This is an inspiring story of how Emunah changed one boy's life and turned him from a recipient of our help, support and chessed to a giver - a person who now reaches out to help and support others.
Vadim is 32 years old and lives in the rural town of Givat Ada, near Pardes Hanna. Vadim was 2 years old in Latvia when his violent, alcoholic father bluffed his way into the home of his ex-wife, Vadim's mother, and murdered her. At the age of 9, when the rumor of his father's pending release from prison reached his grandmother, she hid Vadim and his siblings in the trunk of a car and brought them to Israel. Later, Vadim, who was very unsettled found himself at the Emunah Children's Center in Afula, where he lived and was cared for, for 7 years. Vadim graduated with full matriculation, completed 3 years of combat military service (and would have been an officer, had he not needed to get back home to help his grandmother care for his orphaned nieces and nephew after his sister died of cancer).
Time is short to tell Vadim's entire story (and we are planning to make a video about him, with his cooperation, so we'll leave something for the movie) but I will share that he came back and worked as a councilor at the home in Afula whilst studying to become a practical engineer with the help of our scholarship fund. When a fire broke out at the center, one Friday night, due to an electrical fault, Vadim single handly carried many children out of the smoking building, before people arrived to help him.
Vadim is now married to his amazing wife, Tovi, and has a very well paid and responsible job. He has also just started to study for an engineering degree. There are many reasons for us to believe that Emunah has helped Vadim to break that cycle. But if we needed unequivocal proof, Vadim posted the following message last week on his Facebook page - appealing to his friends.
My dear brothers,
My name is Vadim. Two years ago, a took upon myself a very important responsibility – to help children at risk in the place from which I came and where I was educated.
The principle “know from where you come and where you’re heading” has guided me for the past 32 years and reminds me all the time not to forget where I came from and how hard it was.
Today, Thank G-d, I have almost everything. A beautiful wife, a home, a car, a steady job. I lack nothing. Make no mistake, I am still not a millionaire, but my situation is “millions” better than many others. Better than children who have experienced tough experiences or those whose parents don’t have money.
This Pesach, thank G-d, most of us will sit around a table laden with good things but there are those who don’t have enough for to celebrate the holiday,
I would be very pleased if together we could meet the challenge and help as many as possible this year. When I started this two years ago, only one brother joined me in this mitzvah. Maybe this year more of you will join me. Love you. Vadim
Today, Vadim shared with me that many more people indeed responded to his post and sent me these photos of the food and supplies he's purchased to give to the needy families of children from Emunah Afula.
THE POWER OF EMUNAH