Marina’s Story

Oct 6, 2017 | Featured, Stories

My name is Marina, and I came to live with Anya and Bogdon in Safe Haven a year ago.
My family is … well, broken.  My parents divorced when I was little.  I barely know my dad, because he is pretty much not interested in me.  He did come to see us a few times, but we talked very little.   When my parents divorced, my mom started to do drugs and drinking a lot.  I remember drug addicts constantly being in our house and doing drugs. Because of this, our house had a constant stench.
In our village, people didn’t really like our family, and they would constantly break our windows.  This was because lots of alcoholics were constantly coming to our house and in our yard people were constantly quarreling.  My mom’s drinking friends constantly made advances towards me.
When I was about 10 years old, my mom found a new man.   He was about 56 years old, and had spent 20 of those years in prison.  We were very afraid of him.  One time we learned that because of an argument with my mom, he wanted to come and kill us.   We hid.  I went to the village head to tell them about our poor living conditions.  A week later social services came to visit us.  They looked at our house, and gave my parents certain conditions if they were going to keep us.  I couldn’t convince my mother to get clean, but she decided to move to Kaniv (a city not far from our village).  I was scared to move because we didn’t have anything there and didn’t know anyone.  I stayed in the village and lived with a neighbor for a month, but decided to go to the orphanage so that I wouldn’t be a nuisance to her.

Choosing to live in Safe Haven
I have lived at Anya and Bogdon’s for a year, and they have become my parents.  Now, I truly know what it means to have parents.  They take care of me, I can share with them all of my problems, and I know that they will help me.  I love that we can just sit on the couch and talk.  I can’t think of a single time that I just talked with my own mom.  Because of that, those simple things are very valuable to me.
I accepted Christ at one of the camps that Anya and Bogdon did for us.  When I heard the sermon, I felt that I wasn’t alone, and that I should pray.  That very night, I accepted Christ.  I knew that God was real and that He answered my prayers.
On 11 August 2017, I was baptized.  I consider this to be my best decision.  I gave the Lord my life and I believe that He loves me like His own child, and I want Him to be in charge of my life.  God protected me throughout my life and that was a miracle.  Thanks to Him, I am alive.

First Love International

We are a non-denominational mission agency founded for the purpose of bringing love and hope to un-reached people residing in impoverished regions of the world.



At First Love we seek to “flesh out” the passion of Christ before a lost and dying world. In our ministries we have deliberately chosen to major on those whom the world might consider to be the minors.  And in that regard... our priority is to invest our greatest resources and energies on the least, because we recognize that whenever we reach out to the least of these, we do it for Jesus.


I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me...Jesus.

Matthew 25:40

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