Bible lessons in orphanages

 A hope and a future


The days speed by quicker than ever and the last month of fall is upon us already. In the orphanage, the kids are caught up in the bustle of their busy school schedule with daily classes, rehearsals, concerts, etc. In the midst of all this are our lessons with them, and each new meeting leaves its mark in my heart...

 Sergei* is a high-school age orphanage student. He’s fun and interesting to be around, and even if he is a bit rough around the edges and can be cutting in his remarks at times, he shows great potential. Sergei doesn’t come to our lessons on a regular basis, he seems to be cynically disillusioned with life in general, and vocally expresses his doubts about the existence of God.

 This month we’re discussing what it means to be your own person, to grow as an individual, and the choices that shape our lives...interesting stuff, really. During a recent lesson, Sergei walked in and sat down as I was encouraging the class that they should take their choice of profession and continuing education very seriously, even if their choices were limited as orphanage graduates. I was doing my best to get across to them that with the talents they each have, if they apply themselves, with patience, effort and reliance upon God, they can end up as qualified specialists in a good job.

As soon as I’d gotten that phrase out, the room shook to loud laughter... and of course, Sergei was laughing louder than anyone else.

 “Do you yourself even believe what you’re saying?” Sergei asked, still laughing.

 “Of course I believe what I said. The Lord has given you all a lot of talent, I know that each one of you can have a great life,” I answered.

“Well, that’s all the future I see for me,” said Sergei, pointing at the bars on the ground-floor window, “a life behind bars.”

  Some of the kids found this amusing and kept laughing along with Sergei. Others were disturbed by his statement and we began discussing what their future really might hold. Then I started around the room, telling each student the good I saw in them, their strengths, abilities and potential. I wanted to show them once again that they are each unique and the Lord has a good life prepared for each one of them, but the choice whether or not to pursue that life in reliance upon Him is always left to them. Even those who had been laughing the loudest just a few minutes earlier now sat quietly, carefully listening. Their eyes lit up, and I could see how each one of them really wanted to hear what I would say when their turn came. 

A week passed, and at our next lesson, Sergei showed up again. However, this time, he not only listened attentively, but also helped keep the others in line. We had a good time watching a film together, talking, and just enjoying being together

Everyone needs to have someone believe in us. The Lord loved us when we were still sinners, He believed in us! The teens we work with really need this support as they go through their teen years without a loving family to help them adjust to the changes in their lives. This small story illustrates the fact that even when our orphanage students ‘rebel,’ as we choose to keep on believing in them and praying for them, we’ve seen time and again that the Lord will bless us and them both!


Agape teacher, Katya Vorobei


*Name changed