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How God Works! Meet Illya

Heart for Orphans (H4O) ministers to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of teen orphans in Ukraine by providing a refuge and permanent hope in small, Christ-centered, family-style homes

Author: Heart for Orphans, heartfororphans.com Published: 2011-12-08 16-10-00 Viewed, times: 1937
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When Illya first came to Mels House it was to simply visit his brother, Kolya. After visiting, he was so intrigued with the change in his brother, and the love in the house, that he decided to stay for awhile. There was something different here. People treated each other with respect.

They lived like a family. There was peace here. Illya is a tall, good-looking boy with a sweet, gentle disposition. He is a natural leader in a quiet but commanding way. Coming from a family of 10 children, all with different fathers, Illya and his sibling were all separated and grew up in different orphanages. Illya was sent to a rough orphanage for troubled kids.

As he joined in the Bible studies and shared in family life at Mels House he began to ask questions. What is the purpose of life? Is there really a God? Does He really love me, an orphan? How can I trust Him when so many people in my life have let me down?

He eventually decided to trust and gave his heart to Christ. Life began to change. His natural leadership skills began to surface. He began to assume responsibilities and the boys at Mels House started to look up to him. Anya, his ex-girlfriend who also grew up in orphanages, came by to see him. She was surprised at how much he had changed. She asked to stay at adjacent Ruths House for awhile. Before long she too gave her heart to Christ and the hard edges began to soften. They both were baptized. They began to talk about a life together and they decided to get married.

On a beautiful Saturday in September, Illya and Anya were married in a simple but traditional Christian ceremony in Berdyansk. As is the custom, the pastor proclaimed, A new family is born, after the wedding vows. The entire family was there kids and house parents from our other homes; folks from both Agape (our partner ministry) and Heart for Orphans. There were tears of joy for the sweet couple, and excitement for the celebration of our first wedding! Everyone pitched in to cook, decorate, prepare, and even the bride and groom helped clean up afterwards!

Illya and Anya have a passion to help youth like themselvesorphans who feel lost, unloved, abandoned. They remember how lonely they felt and how God turned their sadness to joy. They want to share what they have learned about family. They want to become house parents in a home like the one that changed their lives. They are presently apprenticing at Davids House and training to one day become house parents of their own house. God is good!

Illya & Anya A new family is born!

Read more about "Heart for Orphans" here.

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