Yaroslav is a miracle child. When his mother was expecting him, she became sick and had to go to the hospital. That night she cried because she thought she would lose her baby before he was born. The young mother asked God for help. “Dear Jesus,” she prayed, “if this child is going to live for you, please help him now.”
The next morning, the doctor came to see her. “I’ve changed my mind. We’re going to try a different treatment, and if that works you can keep your baby,” he said.
This meant staying in bed in the hospital for three months, but she was happy that God had answered her prayers and her baby would live.
After Yaroslav was born, he was dedicated to God—that he would grow up and serve Him always. Soon it was time to start school. Yaroslav attended the school closest to their home.
The first day of school in Ukraine is actually a holiday! It is called “The Day of Knowledge.” All students go back to school on that day. Their parents can visit the school that day too. One tradition in Ukraine is for students to bring their teachers flowers on the first day. So on September 1, Yaroslav washed his face and hands until they were squeaky clean, combed his hair, and put on his very best clothes for the first day of school. He and his mother found some pretty flowers to bring.
Like the other first grade students, Yaroslav was excited to go to school. But, after a few weeks he didn’t like going anymore. There were many fights, and Yaroslav would hear the children swearing and calling names.
One day when Yaroslav was in second grade, his mother heard that the Seventh-day Adventists were going to start a church school in Vinnitsa, but that it would be offering only grades 1 and 2. Yaroslav and his mother prayed that grade 3 would be included. Before long, their prayers were answered and grade 3 was offered!
The school kept growing and Yaroslav was able to continue in grade 4. More and more students wanted to attend the school, but there was no more space where they were meeting.
Yaroslav, his classmates, and all of the parents and teachers kept praying about the situation. Then a miracle happened! The Adventists were able to buy some beautiful land in the country where they could build a bigger school.
Parents, teachers, and church leaders have all come to help build the school. They want the children to have an Adventist education all the way through high school. Yaroslav’s mother said this is really important. She said “all of the students are treated fairly, and things are done according to the Bible.”
Yaroslav likes how the school is out in nature. “I like going to the forest and hearing the birds sing. And at this school you don’t hear kids swearing and calling you names.”
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