Zhenya’s Story: A Journey from the Streets to a New Home, Part 1

Zhenya and his wife Ivanna and their children.

This is part one of the story about a young man named Zhenya. Next month we will share part two of his remarkable journey from the basements of Kyiv to God’s redeeming love.

Note from Jeff – Often times we share the love of God with the poor, with widows and orphans, yet we do not get to see the results. Sometimes we are simply planting seeds and this side of Heaven will never know the impact of obeying God’s word by helping the poor.

As I visited with Zhenya and his wife Ivanna, I asked his permission to publish his story. He was more than willing. Despite the pain he experienced as a child, he hopes others will be encouraged by what God has done in his life. We are so thankful for MP sponsors who make stories like this possible. Your financial support and your prayers make a difference; and next month, we will see how God redeems the pain of Zhenya’s life. Zhenya, a former street-kid from Kyiv, tells this story in his own words.

Zhenya’s Testimony

My father was a worker at Chernobyl. I was born in 1988, two years after the explosion. Our family was evacuated from Chernobyl. My parents were not registered as a married couple, which means they were not legally married. As a result, when they were relocated, they were not given an apartment together.

My parents were separated and my father was not interested in the family anymore. We didn’t see him anymore and my mother started drinking. She changed apartments so my father could not find us. She was afraid of him.

When she changed apartments my mother was tricked by a Gypsy family. She was an alcoholic and allowed different gypsy people to live in our small apartment. There were three of us boys and I was the youngest. We lived in a gypsy community and they would steal from us and beat us. They lived in one room of our two room apartment. We suffered a lot of physical abuse.

Zhenya sobs uncontrollably at the table while his wife Ivanna rubs his back. He tells the children to leave and go play. I offer to break it off but he insists on continuing. Somehow we all feel like it is a healing moment as he shares his pain. We cannot imagine the horror of his experience. He was seven years old when this started.

“This is why I went to the orphanage and then to the foster family. I don’t mind talking about it,” he says.

Read the full story at MercyProjects.org.

SOURCE: Mercy Projects