HOPE IS POWERFUL. CHANGE IS BEAUTIFUL.
The statistics are overwhelming, but there is hope! Hope in Jesus!
The following stories are just a few of the many lives that Change30
has made a tremendous impact on.
As a young boy, Denis grew up at home with his mother and father. His mother worked as a shop assistant, and his father was a factory worker who struggled with alcoholism. At the age of 9, Denis returned home from school one day & was greeted by a social worker who immediately packed up his belongings and brought him to a children's shelter. His parents had not received prior notice of this decision, nor was Denis permitted to see them before being taken away. He was scared, confused and all alone. He soon learned that his father was permanently deprived of his parental rights, and that his mother had temporarily lost her rights. It was at this point that Denis was moved from a temporary children's shelter to a Russian orphanage where he would spend the next 9 years of his life. Living in the orphanage was difficult for many reasons, but mostly Denis was troubled by what he had "done wrong" to deserve this.
Denis has since graduated from the orphanage and is attending high school. He has not yet received his apartment from the Russian government, therefore he has temporarily moved back in with his father. He & his dad are not close and have never discussed his life in the orphanage. Despite the circumstances, Denis says he is not angry and has forgiven his father.
Shortly after leaving the orphanage, Denis became involved with Change30. He volunteered for 2 years and is now a full-time staff member! Every week, he leads LifeSkills classes for male orphan graduates. He also visits the local orphanages and invests in the children by sharing his personal story and showing them that they are valued and loved. Denis’ life story is one of incredible transformation and promise, and he is spreading this hope to other orphan children and graduates who are walking in his footsteps.
At age 5, she lost her mother & was placed in a Russian orphanage. Growing up as an orphan, her life was full of struggle & her future was uncertain. But in her teen years, Vera connected with Change30 and her path changed course.
Vera says, “If there were no Change30, I would have wasted my time on the unimportant things in life. Instead, I feel safe and peaceful. I have met many good people who have helped me find my way in life & deal with the challenges I face.”
Vera has interned for Change30 & she now currently serves as a faithful volunteer where she is pouring into the lives of younger Russian orphans who are faced with many of the same challenges she has since overcome.
At the age of 5, Sasha and his older brother were removed from their home & taken to a Russian orphanage because their parents had lost their custodial rights. It wasn’t until 3 years later that Sasha’s parents came to visit him in the orphanage for the first time, and shortly thereafter the visits stopped all together. Sasha has not seen nor heard from his parents since he turned 10 years old. While growing up in the orphanage, Sasha was separated from his brother, transferred to a boarding school, and then again to another orphanage. At the age of 16 when Sasha “graduated” from the orphanage, he was scared & all alone. He had no family to support him, nowhere to live, and no employment.
It was at this critical point in Sasha’s young life that he became involved with Change30. Homeless & unemployed, Change30 was able to help Sasha find safe, temporary housing while simultaneously assisting him with securing a government-funded apartment. He began attending Change30’s “LifeSkills” classes in which he learned how to manage his finances, set goals & take care of his health.
Furthermore, Sasha is now employed with Change30 and he leads “LifeSkills” classes for male orphan graduates! This is love in action; bringing hope to the hopeless & strength to the weary. Sasha is choosing to make a difference.