Julie was a baby when her father abandoned the family. As she grew, life was filled with yelling and abuse. A heavy drinker, Julie’s mother regularly beat her. Julie’s step father disliked her and also abused her.

Though, Julie was close to her younger brother Alexander, he couldn’t protect or comfort her.

Julie’s life began to improve when she attended a nearby church in her village in Ukraine. At a Children’s Bible Club, made possible through the support of Bible League Canada, she learned about Jesus and how much he loved her. Soon, Julie eagerly attended every church meeting—she got to know God more and more in the years that followed.

As her faith grew, Julie’s troubles multiplied.

Sometimes her mom would be away from home for days—leaving the teen to cook, clean, do laundry and look after her siblings. When the electricity was cut off because their bills were not paid, it was even harder for Julie to care for the house.

During this time, her church family helped Julie weather the storms of her step-father’s suicide and her mother’s rapid decline. They prayed for her, visited the family, and provided food, financial support, clothing, and heating fuel.

Through it all, God developed a strong, humble character in Julie that allowed her to overcome these hardships. Despite the protests of relatives and villagers, a few years ago Julie was baptized and joined the church.

When war broke out in Ukraine, Julie was forced to leave her village. Again the church family was there for her—leaders from the Children’s Bible Club invited her to live with them. Local believers in their new community ensured that the needs of Julie and the rest of her family were always met.

The congregation spent much time praying about Julie’s future. It was God’s answer to their prayers, when she was offered a place to live and to go to school in Kiev.

Today, Julie attends school and remains active in her church community. God and his people have been good to her.