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A Family Reborn

The following is a recent letter from the Pastor of one of our National Church partners in Rivne, Ukraine.

HART Ministry, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a wideranging influence you have on our lives and ministry.

I want to give special thanks for your Child Sponsor Project. I have to share the story of one family. The life of this family wasn’t just changed. It was born again and renewed.

Our church’s Child Sponsor caseworker heard about a 5 year old girl (Anastasia) who needed help  because she was living in horrible conditions. Her father (Sasha) was a bad alcoholic. Her mother (also an alcoholic) had deserted them years before and was living on the streets.

When we checked out Anastasia’s home we saw inhuman circumstances (filth, horrible smell, lice, hunger). We decided we had to help, so we got her into HART’s Child Sponsor program. Women from our church would regularly visit them and helped Sasha with Anastasia.

We started to pray for him at every prayer meeting, and  we brought Anastasia to Sunday School. The regular food hampers were usually distributed after the Sunday service, so Sasha began coming to church and listening carefully. After the service he would collect the food hamper and go home.

However, during one Sunday service the Holy Spirit touched Sasha’s heart. He came to the front and repented in tears.

God changed him completely! He gave up drinking, started learning how to live a new life. He was taking good care of Anastasia by himself now. She started school. Sasha got baptized.

He came to me several times to ask what to do about his wife who was living on the streets. He mentioned divorce several times but we always talked him out of it and encouraged him to pray for her. It often seemed impossible for him because he rarely knew where she was or if she  was even alive.

Then last year Sasha’s wife Nadia miraculously found her way to a rehab center run by another church in our city. Nadia was terribly sick, final stage of liver cirrhosis, she was having epileptic strokes. She had lice. She was all swollen and looked like she was 60 even though she was only 29.

Nadia went through treatment, and eventually became a Christian. God even healed her liver.

Nadia and Sasha started seeing each other regularly and Anastasia finally was happy to get to know her mother, whom she had heard about, but never seen.

Tomorrow we are going to have a wedding ceremony for this couple. They had been separated for eight years! Anastasia is 10 years old now, and so happy to finally have a family. They are all happy. A new family is born.

Thank you for the Child Sponsor Project. There are many stories about changed destinies through your program.

By Pastor Andriy Kornichuk
Senior Pastor, Grace Church, Rivne, Ukraine