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“For ten lonely years, I lived in an orphanage. My name is Andrey and I am 20. When I was three years old, my parents divorced. Papa left with my sister and a few years later, Mama was institutionalized with schizophrenia. My younger brother and I were separated and placed in orphanages.”
Navigating through life isn’t always easy, it is full of trials and tribulations, but having to navigate it without a family to love you and to teach you right from wrong is unimaginable. Read below to learn how Andrey found what he was searching for at Elisha’s House, one of Heart for Orphans’ transition homes.
My name is Andrey and I am 20. When I was three years old, my parents divorced. Papa left with my sister and a few years later, Mama was institutionalized with schizophrenia. My younger brother and I were separated and placed in orphanages.
For ten lonely years, I lived in an orphanage. Although the teachers, staff and other children were kind to me, I felt empty, lost, and a sense of despair. In the orphanage, there are many people around you but nobody cares or shares your pain or joy. Everyone has his own worries and problems. My only joy came when my mother visited. I would count the hours until she arrived!
The rest of my family was a mystery. So when I graduated from the orphanage at 15, I decided to look for them. I wanted to understand my childhood. When I found my father, grandmother and sister, they were very cold. They knew I lived in the orphanage, but they chose not to visit me. They preferred to think I didn’t exist! I was devastated! I felt like a man who was hanging off a cliff without any support. Only God’s love helped me through this pain with dignity.
A Christian friend invited me to a home where people like me lived. The most incredible revelation was these people loved each other, and they respected and supported one another. They were not relatives, just people off the street, who lived like a family, and loved God and each other. They were the family I never had! Later, I found out these homes were started by Heart for Orphans and Agape in order to help teens find God, guide them in this difficult life, and show them they are not alone anymore. I currently live in one of these homes (Elisha’s House), and I am very grateful to Heart for Orphans for creating homes for hopeless and homeless youth. It was in this home I met Christ. It was here I learned to forgive my family. Now I pray for my family to turn to God.
Today, I belong to a local church, I sing in the choir and take part in evangelization. I have a job as a mechanic, and hope to enter technical college this year. I pray God will help me in this pursuit. I would also like to become a missionary. I know my life is not a mistake! It is a life full of happiness and love. Thank you God, my brothers and sisters, and the people of Heart for Orphans for all I have now!