David's Story

 

By GPPD Team  |  Archive Post  |  Return to Blog   

In August 2014, the town that David and his family were living in on the outskirts of Mosul was about to be taken over by ISIS. The family packed up their important documents and got in the back of a caged-in pickup truck with more than 40-50 others to flee for their lives. In Erbil, they would find safety from ISIS, a city that flooded with tens of thousands of other refugees who had fled as well. 

Less than two months after fleeing for their lives they were granted a visa for Jordan. They all flew to Amman, Jordan because the roads were too dangerous to travel. In Amman, they began the process of registering with the UNHCR as refugees. 

David met our Global Partners team in early 2015. He spoke very little English. The family needed help to meet their basic needs, so they began to attended services and activities at Grace Church. They came to get "handouts", but ultimately David and his siblings ended up receiving so much more!

In late 2016, the family received word they were getting very close to getting accepted to travel to the US. They were so excited. They had one of their final interviews scheduled for February 2017. About a week before this interview was to happen, they received a phone call telling them that because of the USA’s new immigration policies the interview was cancelled and they would be contacted at a later time.

The family was devastated...

Everything they had hoped for over the last 2 1/2 years was taken away from them in just one phone call. They were never contacted again.

The following month after their canceled interview, David joined the GPPD team to serve other refugees in Jordan. David had learned English in a short period of time and even started translating for our GPPD Staff. David began helping other refugees that had similar needs his family had. We began to see David put others before himself and watched David grow in his love and compassion for others no matter their background. By the end of 2017 David was in charge of all distributions and aid that was being given to refugees through the work of GPPD. 

David told us last summer, "the best thing that ever happened to me was that they canceled our interview to be able immigrate to the USA. It was after this phone call that I really began to understand the love of God, serving Him and others."

In April 2018, David's family received a phone call from the Australian Embassy telling them they were approved to travel to Australia. On May 30, David, his brother, Danny, his two sisters, Dalia and Darita, his parents and grandmother all boarded a plane to Australia. 

Today David and his family are starting a new chapter in their lives.

David's story is just one of countless refugees whose lives have forever been impacted for eternity because of the generosity and love of our partners!

A Long Road to Redemption

 

By Nikola (last name omitted)  |  August 11, 2021  |  Return to Blog   

 

Beginnings

 
I grew up in a small village in Slovakia. I am a Roma woman who grew up with three brothers and a mom and dad.  I wasn’t a typical girl, who was very feminine. I was more of a tomboy who liked to play football with the boys.  I heard that they [Charles and Janet Baldis] taught English and they played games with children. They also gave candy as prizes, so I started going to their English camps. Later, Charles invited us to Sunday church and explained to us that at church they talk about God who saves us and forgives our sins. So I decided to start going. They played beautiful songs and talked about how great and wonderful God is. I was not really interested in God, but only in playing music. I wanted to learn how to play guitar with them. My oldest brother learned the guitar first and then he taught me to play, because I desperately wanted to be a part of the group. I got better at playing and was able to join the group. The more I heard about God and how He loves me, the more I was interested in Him. One day, they gave an invitation for those who wanted to believe to come forward and pray to accept Christ. That day, I realized I was a sinner and I needed Jesus. I was very faithful to attend church, youth group, and kid’s club. I also started playing in the church worship group. I was growing as God’s child. Even when I sinned, I always confessed it to God and asked for forgiveness.

Searching For Love

As a young teenager, I had a boyfriend but he wasn’t a Christian. I tried to change him and took him with me to church when I played. I don’t think he was interested in God, but he just came because of me. After about a year and a half, he began pressuring me to take things further physically.  I am ashamed to say that I gave in to that pressure. It was a turning point in my life. I stopped going to church as often to be with my boyfriend. But only 3 months later, he left the village. It crushed me. I felt ashamed before everyone, especially God, because of what had happened. 

Then a new boy, Dominik, came into my life. He was my best friend. He helped bring me back to church after everything that happened. We became very close, creating songs and talking together. After some time, I fell in love with him, but didn’t tell him. I wanted to have a closer relationship with God, and I started doing more in church. I was 17 at the time and very interested in marrying him. 

A Hard Road

Finally, I told Dominik I loved him. He said that he would pray and wait for God’s answer, but I didn’t want to wait.  We gave into temptation, and I became pregnant at only 18 years old. When our baby was 2 years old, we finally got married. Jonathan came to be part of our wedding. Married life wasn’t easy, because we were so young. Dominik was only 17 years old at the time. I regret how things went, because it was not a good start to our marriage. 

I wasn’t ready for the responsibility of both marriage and being a parent. We had another child soon after, but our relationship got worse. My relationship with God got worse too. I completely turned away from God and rejected Him. I also rejected my spiritual family. I lived essentially without Him for three years. It was the worst years of my life and I felt like I couldn’t survive. Finally, I had a desire in me to return and meet with the believers again. I slowly started building trust with them. What really changed me was receiving complete forgiveness from God and by my spiritual family [The Baldis family]. I felt forgiven and restored.

But the journey wasn’t complete, nor was it easy. At this time I had a third child but my marriage was still getting worse. I felt like I was living two lives, one at church and one at home with my husband. My husband had also turned away from God and our marriage fell apart. I left him when we were living in Czech Republic and went back to live with my family in Slovakia. God used that time to completely draw me to Himself. For years, I was separated from my husband and raising my 3 children alone. We were living with my parents, brothers, and others totaling 11 people in a one bedroom apartment.  It was a very difficult situation and when the Baldis family offered for us to live with them in their ministry center we moved there.

A New Chapter
After moving to the ministry center, things in our lives changed drastically. For 6 months, we met every evening to read God's Word, sing, pray, and memorizing verses together.  We all learned from 3 to 5 verses a week, along with a catechism. I am glad I found God and make Him first in my life again. The Worldview course that I am taking with Tina  also helped to change my heart. My goal now is to have a strong and healthy relationship with God and to raise my children with this same goal.

I also worked through what it meant to love my husband Dominik by truly forgiving him. In the last few weeks, I have moved with the children to Czech Republic, and we are now working towards full reconciliation as a family. 

My desire is to please God. And for me that means serving my people, especially children, and showing them the love that God has for them, like He has for me. I want to go back and show the girls in my community the consequences of my bad choices, so that they don’t have to do the same. It would be great if we can have a Roma community center one day where my people can come to know God as I do now.