Sunday, February 2, 2014

While Our Country Plays

Today is the Super Bowl.
We love the Super Bowl... love having friends over... love watching the game.. the commercials... we enjoy the fellowship.
This year we are again having a Super Bowl party.
And I am looking forward to the fun times we are going to have.... 
But this morning my heart is seriously heavy for a people across the ocean.
While our country plays.... their country is destroying lives.
I have one simple story to share...
About a young man who is just a bit older than my son, Ben.
His name is Andrey.
He is a student at a Technical University who joined the protesters in his region.
He is also an orphan.
His orphan story is tragic and beautiful and worth re-telling.
I'm just copying it here as I received it.... 
 Andrey is a 20 year-old student at K's Technical University and a protester who has been standing on K's Maidan. But before that Andrey spent most of his early years on his own. He lived... in an orphanage and then on the streets, until his life changed after meeting some Christians who let him live with them.

On the night of 27 Jan. he and some other student activists from K's Maidan were attacked near their dorm by unidentified men. They were beaten and Andrey was even shot at in the back as he ran away (a bullet pierced his jacket).

The details are confusing and there are several different versions being reported. What is certain is that Andrey called the police to report the attack. When the police arrived on the scene they arrested Andrey for stabbing a police officer (one of the unidentified attackers in plain clothes) who later died. Andrey is now on trial for murder.

Andrey is not a famous leader of the movement. There are not hundreds of pictures and posts about his story online. Almost no one outside of K has heard of Andrey. Andrey doesn't even have any family to speak up for him when he needs it the most.

On one of K's community pages, an acquaintance of Andrey's has spoken up for him: "I know Andrey Nalivaiko personally ... and all the suffering and hardship he endured as a child - I would not wish on my worst enemy, and yet he retained the joy and the desire to live a normal life and become someone so he worked hard to go to college.

I met him when he was 12 years old. I came home from college and saw that my grandmother had some kid helping her dig in the garden. When he finished, my father came out and asked how much money he wanted for his work. Andrey said he didn't want any money, he was just walking by and just decided to help my grandmother.

We started to chat with him and found out that he was homeless. He had run away from the orphanage, because there he was bullied. Near our house was an abandoned house. It was evening and we asked him to spend the night there. He lived next door to us 3 months.

I brought him food and when he saw the fruit, he was the happiest man in the world. We chatted with him for a long time and hoped that all his hardships in life would run out sooner or later and everything would be better for him.

He always kept away from the street thugs who are constantly sniffing glue and committing petty crimes. I can tell you without a doubt that from childhood he was cheerful, open, and a driven person.

Then the weather turned cold and he was gone.

After 6 years (when Andrew was 18) he came back to our house with his girlfriend. He was showing her where he had lived in his childhood and youth. And he just came to say thanks for those little things (as I shared) and for the help.

He said that winter that he left us, he was sitting at the bus stop freezing cold when a woman passed by. She stopped and spoke to him, and found out that he was homeless and fatherless. She offered him shelter and food and of course he agreed.

This woman was from some kind of Christian community. Americans who had gathered money and built houses for orphans. And that was where he remained. At that home swearing wasn't allowed, they were taught to lead a normal life, and you had to go to church.

So Andrey's understanding and outlook on life was appropriate and positive.

I want to believe that the journalists, the government, the judge, and the lawyers will find the truth and really want everything to be according to the law - to understand what really happened that night.

Andrey, I pray for your health and for a fair and honest investigation."

PLEASE PRAY for Andrey. Pray for justice in a part of the country where there are not bright spotlights on the system - a system that is built on lies and corruption. But God is the Father of the fatherless and Andrey is his precious creation.
Andrey is a picture of how utterly messed up the system is over there.
I could share many many more stories.
This one is enough.
While we play today - cheer and yell - enjoy good food and fun fellowship - please - let's remember a country in utter turmoil right now.
Between plays - would you pray.
Pray for Andrey.  Pray for his country. 


  1. I'm so glad you're getting the word out! Thank you. The more people praying, the better.

  2. Praying for Andrey. Thanks for keeping me grounded. Only through our testimonies will others know. Keep shouting Julia. :)


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