Monday, July 19, 2010

Missionary Monday - Alina

Every person needs to have an "Alina" in their life... a special person who comes along and causes us to keep our perspective right.... to keep our eyes focused on the Lord and how good He has been to us, no matter what our circumstances may be.

Alina was a normal, healthy child. At the age of 10, she started becoming unusually clumsy and it was soon revealed that her spine was deteriorating. She has been diagnosed with "a hemangioma involving the vertebral bodies of the thoracic region." In short, her spine is now a jelly-like substance and she constantly lays in a cast that has to be re-made from time to time for her growing body.
Alina and our son Nate share a birthday on the same day. She turned 18 today, and our Nate turned 6. We were blessed to begin our day of celebration by making a visit to her home.

Last year, my hubby David asked Alina to share her testimony with the teenagers who attended our annual Youth Camp/Conference. Her testimony was such a rich credit to the omnipotence of God and His working in her life, that I have decided to share that testimony here with you:
Hello! I am Alina. I have a great desire to share with you how God has changed my life. Nine years ago I became ill with a spinal disease. I cannot walk and after an operation, during which there were complications, I became paralyzed. Many doctors have tried to heal me, but no one knows how to help me. I live with my mother and my sister. My father left us, and he lives in Russia. During the beginning stages of my illness, my mother was unable to work because she had to be with me and my little sister. We lived with my grandmother and my grandfather and the three of us lived on their pension.

There were times when it was very difficult on us, and I asked myself, “What are we guilty of?” I thought that God was punishing us.

There were people who wanted to help, but when they came to understand that their efforts were in vain, they stopped coming. All of my friends, with time, also left and forgot me.

My life changed when God brought a Christian sister into our home - Natasha Nikitina. Natasha introduced us to Pastor Bob Van Sant, and he shared with me about the Savior. On the 31st of August, 2004, I was saved.

When I received the Lord as my Savior, my life changed. I finally understood that, even before salvation, God had not forsaken us. He had placed family members around me who were always willing to help. Everything that our family suffered was not punishment, but rather a test which was given to us so that we would draw nigh to the Lord and grow in our faith. Now I understand that the Lord is with me, and He protects me and my family.

I am thankful to God that He saved my family and that we are able to be involved in church. There are so many people there who pray for me, help me, and come to visit me in my home. I have received many letters through the church from many cities and countries. I am very happy that I now have friends who sincerely love me and fellowship with me.

Every day I praise God for the faith that He has given us. There are new medicines that may be able to help me. I believe that, with God’s help, I can one day stand and our lives will be easier, and I can begin attending church.

I want to say thank you for the opportunity to praise the name of the Lord. I hope that my testimony will help you realize that THE ALMIGHTY helps us in everything, and that “all things work together for good.” The most important thing is to pray and believe in Him.
[This testimony can also be found on the BIMI website, a missionary-sending agency with over 1,000 missionaries working in 82 countries.]

Alina's sister Tanya, aunt Irina, mother Luda, and cousin Luda

Alina rarely leaves her home. Since she cannot even sit up, it is difficult to transport her and she is also extremely susceptible to illnesses due to a low immune system. We are blessed with her presence in our church services two to three times a year (Easter, Youth Conference, and Christmas). Nelya, a young lady who works for us, goes to her home once a week and teaches her the Bible.

We have been praying for a miracle in Alina's life, and I want to ask you to join us in prayer for this miracle. We can see the hand of God already moving, and we are begging Him to do something amazing for this beautiful child of God.
A few months ago, we were able to get all of Alina's medical documents translated from Russian to English. This was no easy task because not even a highly qualified translator could do it. The translation had to be done by someone in the medical field who knew the proper terminology as well as both languages.
Now that we have these documents translated, we are seeking help for Alina abroad. Just this past month the Lord allowed us to cross paths with an American family that was here adopting a Ukrainian baby. Through this family, we have been put in contact with a world-renown doctor who has taken an interest in Alina's case. Alina knows nothing about this, and we do not want to say anything to her or her family for fear of disappointing them. However, this doctor knows what needs to be done to improve her situation, and he has the talent to perform the delicate surgery needed. Because her legs have been paralyzed, we do not think that she could ever walk again. However, maybe the Lord would allow her to be able to sit up once again. Imagine how much easier that would make her life... just eating and drinking would become drastically easier!
Please join us in prayer in asking the Great Physician to work in this doctor's heart... that he would agree to heal Alina to the best of his ability and that he would be able to find sponsors for this great undertaking. It is a huge request, but we are stepping out by faith and begging God for this miracle!
If YOU will begin praying with us, please print out her picture and leave a comment here to let us know you are joining our prayer team!


  1. I'm praying!

    Do you mind if I use the picture with you and Alina and place it on my blog with a link?

  2. Lori, No I don't mind! Link away!

    And, thanks for praying. :)

  3. Jolene -

    I have been and will continue to pray for Alina!!! This is amazing news. How AWESOME is our God that He put all of the right people together to get this sweet girl the helps she needs. I still remember the post of Alina singing on your blog. I think about her often.

    Please send her very special birthday wishes and let her know that we are praying for her.


  4. I am praying with you for a miracle from God! God bless.

  5. wow!! you guys are so wonderful!! praying for that miracle Alina needs!!`

  6. Jennifer OwnbyMonday, July 19, 2010

    Im praying! What a beautiful girl! How amazing it is that God works such wonderful people together.Im praying!!!

  7. Praying for this sweet girl whose testimony is just precious. I loved hearing how the love of Jesus radically transformed her. I am honored to know Alina's story..... I am praying for God to bring healing to her body....for your family as you continue to encourage and minister to her (and be ministered to, by her!) and for a team of doctors to be raised up specifically for her. I hope you will post a follow up to this as more details become finalized. I wait in expectation of what our God is going to do through this child of His.

  8. I will be praying for Alina! I've been following your blog for some time, just lurking, but after this post I just had to comment! God bless you and your family as you serve Him in Ukraine! ~ Amanda J.

  9. She was such a blessing to my husband when he was there, I will be glad to join you in prayer, and I too would like to link this to my site if you don't mind. Hopefully, with your permission, I can figure out how to do that. Bless you, Gail

  10. Amazing story. Praying that God shows Himself strong on her behalf!

  11. Hi Mrs. Moore!

    Yes, you can link... I'd be thrilled if you would.

    To do that, when you are writing your new post, just come on over to my blog and click the title "Missionary Monday - Alina." This will help you link just her story not my entire blog. Then, copy the search address at the top of your page( etc...).

    Then, in your own new post, highlight the words you want linked. Then click the little link button (looks like a chain with a world) and paste the search address in the given box. This should highlight the words you have selected for you. Then, after you post, click the highlighted words to make sure it worked!

  12. Our family will be praying for Alina. I remeber her singing and it was so beautiful. Thanks for all you do Jolene. What a blessing you and your family are. We love you and pray for you! The Hogge family

  13. I am praying that God would touch the hearts of the doctors and others to make the surgery possible. I am praying for a miracle for Alina.

  14. I am praying that God would touch the hearts of the doctors and others to make the surgery possible. I am praying for a miracle to be done for Alina.

  15. What a precious testimony! I will pray for her and for ya'll!

  16. What a precious testimony! I will pray for her, her family and for ya'll!

  17. Dearest David and Jolene,

    I just read through tears your blog post about Alina.

    I pray for you three times a day: every morning, and around 2:00 in the afternoon when it is bedtime in Ukraine, and at night before I go to bed, when you are just starting another day. I also pray for Alina when I pray for you. Now I will get to pray for your special request, money for her surgery.

    Thank you for loving her.

    I love you.
    Nahum 1:7

  18. Jolene,

    I really appreciate the time you take to keep up with your blog. You do an outstanding job.

    Have a super day!


  19. Please give Alina a special hug from me. I will de finitely be praying for her and the doctor who is looking at her case.


  20. Will add her to my prayer list. Thanks for sharing her testimony with us. What a blessing!

  21. Jolene I have been praying for this girl every since Bro Van Sant had her in my letter from him I am glad to see her picture she is beautiful and I will be praying for her recovery

  22. Jolene, The Hogge family in Wapwallopen, Pa will be praying. We will also put her on the Grace Independent Baptist Church prayer list. God bless you all for your service for the Saviour!

  23. Thanks for sharing this with me. I have copied the picture of you and Alina, and will place it in a significant place in order to remember to pray for her and her special needs.

    Mrs. Hickman

  24. Jolene,
    I hadn't actually heard her whole testimony. Thanks for sharing it. Will be praying for God to work a miracle in this young lady's life.

  25. I'm Praying for Alina! I know with David's problems that sometimes you just continue praying and God sends the right doctors/people in your life to help you just in the way you need.
    H. Juarez

  26. I just love reading you blog. You are such a great wife/mom!! What a special task the Lord gave us to take care of our families!

  27. Hi Jolene, I keep up with your blog from time to time and it is always such a blessing. Thanks for keeping it updated and for being such an encouragement!


Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25