Young Man with Down Syndrome Freed from 5 Years of Slavery

We want to share a story with you about our friend, Sveta, and a young man named Edik. A few days ago Sveta was shopping and noticed a young man with Down Syndrome begging for money.  He was sitting outside in 14 degree weather with only light clothing on. He looked like he was in pretty bad shape so she decided to go talk to him and give him something to eat. Sveta found out that he’d been working as a slave for the gypsy people - and making a lot of money for them, obviously playing on the fact that he has Down syndrome. She knew she couldn’t leave him there yet didn’t want to call the police, fearing they would have just returned him to the gypsies.

So what did Sveta do?  She called a taxi and “stole” him. She brought him home to bathe and warm him. When she took off his clothes, she saw that his hands and feet had severe frostbite. She took him to the hospital where the doctors said if he had been out there a little longer, they would have had to amputate several of his fingers and toes.

The gypsies found out where he was and started calling and visiting the hospital, trying to get him back. Edik called Sveta crying and was begging her not to let them take him. He told us they beat him and didn’t feed him enough.

After Edik’s parents died several years ago, he lived with his older brother. When 5 years ago Edik got sick, his brother put him in hospital. Edik didn’t like that one bit, so he snuck out of the hospital in search for his brother. On his way home, the gypsies saw him and abducted him. For 5 years, he had been a missing person. The police told us that they called Edik’s brother and that he wanted nothing to do with Edik. We found out later that the police were lying and they never called in the first place! As soon as Edik’s brother got word, he drove through the night 9 hours to come and pick him up.

Sveta has been in contact with Edik, his brother, and sister in law. They are all so happy to be back together again and his brother and sister-in-law said they both instantly fell in love with him all over again.

The day when Edik went home to live with his brother, the gypsies showed up at Sveta’s house.  They had obviously followed her home from the hospital. Less than an hour later, Sveta called us saying that a whole group of gypsies were knocking at her door saying they want to “talk”.

She saw two different cars loaded with gypsies that were sitting outside of her house. We don’t know if they're just trying to scare her or they really wanted to do something bad. Everyone in Ukraine is scared of gypsies and it is even hard to get the police to help.  Pray for Sveta and her family! Her mom is so scared after this event and is thinking about moving to a nearby village with her son who also has Down Syndrome. They are scared the gypsies will steal him if they get the chance. It has been a crazy and scary situation, yet through it all we remember that God was and is our only hope!

Please pray for Edik as he is adjusting back to life with his brother. Pray that they would truly love and take care of him the way they should!