From the smile that extends across *Larissa’s face, one would never imagine the hardship or trials she has faced in life. However, today Larissa is proving that her difficult past does not define her and instead she boldly shares about God’s provision and how He has been with her every step of the way.
Growing up in the former Soviet Union, Larissa was aware of her Jewish heritage, but in the 1980’s, immigration into Israel was not possible. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the tides drastically changed, and hundreds of thousands of Jews from the region could began to make Aliyah (the immigration of Jews to the land of Israel).
It was with great excitement that Larissa would make her move to Israel in 2000. She settled quickly and began to learn the language, but things took a difficult turn when she found herself in an abusive marriage and realized she needed to leave the country to protect her children. To escape the difficult situation Larissa fled back to Ukraine, where she would raise her 2 young daughters near family for the next decade.
As time passed Larissa could not get the dream of Israel out of her mind and she understood in her spirit that one day the Lord would make a way for her to return. After much prayer and unique confirmation from the Lord, the summer of 2016 brought Larissa and her 2 young daughters back to resettle in the land. Larissa was ecstatic to return to Israel, but as a single mother raising young children in an expensive country, Larissa soon understood that making ends meet would prove challenging. That’s when Larissa learned about the ministry of CBN Israel.
With a heart to serve single mothers and new immigrants, the team from CBN Israel became aware of Larissa’s situation and looked for how they could help.
Larissa beamed with gratitude as she shared how the staff of CBN Israel helped ease the burden of her transition to a new land. “When the staff came to our apartment to visit us, they asked us our needs. At that moment, we had nothing. Our apartment was practically empty. They brought us a table and a wardrobe and furniture, and this table that you see here. They have helped us with food vouchers and other needs. They really helped us as we settled here and it made a big difference.”
In addition to helping with material needs, the staff of CBN Israel also helped connect Larissa with a community of other single mothers, where they could worship together and encourage one another. Larissa shared how important these meetings have been for her.
Starting life over in a new country is never easy, especially as a single mom, but stories like Larissa’s show what happens when a community of believers offers support and a helping hand.
*Name altered for privacy
This article originally appeared on CBN Israel, August 29, 2017, and reposted with permission.