“In love He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” – Ephesians 1:5
In Russia, there is a severe orphan crisis. Thousands of children are either abandoned or taken away from their parents because of neglect, abuse, or other problems stemming from alcoholism and drug abuse. One of those abandoned children was Masha.
In 1990 when Masha was 2-years-old, her mother gave birth to Masha’s sister. Shortly after this, her father left the family to find a better paying job in another city in Russia. He never returned.
Masha’s mother fell into a deep depression and began to drink heavily, neglecting the children. The family never had enough to eat and soon custody of the children was revoked; Masha and her sister were placed in an orphanage.
“I was in the third grade when I got to the orphanage but we didn’t know anything,” Masha says. “No multiplication tables, nothing. We were extremely uneducated. It was a very difficult time for us.”
In 2000, Masha and her sister were transferred to a new orphanage, where there was a man who visited often. His name was Vladimir, but everyone called him “Uncle Vladimir.”
“Everyone knew who he was and we all loved him. Whenever we heard his car driving up, all the kids would run out to him, yelling, “Uncle Vladimir is here!”
Uncle Vladimir came regularly, speaking to the children about Jesus Christ. He taught them about the meaning of repentance, and told them there is a God who loves them.
“He will always love you, He will always care for you, that’s what Vladimir would always say to us kids.”
One day, Uncle Vladimir brought Masha and her sister to his home where they met his wife and several children who’d been adopted by their family. Shortly after, Uncle Vladimir became “Papa Vladimir”, as Masha and her sister were adopted into his family.
“Mama Lena was very good to us…we never experienced this kind of love from our biological mother, although we loved her. I can never remember her hugging or playing with us and now we were being kissed and hugged by our new family. It was incredible.”
In 2006 when Masha was 18 years old, she accepted Jesus into her heart. Today, Masha is married with 3 children.
Masha grew up without a loving mother or father, but found her adopted spiritual family because of Uncle Vladimir. So many children in the United States are without a home and without a loving family. Ask the Lord if He’s calling you to be a light to children who’ve been neglected and forgotten. Consider how your home and your family can be of comfort—how you can show the love of Christ to a child who has never known what it feels like to be hugged.
God, thank You for bringing Masha home, not just to a loving family here on earth, but into your heavenly family. Thank You for welcoming us into your family. We pray for the orphan crisis in Russia, in the United States, and around the world, that You’d move in the hearts of loving Christian families to adopt these children. May Your love be demonstrated to them, Amen.