Interview of a Graduate from Wellspring Transition Home
When and where did you first meet Anatoly?
In 1998. I was thirteen.
[In Ryazan, at school.] In the church. Church school.
The orphanage would take you to Sunday school? *nods*
At this church here?
What was it like to come to this church for the first time?
I liked the sausage!
You liked the sausage in the church?
Yes, because in the church they had the best dinner! This church was a place where where I knew there was good food for dinner. It’s the truth.
When did you enter the orphanage?
I went to the orphanage when I was twelve. I was taken from my parents because they were alcoholics. I felt sad, of course. And I felt… because I was taken from my parents… this hurt me.
But I think that the years I lived in the orphanage were the best years of my life. Although at times we didn’t have any food. Sometimes we would wake up, and there would be nothing to eat for tomorrow. I think this orphanage where I was is the best not only in the Ryazan region, but all of central Russia; we had rest, good school, excellent teachers, and much more.
You said that these years you lived in the orphanage were the best years of your life; why would they be the best years?
Because in the orphanage, I came to know who God really is. They gave me an education — if I didn’t live in the orphanage, maybe I would have had the same destiny as my parents.
How often did Anatoly and people from this church visit your orphanage?
Friday, every week. Anatoly would try to teach us things about the world outside our walls, so we liked this. And he would teach us about God, which was very meaningful.
You said that you found God at the orphanage; when did you start to be aware that God cared about you?
When I seriously understood, I was sixteen years old. 2001.
Nothing. It’s true! I realized that only God can help me in life.
Why did you come to the transition home?
I was studying at a college in Ryazan, but had nowhere to live. Before I started to attend there, I had a meeting with Anatoly. He told me about the transition home he was opening for orphans in Ryazan. I already believed in God at that moment. Anatoly told me it would be good to live in a Christian shelter. We learned the Bible [at the transition home]. And we learned to serve others, to not live for ourselves. For all of us who come here from the orphanages, it was one of most hard things just to make yourself work. Because when you live in orphanage, you only sleep, eat, study, walk, and again; sleep, eat, study, walk.
This year I am going to study in a Bible institute in Moscow.
What made you want to go to Bible school?
Because there are some things that you cannot readily understand, and my understanding of these things is limited.
To know these things, you must either study, or hear them secondhand from other people.
I don’t want to have to rely on someone else’s understanding,because there are good Bible institutes where Lord works and teaches. So, I want to study.
Sergei actively serves in the church here, where he also met and married Marina, a year and a half ago.
*written from Wellspring Transition Home, Ryazan, Russia