Friday, June 24, 2011

"Toma, I think God has something for you..."

Please allow me to introduce a dear friend, and one of YouthReach's newest Mentors in Ukraine, Tamara (known to her friends as Toma).  I met Toma 4 years ago, when we sponsored her as a camper in one of our youth camps that summer.  She is the oldest of 3 girls from a single parent home, and they are deeply involved in our partner church, Kirovsky Region Church of Christ in Donetsk, Ukraine (my "home" church when I'm there).

Toma was a typical pre-teen when I met her.  Over the past four years, I've watched her grow and serve in the Lord.  About a year ago, she was helping some church ladies serve meals for our mentor retreat and I pulled her aside.  "Toma, I think you should sit in here with us rather than serve in the kitchen today.  I think God has something for you."  She stayed during that session while we discussed the concept of reading God's Word, praying over it, and obeying what we hear from Him.  When it was over, again I felt compelled to talk to Toma.  "I know you're only 15, but you can serve the Lord by serving orphans.  I believe you would be a great Mentor to these kids.  Would you please join us when we go this week?"  To my surprise, Toma began weeping and ran out of the building.

Later, Toma came to me and explained that she would love to serve as a Mentor.  She was overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord, and humbled that He would want her to serve for Him.  Praise God for this teen's heart for Him!

I have watched this year as Toma goes to orphanages as far as 2 hours from her city of Donetsk to minister the Lord's love to His kids without parents.  I have seen her heart grow for God and His people through this time.  And I am thrilled to say that Toma is working right now in a day camp for orphans with a team of people from Texas, Colorado, and Florida!

A photo from this week of Toma with a
group of orphans in Snezhnoye, Ukraine.

At sixteen years old, Toma is living for Jesus Christ.  Just imagine what she will do for Him over her lifetime!

1 comment:

  1. What a blessing is Toma! How lovely are the feet that carry the good news!