13 Sep Maria Shestopalova’s story
Capturing Grace on a 23 day journey through Ukraine and Greece, Photographing at Sails of Hope for SOW
(Serving Orphans Worldwide)
Four years ago when Maria Shestopalova came to live at Sails of Hope, her life had been a very difficult story. In Maria’s ten years here on earth, surviving was the only goal. She had never received any formal education and was unable to read or write.
Maria’s mother had suffered from mental disabilities, the outcome of a mom who drank during her pregnancy. Maria’s mother has the intellectual and psychological development of maybe a 12-year-old and is thus unable to care for her children.
Maria’s father left the family when Maria was very little. After he was gone it was obvious that Maria’s mother couldn’t care for Maria and her siblings by herself. The children were always hungry, dirty, and cold. Once, their home burnt down because their mother did not know how to use the stove.
During the war that broke out in 2014, Maria’s mother was injured by shrapnel, she did not know how to obtain help from a doctor, so the wound started to fester. Through financial assistance from Sails of Hope, doctors were able to save her leg, but she still has trouble walking today.
Since Maria and her siblings came to live at Sails of Hope, their lives have changed dramatically. Their health has been restored, they are catching up on studies, and have started to attend public school.
Through the help of Sails of Hope psychologist, Maria’s mom and children are receiving much-needed mental rehabilitation. Most of all, they have heard the gospel and embraced its life changing message of hope.
Maria is a very talented and creative girl now who loves sports, especially dancing, arts and crafts, and acting. She is a very talented actress and plays major roles in all of the SOH performances at the children’s home.
The unique model of Sails of Hope allows for connection to still take place between the children and their parents as they work towards full family reunification. Over 100 children have been reunified with their families through the ministry of Sails of Hope, this is true Christianity at work, changing lives.
About SOW Sponsored home