The Powerful Reason Vlad Wants to Forgive

Vlad grew up in an orphanage from birth to eleventh grade.

He believed he had no one to protect him and no one to believe in him, which is hard to understand or forgive. He explains—

“One day, we were all gathered into a classroom where we were studying, and a psychologist told us that we would be alcoholics, drug addicts, someone would go to prison, and someone would be killed. What she said changed my life.”

Thankfully, God was writing a different story with Vlad’s life. Watch his powerful story—

“When the psychologist said we would be nobody and nothing, I resented it.”

Vlad was a teenager when the psychologist pronounced that heavy verdict on the students’ futures.

But God was already working. Vlad shares—

“During the summers, there was a Lifesong team that came and ran camps for people like me. I liked the fact that they organized these camps not to get some money or something else, but to get the children interested and tell them about God. They told me about God.

Vlad, far right, with friends at camp. Their shirts say, “Construction 2018.”

For years, our team in Ukraine has hosted multiple summer camp programs for students like Vlad. The goal: to help students learn about God and grow in their walk with Him. Through fun, age-appropriate activities, the kids build connections with each other and with their teachers, mentors, and Lifesong staff.

Year after year, and summer after summer, our teammates in Ukraine continue to create camp weeks where students like Vlad can learn about the profound love of God in tangible ways.

Here, the students are seen, known, and loved.

Vlad enjoys a group activity at a Lifesong camp

“One summer, on the last day of camp, the leader of the Lifesong team gathered us to talk.”

But instead of telling the students they had no future, the camp leader explained that Jesus loved them and came into the world to suffer and die for them so that God could forgive them and make them His children.

And something incredible happened. Vlad shares—

“It really affected me. I repented, trusted Christ, and my life changed after that. I started praying, reading the Bible, and learning more about God.”

“When I graduated, I was afraid.”

Like many students who grow up in an orphanage, Vlad hadn’t learned how to do basic things like saving money, paying bills, using credit cards.

In his words, “I was afraid to leave because I didn’t know how to live my life.”

Max, Vlad’s mentor from Lifesong summer camp, continued helping him. Vlad was also invited to live in a Lifesong transition home for graduates.

Because young adults often age out of the orphanage with little to no idea what they’ll do next, our transition homes are a safe place for graduates to grow in their independence and, more importantly, their faith. The family setting is filled with group and personal discipleship, so they can build firm relationships with God and other believers.

Today, Vlad is thriving.

“I can’t imagine life without these people.”

Vlad is studying technology and loves to bake. He enjoys making bread for people and meeting needs within his church family and local community. When the war began in Ukraine, he immediately looked for ways he could help his Church.

“If it wasn’t for God and for the Lifesong team, I could have ended up either in prison or as an alcoholic or drug addict.”

On hard days, he reminds himself—

“Jesus lived a hard life on this earth, and He forgave. I want to forgive because I have a future in Jesus Christ.”

Vlad does have a future—not defined by the words spoken over him by the psychologist, but by the God of the universe Who loved him before the foundation of the world.

Your Place in This Story

While our team in Ukraine does the faithful work of meeting the daily needs of orphans and vulnerable children, you are an important part of this story, too.

Your prayer and support create the opportunities—like year-round camps, after-school classes, mentorship, and group discipleship—for students like Vlad to experience hope and a sense of belonging.

Together, we can continue to bring light into the darkest places in the world so children can be taught that there is hope for their story, too.

Give to help orphaned and vulnerable children know they are seen, known, and loved.

100% of your gift to Lifesong directly helps children in need. TMG Foundation and key partners cover our fundraising and administrative costs, so your entire gift goes where you want it to go.