An awesome transformation

The second phase of the Job Skills training in Ivanovo has begun. Victor N, a graduate from one of Ivanovo orphanages, leading a class in this picture makes me pause in admiration of an amazing change that took place in his heart since he participated in the Art Symposium, an OT program led last May by Penny S., a watercolor artist from Colorado.  Selected to participate in the Symposium due to his evident artistic talent, Viktor also brought with him skepticism and cynicism, and with his hurtful resistance drove our workshop leader to tears. In exchange he saw nothing but love, patience, acceptance and respect of his work. After a couple conversations and lots of prayers a miraculous change in attitude started to occur. By the end of the week Viktor made Penny cry again – this time with joy after most sincere and touching words of gratitude that he shared at the end of the workshops. During the last several months Viktor has been teaching himself English and volunteered assisting at a JA seminar for orphans led by OT a few months ago.  He has gained a new respect from the peers and the OT staff for his enthusiasm for the ministry and desire for self-improvement and was offered an internship at the Ivanovo Youth Center to assist with the Job Skills trainings.  I’m proud of Viktor whose example speaks again of an amazing difference that one can make reaching out to orphans around the world.