Thankful in Ukraine
There is an ancient Russian saying: "You never know where you will lose and where you will find." This was certainly true for Nina. During the years of Soviet rule, Nina was diligently attempting to "lose" (hide) her Jewish identity, although not too successfully. But when she received Jesus into her heart, her roots and heritage were newly awakened and she began to realize their importance.
Nina began seeking other Jewish people who also knew their Messiah. She didn’t need to look far, because Jews for Jesus was holding meetings in the building of the very church she was attending. Nina was so joyful; she couldn’t wait to begin supporting Jews for Jesus with finances, prayer, and attendance at our Shabbat meetings. She always brought along her granddaughter, whom she was raising as her own (Nina’s daughter had been unable to care for her child). Nina rejoiced to have a part in Jewish evangelism, and she prayed fervently for all of our outreaches. Yet she also had terrible sadness as well. Her granddaughter, Dina,* was terribly weak because of a congenital heart disease.
Nina continued serving God joyfully, always hopeful that God’s promises of blessing would bring health to her granddaughter and salvation for her daughter. Time passed, Dina wasn’t healed, and Nina endured many difficulties, including marital problems. Yet she remained faithful in her relationship with God and in her joyful participation in our ministry. At the same time, she was teaching her granddaughter about the Lord.
Dina grew worse and had to go to the hospital. That’s when God’s miracle happened. The president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich, "happened" to visit the same hospital where Dina was a patient, and he came with a team of TV correspondents. God drew the attention of the TV crew to Dina, as she was singing praise songs to God. They turned on the cameras for a live broadcast, and our sister Nina with her granddaughter were on TV. The head doctor of the medical center came to see who the TV crew was filming in his clinic area. He met Dina and offered to give her a checkup. That’s when the Lord answered all our prayers.
They gave Dina free tests and her case turned out to be extremely rare: none of the physicians or medical school professors could understand how that nine-year-old girl had survived until that day with such a serious heart disease. They scheduled a very complex, very costly surgery – for free – to be performed by the best specialists in Ukraine.
Dina underwent heart surgery in May 2013. Since then she has grown stronger day by day. Together with her grandma, she thanks Yeshua for such a miracle. Nina, faithful to Jesus, to her Jewish heritage and to the cause of the gospel, is rejoicing even more because God has answered prayer for her granddaughter. Please continue to pray for her daughter’s salvation as well.
Note: We are by no means inferring that God answers prayers for our supporters any more than He answers other people’s prayers. We were "wowed" by how God has worked in the life of this particular friend of our ministry, and wanted you to enjoy her story as well.
Valery Bolotov leads our work in Dnepropetrovsk.