Sonya's first shopping experience

    Big Family Mission helps the ministry of Grace Center through Help
    for Children in St. Petersburg, which is led by Natasha Kirillov.  Here’
    s is Natasha’s account of the life story of Sonya Kasterina.

        “Sonya has a walking disability, cerebral palsy.  After her mother
    started drinking hard, Sonya was sent to the orphanage Grace.  She
    lived there for a year.  Then the orphanage was closed, and Sonya
    came back to her mother. When she heard that we have Grace
    Family Center, Sonya asked us to put her into the program. We
    regularly invite Sonya to the center, where she has opportunity to
    attend the church services and fellowship with the children of her
    age.   She says this is the only good thing of her life. She knows
    that there are people who care and accept her as she is. Sonya is a
    good Christian:   she prays hard and she was specially blessed this
    Easter.  When supporters from Finland came to visit other children in
    our ministry, Sonya had 5 visitors who came to Russia with the only
    goal:   to see her, say hello, say that they remember about the girl!
    When we told Sonya that they are coming, she didn't sleep 3 nights,
    so excited she was!
        When Sonya comes to the Center we always talk to her to find out
    what she needs the most, to be able to help her better. Last year she
    has spent one month during the summer at Bolshevo (summer
    camp).  We are
    going to invite her to one of our camps this coming summer as well.
        Recently when we were discussing what to buy for the Easter
    celebration, it appeared that Sonya HAS NEVER BEEN AT THE
    SUPERMARKET IN HER LIFE. The only store she has been to was
    when she was 5 or 6 years old. Her mother has never been interested
    to take Sonya from the house, and Sonya can't walk without support
    of a person. She has always been thinking that people are ashamed
    of her being disabled. When we found that out, we drove her to the
    nearest supermarket right away!  Sonya was amazed!
        She was so excited that she spoke in a very loud voice near
    everything she would see.  The store was like a museum for her, and
    even milk and bread was like an exhibit!  "Oh, look how big is the
    store!  I would never think that food and clothes can be sold in one
    supermarket! Is it true that I can touch everything! Wow, look at the
    line that can move when you put products on it (she was saying that
    standing in front of the cash-register)! I have heard about it, but saw
    it only by TV!"
        We made Sonya's day and she was absolutely happy!
        And how many of us think that the life is boring and brings no joy?
    Now think about Sonya, and compare how many opportunities do you
    have!  It is amazing how little so many people in need require to make
    them happy, but even this little support is absolutely impossible
    without our participation.
        Sonya's life is not easy:  her mother is drinking again.  But she
    prays to God so that He will bring her mother to the church and
    change her! Will you help Sonya by praying with her?
        Thank you for supporting our work here!  It all is impossible
    without you!”
        Sonya experienced the joys of shopping in a supermarket for the
    first time in her life.  And, of course, one of those joys is trying on the
    crazy hats!
        Thanks to all of our Big Family Mission partners!

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