A life to Remember: Tatiana’s Legacy of Love

by Jun 12, 2019Ukraine

Some people leave a legacy through money, family name, or personal belongings, but Tatiana left a legacy through the lives she touched. Tatiana worked with World Hope International (WHI)’s First Step Centre in Odessa, Ukraine, for nearly two decades and the impact she made on the children at the center was beyond incredible. Tatiana passed away on May 1, 2019, at the age of 61.

“No opportunities. That’s why we are here – to help these kids to find opportunities” Tatiana said this once when she was asked why the First Step Centre in Odessa Ukraine was important to the community. This demonstrates Tatiana’s desire to help the street kids in Ukraine have a safe place just to be.

Tatiana served others with humility and joy and gave out of a heart filled with love. WHI and the children who found their way to the First Step Centre alike were touched by Tatiana and her desire to give everything she had to see lives transformed.

Anne Medders, former executive director of World Hope International Canada, worked with Tatiana and said, “Although I was only physically present a dozen times or so during her years of ministry, I was very much aware of how much of World Hope’s success with rescuing and restoring hope to children of the street depended on her faithful dedication. Through directing the day-in-day-out operation of the Centre – offering food, clothing, education, medical attention, showers, haircuts, loving care from godly men and women on staff, and many other things- Tatiana gave hope to children.”

Tatiana’s daughter, Lily, admired her mother and the way she cared for people. Lily said, “My mom gave me a great example. She was a wonderful wife to my father. For me, that is especially important, as I recently became a wife. She was wise, patient, and kind. She always cared for people and did the best to help them. We [and the] kids didn’t even know about all she was doing. But we will when we meet her in heaven. For me, that is an honour to have such a mom!”

The coworkers who saw the impact Tatiana made on a regular basis were inspired to be more like her. Kostya who worked closely with Tatiana said she was a great mentor, “No matter the weather, rain or shine snow or heat she was always here at the centre. She always prayed a lot. She was such a mentor and example for me. When I first came here, she showed me everything; she showed me how to be Christian, to love. When I learned she was ill with cancer, she told me she is ready and not scared. It surprised me. She came here even when she was very ill. She looked a different colour by then and still came. The kids were so surprised that she was sick, too. She was a real hard worker and came here until the very end. Everything she did was with an open heart. Now her daughter is here and works with me.”

Without devoted leaders like Tatiana, WHI would not be able to do what it does. We are so thankful for her and the incredible legacy of love she left behind.

Learn more about the First Step Center and the impact this program has on children in Odessa Ukraine. Give to the Hope Fund in memory of Tatiana to help us continue her legacy and fund the First Step Center. 

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