"All of them without exception need to feel that they're needed and loved."
12 year old Oleg is the eldest of four and lives with his family in western Ukraine. Growing up in poverty hasn’t been easy but this bright, precious young boy still has big plans for his future. A bright, thoughtful child, he has learned so much simply from observing the people and situations around him.
He has watched his father struggle with alcoholism and poverty, his grandmother fight grief and he has watched as his mother hold onto a faith that has helped her to love her husband and children no matter the circumstance.
For Oleg the Bible Correspondence Course is one of the most treasured aspects of his life. The course allows Oleg to learn more about Jesus, faith and the Bible through writing letters back and forth with Lilia.
As a BCC Coordinator, Lilia spends her time reading children’s heartfelt letters filled with their hopes, fears and questions about faith. Writing and receiving these letters helps them to hold onto hope in the midst of their poverty and struggles.
"I’ve come to understand how important it is for many of our young people to have a friend - someone who they can share their ups and downs with. Often, they need advice or encouragement. And all of them, without exception, need to feel that they’re needed and loved."
Two years on Lilia and Oleg have become more than correspondents, they have become good friends. Oleg’s letters have always stood out to Lilia as they are so serious and genuine." In those two years Oleg has become a passionate christian putting into practice what he learns from Scripture. Jesus is his hero and he trusts in God’s power in his life.
Through faith and patience, he has seen God answer his prayers in many ways. “I prayed often – for good health, for my father to stop drinking, and for him to get a good job so that he’d be able to feed the family so we wouldn’t be hungry. Now, my father’s found opportunities to work, at least temporarily, and over the last few months, he hasn’t been drinking as much. I also see how my mother’s faith helps her to love my dad and to take care of us.”
Oleg’s story is a beautiful reminder of how blessed we are to have the knowledge of God’s power and love in our livesespecially in this season of fear and uncertainty. Through our Bible Correspondence Course, we are able to share that Hope with so many young people who find themselves wrestling with faith and poverty.