Through the end of 2023, we’ll share stories from the past 15 years of ministry. It’s our way of remembering all God has done and encouraging us for what’s ahead. We invite you to read, watch, and pray about how you could be involved in investing in the future of our work. Here’s Tanea’s story…
At two years old, Tanea was brought to an orphanage in Moldova. Tanea’s mother had left her and her siblings, and their father could not afford to take care of them. She ended up living there for 11 years. At the orphanage, Tanea stayed in a room with 10-15 other girls and only one bed. “In the orphanage, you don’t have love and someone to protect you,” she shared.
For her, the best time of the year was when she got to attend JMI summer camps. Tanea started to know God at a young age because of what she learned from our staff and volunteers during those summers.
When Tanea was 14, her orphanage closed. With nowhere to go, her future was uncertain, and she became an easy target for human traffickers. But instead of ending up on the streets, Tanea was accepted into JMI’s Transitional Living program. At our Grace House, she had a safe place to stay, pursue education, and learn skills like cooking. “This is a new life, what I have now,” she said.
She also continued growing in her relationship with the Lord and dreaming about her future. Along the way, Tanea discovered a love and talent for photography. After she graduated from our program, Tanea joined the JMI staff as a photographer and social media coordinator. In fact, most of the compelling photos of our work in Moldova are taken by her. “I love when people smile,” she says. Her other dream is to have a happy family of her own one day.
As we look back at the last 15 years of God’s faithfulness through JMI, we are amazed by people like Tanea who are now ministering to youth in situations similar to what they grew up in. She is one of a handful of staff in Moldova who graduated from our program and now spend their days caring for other vulnerable boys and girls. Watch her update video.
We believe the future of our ministry will allow us to make a difference for many more at-risk youth and teens. Instead of ending up on the streets or worse, we want to see them pursue dreams of careers and families, knowing God is faithful to hear their desires. Will you come along for this next chapter of our work?
Tanea’s story is told in JMI’s 15-Year Anniversary Book. Get your copy here.