Sasha, the Administrative Assistant and Web Designer for Ting Ministries, speaks about a Biblical adoption story we may tend to miss, and her own journey to finding her birth mom.
My Story: Russia & Redemption
Thank you for your encouragement, support, and prayers for Ting Ministries. In this month’s update, I’d like to share a few words the Lord has laid on my heart. Some of you may know that this coming fall, I will be a senior at Bucknell University. Next fall, I plan to pursue a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies track) at Evangelical Seminary. This spring, i am blessed to share about the open door the Lord has placed in my life. At the end of April, my Russian TA helped me find my birth mother, younger half-sister, and relatives in Russia! After I did an interview in Russian with my friend Maria, she helped me look through my adoption documents. After less than an hour of searching, she found my mom on Russian social media. Since then, it has been an incredible privilege to video call my mom, tell her I forgive her and that Jesus loves her, and learn more about the previously unknown circumstances surrounding my adoption. Just a small excerpt from my story follows and you can read more and watch the interview on my blog here.
My mother was very young when she was pregnant with me and when her dad (my biological grandfather, after whom I am named) took her to get a very late-term abortion. The force of the procedure is what caused my very mild Cerebral Palsy. When I was removed from the womb, doctors thought I’d be dead – but the Lord preserved my life! My mom stayed with me in the hospital until one day, when she came to visit me, I was gone. They had moved me to an orphanage, but didn’t tell my mom what had happened. For 21 years, she thought I was dead. On his deathbed, several years after my birth, my grandfather asked for my mom’s forgiveness for making her give me up. What a beautiful story of redemption the Lord has been writing and is continuing to write, for everyone involved…
Let’s Talk About Moses: What We Miss about this Biblical Adoption
As this new chapter in my life is unfolding, I find myself turning to the story of Moses. One thing I realized we don’t talk about when we talk about Moses is that…Moses was adopted. The Lord chose him to be saved from the life of a slave and to be given a life of privilege, so that one day, he would return to his people, his family, and lead them out of bondage (Exodus 4:18). We know that the Passover in Exodus foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice through Christ’s death on the cross. This new realization of adoption in Moses’ story only serves to add more assurance that adoption is at the center of God’s heart. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5). I’d love to share more about my story and God’s Word with anyone individually, or at Bible studies, prayer meetings, a Sunday service, or other venues! Please don’t hesitate to contact me and Ting Ministries.
The Story Continues: Return 2 China
Not only does my family celebrate my adoption story the Lord is continuing to write and pray for my relatives, that they may come to know Jesus. We are also soon bringing home my two sisters Hope and Brittan! We plan to travel at the end of June and are only $3,000 dollars away from completing the adoption. If you feel led to help us in the final weeks of Hope and Britt’s adoption, you may give online at: www.paypal.me/Tingministries or send a check to our mailing address at the top of this letter. Thank you, dear friends, for your continuing encouragement and support.
Dear friends, thank you to all who helped Artem and Yana move closer to our friends from BOM. Once struggling to live on their own, now Artem and Yana are enjoying their new life with our BOM family.
Praise the Lord for the work he is doing in these young souls! They are finding a new sense of purpose as they travel with BOM to visit and help at orphanages. Just recently, they went with our partners to deliver items to orphan graduates. They also went out for some fellowship and fun. You can see the happiness and belonging on their faces. Please pray that the Lord would continue to work in their hearts, that they would come to know Jesus through the love of BOM, Ting Ministries, and our faithful supporters.
After the Interview: I Found My Birth Mom – and Extended Family!
Yes, dear friends, it is true! Only a few hours after I did the interview with Maria on Saturday, she was able to find my birth mom by searching social media. I only found out the news on Sunday afternoon, when Maria told me she had some “updates” and wanted to share them with me. Little did I know, she had been talking to my mom, learning the story of my adoption from the side of my biological family! I was shocked, but it was soon apparent, it was true!
My adoptive parents and I were all so happy to hear this amazing news! My parents, Brian and Stephanie, have always been very open about my adoption. To be able to talk to my birth mom and tell her we have prayed for her all these years: “I love you, I have a good life. Thank you for giving me life. I don’t have questions I need answered. I don’t blame you – I don’t even see anything to forgive,” is an opportunity no words describe. Getting to video call her, and meet my mom, her husband (Papa) and my sister was such a beautiful experience.
Not only have I met my mom and her family, I am meeting aunts, cousins, grandparents, uncles and more! It is an incredible blessing to see and now be a part of such a strong, welcoming family unit. Not every adoption story ends this way and I am overwhelmed with gratefulness, that the Lord has written my story this way. In sharing this news, I know so many friends and families will be excited. I pray this story is also an encouragement to other adoptive families and children. I hope you will join me in giving the glory to God – “Let them know that it is Your hand— that You, Adonai, have done it.” (Psalm 109: 27). That: “A father of orphans, defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God settles the lonely in a home” (Psalm 68:6-7).
And if you are wondering, yes, I will be visiting Russia in the near future to meet the other half of my family
(Interview with Maria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iTnkbegwGM)
Pictured: My mom and dad, my sister, a cousin, an aunt, and my grandparents in Russia
Update: April 15, 2018
Thank you for those who responded to the need for Artem and Yana! Immediately after we sent out the newsletter, we received well over our goal! Thank you for helping Ting Ministries and Bible Orphan Ministry reach these young lives. We are so blessed at the response and praise God that we will be able to help them get a new start surrounded by mentors. Please pray that Artem and Yana would feel the love of Jesus overwhelmingly through our team and supporters and that they would come to know Jesus. Please pray also for their protection and that Jesus would give them peace instead of any fear or doubt they may feel as we soon begin this transition . James 1:27 and 2 Corinthians 5:17
Question: What happens to host children who are never adopted? This is a common question in the adoption community and one with real implications for children.
|Where Artem and Yana are currently living. BOM told us they get water from a basin in the sink and take outdoor showers in the summer.|
Today, Ting Ministries is working to aid two former host children through the help of our in-country partners, Bible Orphan Ministry. Brother and sister, Artem and Yana (names changed for privacy) were hosted several times, sadly aging out before they were adopted. We at Ting Ministries knew these children and were able to stay in touch with them.
|Yana and Artem with our BOM partners.|
Our BOM partners were able to spend a day with them and saw first-hand their terrible living conditions – no firewood for the winter, little available water, no money for food. Unfortunately, for orphans who “age out,” this is the norm. Not an exception.
|The living conditions inside.|
Our friends from BOM spent the day with them supplying practical needs, loving them and sharing the Gospel, demonstrating the love of Jesus in a very real way. Ting Ministries and BOM were heartbroken to hear that Artem and Yana begged to go with our partners, asking: “Can you take us with you now?”
|BOM took Yana and Artem for a meal together.
Artem and Yana told us: “We are so thankful to you all and miss you terribly! May God protect your paths. Thank you!”
|BOM helped Artem and Yana go shopping. They never learned how to cook. Artem didn’t know how to shave using shaving cream, as it was always too expensive. We are so grateful by our BOM partners who mentored and loved these kids!|
These two teenagers are trying to survive on their own, without any support. Artem is studying and Yana wants to go to university, but there are few opportunities for them outside of the orphanage.
We plan to help Artem and Yana move closer to our BOM partners so they me be mentored and taught by our BOM partners and other Ukrainian Christians. We have already raised the money for Artem and Yana’s bus tickets. But they each need 200 USD for adequate summer clothing. BOM’s van was also damaged on the torn up roads to the village and the cost of repairs amounts to 155 USD. In order to fulfill this need for Artem and Yana, we need a total of 555 USD.
|The roads to Artem and Yana’s village.|
|An outside view of the place where Artem and Yana are staying currently.|
We have the ability to change the lives of two orphans for the better. They are not just names and pictures – they have fears and dreams. They are longing to be loved.
What are we living for?
Please pray for Yana and Artem, that through the love of Ting Ministries, BOM and all our supporters, that they would come feel and know the love of Jesus.
If you’d like to give and help answer Artem and Yana’s prayers for someone to come and care for them, you can: donate online at http://www.paypal.me/Tingministries or send a check to: Ting Ministries, 29 East Poplar Street, Lebanon, PA 17042