“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”

Genesis 50:20

Jim and I were in Poland for less than 24 hours when we learned something that came as a big surprise.

We were there to meet our new partners from Ukraine, to give them a respite from the war and buy some supplies they desperately needed for the orphanages they serve. Though I had been messaging back and forth with Alla (the woman who heads up the group we’re partnering with) frequently for nearly a year, this was our first opportunity to meet.

I had been very impressed with everything I saw from Alla before we met. When we sent money for various things the children needed, she replied promptly with receipts, offered photos of the purchases being delivered, and communicated frequently–all while her country was being bombed.

On top of all of that, her faith was evident. She often applied Scripture to her situations and clearly trusted God in the midst of every hardship she was facing. Even when the local school was leveled by a Russian missile, Alla found reasons to praise God.

I was eager to meet this new friend and partner.

Well, we arrived in Warsaw on Sunday night only to discover that shops in Poland aren’t open on Mondays! Unable to begin shopping for the supplies they needed, we had a day to rest and get to know each other.

As part of our conversation, Jim asked Alla how she came to work with orphans. Imagine our shock when Alla told us that she lived in an orphanage from the age of nine!

Suddenly, this sweet woman’s passion for the orphaned and abandoned made a lot of sense. She has lived in their experiences, felt their emotions, and shared their doubts that anyone could love them. 

As time went on, we learned that Alla went to Bible college after leaving the orphanage and found a group that was serving in orphanages. She decided to join them and quickly understood that her own experiences gave her a voice that orphans trusted. She knew she had discovered her calling, and she never looked back.

Before our trip to Poland, I was impressed by Alla. Once I learned this, I was inspired by her.

You see, Alla could have understandably become embittered toward God because of her circumstances. She could have rebelled or rolled herself in a tight, safe cocoon. But instead, she chose to allow God to heal and even use her wounds to reach others.

May we do the same!

This month, as you pray for The Boaz Project, please lift up the following requests:

1. Please pray for health, safety, and wisdom for our new partners in Ukraine as Russia’s war on their country continues. While most of the children we serve cannot be evacuated, they are praying about evacuating the orphanage graduates who live in Joy Transition Home and need the mind of God.

2. Join us as we continue to pray for our ongoing construction projects in Kenya (El Shaddai Children’s Center) and India (House of Joy), that they would go smoothly and that the remaining funds needed would be provided.

3. Pray for Epsibah (Comeback Ministry Home, India) and some other children in our Indian partner homes who are taking their 10th standard exams to get into “college,” 11th and 12th grade, this spring.

4. Lift up Olya and the women who are helping her with the at-risk families program in Russia, that they would be equipped with the right words to say and an abundance of Christ’s love for the parents and children in attendance.

5. Remember Nastya and her team of volunteers as they work on new ideas to continue to engage kids in the orphanages better and that the children’s hearts would be open to the Gospel.