Tony Morrow shares this heartwarming story about Andrei's most memorable birthday party ever this past August.
Do you remember your first birthday party? Andrei Vistalin does. Andrei, like all the kids raised at his orphanage in eastern Ukraine, never had a birthday party and never had a birthday cake. I did not know this until 12:01 a.m. on August the 29th, 2014 (Andrei's 19th birthday).
The day before Andrei's birthday, two of our YouthReach International Mentors (Oryna Makarova and Nastya Starodubtseva) sneakily purchased everything needed to make Andrei a birthday cake from a store in Ivankiv, Ukraine. At 12:01 a.m. we went into Andrei's upstairs room with a freshly made, candle lit cake, and sang "Happy Birthday" in Russian and English.
Andrei stared at the cake with a joy that words cannot express. As the candles burned, he closed his eyes tightly and, for about 10 seconds, made his wish.
We quickly went downstairs so we could share the experience with my wife Shana Morrow on Skype in Abilene, Texas. Andrei stood in front of the camera, smiling ear to ear, as he told Shana, "This is my first birthday cake!" Tears began rolling down Shana's cheeks (she loves Andrei like a son).
Thank you for your partnership in this ministry to see firsts like this occurs in the lives of these young people we, and all of us connected with YouthReach International, are so blessed to serve.
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