by GENNADIY NOVIKOV, January 2015

Alexey and Olga Suhoparov are the parents to twin boys, 9-year-olds Sasha and Zhenya) and 3-year-old daughter, Anjelika.

Olga taught physics and mathematics before having children and Alex is a builder.

At first glance the Suhoparov family may seem an ordinary family, but they are a family from Slavyansk. After 2014, almost every family from Slavyansk has a story to tell.

10526082_1553224584905502_1559800449166954610_nIn July of 2014 the Suhoparov’s home was completely destroyed due to fighting in East Ukraine. Thankfully by God’s providence, they were not home when the bomb hit. The only home they had ever known went up in flames. Everything they had was lost in a moment. All that remained was ash, smoldering debris of wooden beams, and thoughts about wondering how they would continue to live without a penny to their name.

In the days that followed they raked and dug through the ashes, hoping to find a remnant of something that was theirs. It was while they were digging that Olga saw a car pull up to the location where their house has once stood. “Our neighbor, came to us with pastor Peter Dudnik. They were inspecting the streets, finding out who had suffered and offered to help us. I was in such shock that I didn’t know what to tell them. When I heard the phrase, ‘Can I help you?’ the words were an instant comfort to my heart. It was the drop of hope that made it possible to get through and know that everything would still be okay.”

Partnering with Good News Church in Slavyansk, Emmanuel knew they could step in to lend a helping hand to Alexey and Olga’s family in their time of need.

“It was the Christian believers who helped us,” shared Olga. “They gave us money at first. Then they offered assistance from their volunteers to clear away the burned house and clean the yard. And then they began talking about the construction of a new house for us!”

“I didn’t believe in it,” Alexey shared sincerely. “Who would give their own money to construct us a new house? We received a thousand grivnas [100 dollars] of support from the government and that’s all. Everything changed when Peter Dudnik brought the staff of Emmanuil to visit us and said they could quickly build a house.”

Within a few short months, thanks to the generous support of partners and the work of many volunteers, a brand new house for Alexey and Olga’s family was constructed. Just in time to be in a warm home for Christmas.

“Now we have a house that is better than what we had before. I look at it and don’t believe that it is real. Everything is new, fresh and nice. We sincerely thank Emmanuil for their selfless assistance and for all the Christians who helped us and continue to help. Maybe they don’t realize what they do. It is possible to say that we were taken out of our pain and given back life and joy. It is more than money. It is even more than a new house. Now, when my children run from one room to others and laugh, I cry because I’m happy to hear this laughter. Praise the Lord for people who do good. Now I also know what I want to do further.”