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These are our stories

Our impact is much greater than fulfilling physical needs and providing emotional stability. We seek to do the Lord's work in caring for these children and providing for their caretakers. Jesus makes Himself known to these children.

Zina's Story

Real Stories about Real Children at Risk




Name of Child: Zina
Age of Child: 26
Country: Russia
Children’s Home: (Was) The Harbor

1. How long have you been a part of this child’s life?
7 years

2. What was this child’s life like before your ministry?
Zina’s mother abandoned her when she was around 5 years ago and she resided in the orphanage state system for over 10 years. Zina came to the Harbor as a fairly confident person. She was ambitious and knew what she wanted in life. However, there were some things that she needed help with. There were wounds from being abandoned and some lack of social and life skills. She desired to be adopted after she knew that her mother was not going to take her back. There was no interest toward God because she was quite self-confident. She has a grandmother, but was somewhat distant because she did not live in the same city and as an orphan there was more self-interest rather than interest in someone else. She lacked self-motivation and perseverance as a result struggled to complete high school and then quit her university degree pursuing history major.

3. How has your ministry invested in them?
Zina at first was hesitant to be at the Harbor because she was afraid that there would be no freedom and why would she need someone’s help. Yet after visiting and being at the Harbor she became close with one of our staffs. She also built close relationship with some of the girls who resided in the same apartment. She was with us for 1.5 years long. Step by step we were able to encourage and support her. We helped her to understand who she is and how God has created her. We taught her various life and social skills. We helped her to get into one of the prestige universities to pursue logistics degree. During five years she was tempted to give up many times, but she would constantly call or write me (Alex) asking to pray for and with her for each exam and for perseverance so that she would not give up. Moreover, in 2010 she went to a church for the first time in her life. It was on the Women’s Day in Russia. I (Alex) bought some flowers and presented to her and other ladies of the Harbor who attended this church. Zina was moved to tears by the message that was preached and she gave her life to the Lord on March 8, 2010. It was a joy and she has been walking with the Lord ever since. There was a time when she took a pause from going to church, but now she is back and is on fire for Jesus. We (The Harbor) helped her with the housing situation to make sure that by the time she would graduate from the Harbor she would have a good place to live.

4. What is their life like now?
After long and challenging five years of university she has received logistics degree and is looking for a job in this field. She lives in a communal apartment where there are three rooms. One room belongs to Zina, the other belongs to her brother Peter and another is to her neighbors. Peter has returned from the military service and is finishing culinary degree. Recently Zina and Peter moved their grandma from the city where she lived to St. Petersburg. Peter sacrificed his room for grandma and he shares a room with his sister. It is a true joy to see how the hearts have been changed from inside out. I have become like an older brother to Zina and we get together time to time where I am able to disciple her. Zina attends her church and helps around. She has lots of good Christian friends. She gained a tremendous understanding of what true friendship is all about. She has a boyfriend and maybe would like to get married in the future and start her own family.

5. What does their future hold?
It is a difficult question to answer because only God knows this. If she stays on target then she will have a good job working in the area of logistics. She will marry her boyfriend more likely and they will start a family. She will love, cherish and adore her children in a way she was not by her mother. A cycle of the orphan spirit has been broken. She would like to travel around the world. She would love to open a business.

6. What good quote can you say about this child?
Since friendship and God is one of the biggest things that Zina has learned while at the Harbor I would like to say these quotes:

“Friendship means understanding, not agreement. It means forgiveness, not forgetting. It means the memories last, even if contact is lost.”

“Faith is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing who holds the future.”

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