Natalya and Anatoliy are «small» circus performers. Three years ago the couple had to leave their home town of Lutugino, Luhansk region.

The war made them leave their two-bedroom apartment, their ministry in the local church and lose all of their contracts for performances.

After leaving their home town, Natalya and Anatoly roamed around Ukraine. In spring, the circus performers were invited to Estonia and Natalya felt bad during the trip. After getting an IV in Estonia and coming home Natalya started having convulsions and fell into coma for four days. Natalya was taken to a hospital but the medications she took made her feel even worse.

At this time, Natalya and Anatoliy met CBN-Emmanuels concert team and became a part of it.

From their co-workers, they heard about the medical project for internally displaced persons implemented in the framework of «Pope for Ukraine» Initiative. In the framework of this project, IDPs have a chance to receive free health care services at Emmanuel’s «Medical Mobile Clinic».

Natalya underwent a full screening at the Medical Mobile Clinic and, unfortunately, it appeared that the reason of her health problems was a brain tumor. Natalya needed a surgery which could be done at «Pheophania» Clinic in Kyiv. The cost of the surgery was 50,000 UAH (about $2,000).

«It was an enormous amount for us – my disability pension amounts 1,400 UAH ($54). Our familys regular income is about 3,000 UAH ($115). How could it be possibly for us to raise this amount of money for a surgery? When we heard the cost, I thought to myself – there should be some miracle in my life or let things happen as they will, –Natalya shares.

And the miracle did happen! The needed finances for the surgery were raised! Half of the amount was covered in the framework of Pope for Ukraine Initiative whereas the other half of the amount was raised by Emmanuels staff and other caring people.

«As we were driving back home to get my things for the hospital, I started receiving notifications from the bank – the first 200 UAH arrived, then 500 UAH more. By the time we came home, I had 3,000 on my account. Praise God. In 4-5 days we were able to raise the lacking amount and it was just amazing! – shares Natalya.

On September 27, Natalya had the needed surgery while dozens of people were praying to support the little performer.

When I first heard that I would have this surgery, I said: Lord if You are doing this, it means that You dont want me to die. You have given me the needed finances for the surgery and gave me a chance to participate in this project and I am sure that Youve done that for a reason. I felt relieved and I felt that God was holding me in His arms. Of course it was scary because I had had a surgery before and I knew how hard it may be

At the moment, Natalya is back home undergoing the period of rehabilitation and restoration.

I am so grateful to everyone who prayed for me and helped me. I want to thank Emmanuel Association and Pope for UkraineInitiative. May the Lord bless this project. They are doing wonderful deeds and saving peoples lives. I have so many plans for the future – I really want to serve people with my talents. My life was good and it will be even better now!

We are grateful to Pope Francis and all caring Catholic Christians who answered his call to help the conflict-affected people in Eastern Ukraine!