Friday, July 06, 2007
Varya and Valya
Varya, Me and Valya
Three years ago we went to Ukraine. I met Varya and Valya there. They were the two girls I connected with the most.
When I first met Valya, I wrote her off. She looked hard to me. I didn't think she would want to be friends. But we connected. My most vivid memory of her took place on the second to last day of camp. The kids were going to do a skit for us and she was in it. As we were walking to where they were going to perform, she came running up to me - she wanted to make sure I was going to be there. I assured her I would. When we arrived, they were just getting started. I saw her right away - she was scanning the crowd looking for me. When she saw me, she gave me a big smile.
It was a small moment, but it had a big impact on me. I thought about this girl, growing up without parents. She had no one to advocate for her, to be there just for her. For a small moment, I was a parent to her. I was the one coming to watch her. I was there for her.
Valya's story has a sad ending so far. The last I heard she has become a prostitute. It is the fate of so many of the girls coming from the orphanages in Ukraine. I weep for her. If she had a parent who cared, her life could be so different. I pray for her that she can know her Daddy who cares and who will never let her down. Her Daddy who is ALWAYS there for her.
Varya's story is different. Soon after we left Ukraine, she decided to pursue a relationship with Christ. But, she has been struggling lately and I honestly don't know if she is continuing that pursuit.
I would like to ask for your prayers. Kory and I are going to Ukraine again this summer. We leave on July 17th. I am going for Varya. I don't want her story to be the same as Valya's. I am pretty sure I will see her and maybe God can use me.
I am also going for Valya. I still have hope for Valya, I know Christ can restore her life. I don't know if I will even see her. I don't know if she is still at the orphanage or if she has moved on. I write her, but I never hear anything back.
Please pray for these two girls. Pray that they could know the love of a Father who will never leave them or forsake them. Pray that God would place strong Christians in their lives to mentor them, to advocate for them, to pray for them, to be there for them.
This past year, Mya has performed in her first Sunday School programs. It always reminds me of Valya. When she gets up there she scans the crowd looking for me - she wants to make sure I am watching her. She knows I am there for her.
Heavenly Father, watch over Valya. Make yourself real to her. Pursue her. Show her your love. I pray that she would respond to your love and would allow you to redeem her life. Please watch over Varya as well. Protect her. Surround her with those who love you. Bless our time together this month and renew her desire to pursue You. Amen