When we first met Yulia, a young woman with disabilities, it was clear that she had been neglected. She was filthy. Both of her parents had recently died and her brothers did not care about her. She lived alone in her parent’s unfinished house without any modern conveniences. When her brother got divorced, he returned to the house. He abused alcohol and took Yulia’s money that was provided by the government. Yulia became dirty, smelly, hungry, and lonely. She did not have money for her medication either, and as I learned later, she could have fallen into a coma at any moment. Thankfully, one of our clients referred her to MTU, which is how we met.
We put her on our food program and we brought her into our Bible lessons and transition classes. With love and compassion, her teachers taught her to care for herself, bought her hygiene supplies, as well as clothes and footwear. After a while, she mastered simple hygiene principles and her life skills improved.
I decided to make friends with Yulia and invite her to church. We kept in touch, but the overnight camp really strengthened our friendship. At camp, I could witness her transformation every day. One day she asked me, “May I call you mama?” Tears streamed down my face. I hugged her, we cried, and prayed, and she happily said,” Now I have a family.” This is how Yulia became a part of my life.
I enjoyed leading Yulia to Christ, and I enjoyed taking care of her. I made sure she received her much needed in-patient treatment. The next thing was to fix her living conditions. She needed 24x7 care more than she knew, and the best way to help her was to place her in a boarding house. Thankfully, there was a good boarding house close to Zhitomir. Fearing hurt and abuse, she refused.
After a while, I received an emergency call from a doctor: Yulia had gone to the hospital in serious condition. Her blood sugar and blood pressure were excessively high. She might have fallen into a coma at any moment. This was the right time to offer her a new place to live.
I prayed and rushed to take her to a safe place, like any mom would do. Yulia finally made the transition into her new home last fall. Yulia now has a nice well-lit room with a comfortable bed, convenient bathroom, and 24-hour care. On Sundays, she comes to church, and we discuss her week and talk about life.
A Happy Ending and an Extra Mile
I thanked God for this challenging yet rewarding season of my life. I received a new daughter, Yulia learned to rely on Christ, and we found her a safe place to live. Little did I know what God had in store for us.
One day Yulia told me somebody had been courting her. She liked him because he also was an orphan. We learned about him, met him, and approved of him. My heart longed for her to have a real wedding that she would always remember. I thank God that the MTU team and their volunteers went the extra mile to make her wedding a reality. God provided everything: dress, shoes, hair stylist, and makeup – she looked like a princess. A designer decorated MTU’s playground, a professional photographer volunteered to take pictures of the young couple, and some of the team cooked a festive meal. When Yulia and her beloved came to the site – they were amazed. Tears of happiness streamed down Yulia’s eyes when she saw all the beauty of her celebration. Friends, distant relatives, and neighbors from the boarding house came to witness the wedding ceremony. Our pastor friend officiated the wedding. The music, greetings, fellowship, and everything testified to the love of God! I am thankful to God for allowing me to be a part of His care for the least of these. Thank you all who support MTU and allow miracles to happen.