“After many years of happiness, I felt completely empty spiritually, and I was desperate to fill the hole in my heart. To my great regret, I sought satisfaction in worldly pleasures, which led to me getting pregnant. After my daughter was born, I raised her by myself, and after several years of getting sick over and over again, I finally went to the doctor. I was absolutely devastated when my blood work indicated that I had contracted a venereal disease.
“After receiving my diagnosis, I had to spend a lot of time in the hospital. My relationships with my family and friends quickly deteriorated, and to my surprise, the only people who wanted anything to do with me were my Muslim neighbors. They prayed for me, talked to me about Allah, and at the end of my treatment, I started attending their mosque. For a year and a half, I practiced Islam and worshipped Allah. I participated in all of the Muslim traditions, but when I realized that I wasn’t allowed to pray in my native tongue instead of Arabic, I felt the cold emptiness returning to my heart.
“At that time, I decided to contact a Christian friend of mine, Olga, who lives in Israel. When I asked if I could visit her, she immediately accepted my request. Because I knew she was a follower of Jesus, I hoped that she would be able to help me. Two weeks later, I arrived in Israel, and Olga asked her pastor to give us a private tour of important biblical sites in the area. He then took us to the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum, which is now a very special place for me. It was there that all of my questions were answered, my heart was finally filled with true joy, and I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
“Upon returning to Ukraine, it was hard for me to grow in my faith, so Olga invited me to study at School Without Walls (SWW) through the Living Israel congregation, where I could learn how to live as a believer. So, I left my job and left my daughter in the care of my grandmother for three months. After completing my first SWW session, I realized that this is a school of life, and I learned how to love my neighbor regardless of the circumstances. I also learned about humility and the importance of serving others, and my character was transformed.
“SWW also led me to my husband, and after we got married, my daughter and I moved to Israel so we could begin a new life as a family. God has made it clear to me that He wants me to serve Him as much as possible. I have tried serving in many different ministries at our church, but recently God provided an opportunity for me to lead Sunday school classes. Through the children in my classes, I am learning even more about Jesus as I prepare and lead each lesson. I am so thankful that God has called me to this ministry!”