Faith, Hope and Love
“We, young mothers with small children, are very grateful for this program. I love it when the program coordinator Irina faithfully comes to visit us at home. I enjoy learning more about life and children and I ask Irina a lot of questions. This program makes me feel loved, I know that my life matters, and this gives me the strength and desire to live better and not to think about the worst. Thank you for giving me Hope.” Olesya and her two children live in terrible conditions. Their house has only one room, with no heating system. Last month Olesya broke her leg and still had to face the challenge of taking care of herself and her kids. Olya’s daughter has physical challenges and as a single mother she’s struggling to provide her child with the necessary care. Tanya has had many troubles with relationships and is suffering from depression and despair. Katya and her baby live in a room with no water supply and no private kitchen or bath. She doesn’t have money to buy formula for her baby. Irina lives in an apartment with no basic amenities, has no job and has difficulty parenting two children. She feels lost and needs spiritual help. Nastya is an orphan, has a drinking problem and gave her baby away to an orphanage. These mothers may have different problems that they’re struggling with but one common thing: they’re alone and lost. They need our help and God’s Word. We have faith that we can share.
This is what they find in our Faith-Hope-Love Program. Despite the challenge that all these young mothers live far from each other, our counselor Irina finds ways to reach each of them every week and bring them all together once a month in Kostroma. She teaches them parenting and family skills, helps them with all their social needs (getting the authorities to bring running water to Katya’s room, collecting documents for child care or state support, etc) and encourages them in good moral values. One very important aspect of the program is a monthly meeting with the local priest, Fr. Nikolay who teaches them the Truth and leads them in a Godly life. There is great reason for hope.
We’ve been running this program for just over a year but already we’re observing great impact.
All these young women are keeping their children and doing their best to be good mothers. Nastya stopped drinking and took her baby home from the orphanage as soon as she started attending the sessions and discussions led by Irina and Fr. Nikolay. She is now taking good care of her daughter and recently baptized her. She goes to church regularly and brings her daughter with her. Katya expressed a desire to study the Bible together with her son. Another Katya found a job and was able to place her child in childcare. Another Nastya said that she wants to baptize her son and started to attend church. Love is healing the brokenness here.
“And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”
(1 Corinthians 13:13)
There are ten young mothers currently in this program and five more are waiting to join. We pray that more will find the love in their hearts to join us in bringing the blessings of Faith, Hope and Love to these young mothers, impacting their lives and the lives of their children for God’s Kingdom.
One of the program participants by her building
Fr. Nikolay playing with the kids