If you’ve ever wanted to play a significant role in rebuilding a broken, but infinitely valuable life, consider that of Oleg Potiomchin.
Oleg was a “village boy,” which is a quick indicator that his family was very likely to be poor, scratching out just enough from the land to allow them to survive from day to day. But poverty was only one mark against him.
Oleg’s parents were alcoholics, and his early impression was that they would actually compete to see who could drink the most. He remembers the beatings his mother regularly received at the hands of his drunken father and that when they would leave the house, he was made to stand in one spot close to their fence with his hands raised until they came home. More than anything else, Oleg remembers being lonely.
Eventually, his parents left him with his elderly grandmother, telling them that they would return for Oleg a bit later; but they never returned. Completely unable to meet his needs, his grandmother remanded him over to the orphanage in the village of Carpineni.
As bleak as Moldova’s orphanages are, they do represent advantages to the life he had known. Oleg recalls the orphanage as a place where “they served food on time,” as a “good place to sleep,” and where “everyone was equal to each other.” But he also thinks back on the darker side of that period of life…teachers that punished the whole class for the bad behavior of individual children and worse, holidays when some with parents took their children home for a week’s visit. His, of course, did not, and these were the loneliest times of all.
A Hope For A Future
A thin ray of hope entered Oleg’s life years later when, as a 9th grader, JMI’s sponsorship coordinator, Katea, came to the orphanage to assess kids for possible inclusion in its transitional living home program. Realizing that he was only a few months away from completing the mandatory duration of school and with no family to go home to, he dared to hope that he might be among those selected.
God was attentive and merciful to Oleg’s plight and his hope became a reality when he was accepted into JMI’s Boys to Leaders program. His dream now includes a university degree, a critical step in his plan to prove to himself and all others, cynical of any possibility of his success, that he can achieve a lot in life.
In the meantime, he is learning life skills like cooking, personal hygiene, adaptive social skills and money management. Oleg attended two Christian camps in 2017 and volunteered in helping with U.S. mission teams this past summer. Today his testimony is that, “God is on my side,” and hopes that in 2018 he will figure out specifically what the Lord’s future looks like for him.
With all the personal disappointment in his life, Oleg could use a caring champion in his life – a sponsor who would regularly speak encouragement into his life, faithfully pray over him, and invest all, or a portion of the costs JMI to meet the expenses of his residential care.
If you would be interested in filling this void in Oleg’s life, please contact [email protected]