.
Bogdan Mazur, our Lifesong Ukraine team leader, explains—
Many kids stay in their broken homes with parents who are alcoholics, which is a big risk. Social services is trying to deal with these situations, but the number of families in need of help is growing rapidly. Today there are more than 100,000 social orphans—kids from families in crisis—in orphanages, baby homes, hospitals, and shelters.
But there is a solution. God cares deeply about these families and has created a way to reach and heal them with the life-saving, life-changing news of the Gospel.
Family preservation must become a church priority.
Will You Give Today and Preserve At-Risk Families?
A Divine Appointment
We know that behind every statistic is a person made in the image of God who needs to know God loves them and has a plan for their lives. We also believe God designed the Church to reach and help families in crisis.
Lifesong teammates Alexander and Tatiana—the ones who offered Vika and her daughter a ride on that rainy Sunday morning—love God and have a strong desire to serve Him by serving others. They especially have a heart for orphan graduates and families in need—families like Vika and Misha.
Alexander and Tatiana explain—
In the area where we live, we see a lot of kids from broken homes who are living on the streets and looking for food and clothes. Often, many of these kids end up in jail or become victims of organized crime. So, God put it in our hearts to go to social services and ask for the addresses of people who need help. Our goal serving with Lifesong is to reach many more families—like Misha and Vika’s family—for Christ.
Tatiana refers to the day she and her husband met Vika out walking as “a divine appointment.”
From that day on, Alexander and Tatiana extended love and friendship to Vika and her husband Misha, inviting them to church where they could develop deep friendships within the church family. Alexander and Tatiana also consistently shared the single greatest hope any of us has—the Gospel.
Giving families hope
We support family preservation.
Specifically, in partnership with people like you, we seek to reach and support vulnerable families in holistic ways whenever possible so as to keep them together.
Today, our team in Ukraine is mentoring 150 families, but that number continues to grow because of the current crisis, made even worse this year by the global pandemic.
We need help to advocate for more families in Ukraine.
How Misha and Vika Are Doing Today
A year and a half after attending church for the first time, Vika and Misha trusted Christ to save them. And they joyfully became church members. Today, Vika and Misha no longer battle alcoholism or tuberculosis.
God has granted them healing in so many ways.
Their church family helped them move into a better home that is safe to raise children.
Maybe most unexpectedly, after watching the change in Vika’s life, Vika’s mom trusted Christ to save her. An alcoholic for many years, today Vika’s mom is at a rehab center by her own will seeking treatment for alcoholism. Her plan is to be baptized next summer as she continues her walk with God.
And this week, by the grace of God, Vika gave birth to a healthy baby boy. It is our prayer that this little boy will grow up with his sisters to know the love and acceptance of a healthy, intact family.
Family preservation is important because it prevents orphans and helps save generations. Crisis easily becomes a vicious cycle that never ends. Only God can break this cycle of helplessness, but in His goodness, He can use people like you to do it.