Elya was placed in a Russian
orphanage immediately after she was born. She lived in a number of
orphanages in the Perm Region of Russia until she was 14 years old.
The place she was living was the first orphanage John visited in
Russia. Living conditions were very poor at best for her and the
other children. Many only had rags on their feet for shoes. Their
clothes were dirty and they were only allowed a bath once a week. In
the winter times her orphanage had little heat and discipline in the
orphanages was very rigid.
She was burned as a child in one of the orphanages and has a very
severe scar on her neck. This caused her to be placed in an Internat
orphanage for "stupid" kids, not because of her intelligence, but
because of her scar. The mindset in many Russian orphanages is that
a child with a scar would not be considered for adoption by anyone.
She was given a very poor education in the orphanages. People in the
communities would laugh, curse, and even spit on the Internat kids.
We met Elya in 1994 when she was just 13
years old. God called us to adopt her from the Internat orphanage in Perm, Russia. When she came to the States at
age 14 she had at best a 2nd grade education.
Upon arriving in the US Elya
quickly learned English. She was taught in
Christian school and home schooled and she graduated from High
School with honors four years later. With much hard and diligent
work she has now graduated from
College with a Bachelors Degree in Theology. Her graduation was on June
24, 2006 from Covenant Bible Seminary in Lakewood, WA.
Many of you have prayed for Elya over the years and we thank you so much. She certainly has come a long
way. She knows she has been chosen by God to do a mighty work for Him and
our prayers are that she stays the course.
Please continue to pray for her, our family, our workers and NHOM.
We cannot do it without you. Your prayers and support are what keeps
us motivated to continue reaching thousands of children, just like
Elya, with the
Elya would be the first to tell you how grateful to God she is
for bringing missionaries to her orphanage so that she and her
friends could hear about Jesus. Tens of thousands of orphans and
widows have now had that opportunity thanks in part to you, your
prayers and your support. Is the work we do important? We truly
believe it is.