Tomsk, Russia, October 23, 2017
The Baptism of several children, whose mothers decided not to have abortions due to the work of the project “A Baby is a Heavenly Gift,” was held on October 14 in the Tomsk Church of St. Alexander Nevsky, the Tomsk Diocese reports.
The project is founded under the auspices of the Orthodox family aid center “Let’s Help Together!” Thanks to the coordinated work of volunteers, psychologists, philanthropists, and doctors, about 50 children have been saved from abortion in 2017 alone. Four children whose lives were preserved received the Sacrament of new life in Christ on the feast of the Holy Protection. The oldest was 2 years old, and the youngest 2 months.
13 children were baptized in the previous such event in St. Alexander Nevsky Church in June. The Baptisms were celebrated both times by Fr. Eugene Maslich and Protodeacon Roman Shtaudinger.
The mother of 3-month-old Zachary, who was baptized on October 14, was herself baptized in June, when she was 9 months pregnant. They now live together in a shelter for mothers, which was opened by the “Let’s Help Together!” organization in June.
The organizers and volunteers of the Orthodox center have countless wonderful stories to tell about women and their children being saved from a terrible decision and from life-threatening situations. They remember the names of all the girls they have helped and how they met them. One girl, Lyudmila, was planning to have an abortion until Orthodox volunteers helped her to understand what true happiness is. “When I got pregnant, the question immediately arose of how I would raise a decent child,” she wrote in her diary after settling into a social service house. Finishing her “confession,” she wrote, “You gave me time to understand who I am for this child.”
The baptized children also received personalized embroidered icons, handmade candles, and children’s prayer books as gifts from “A Baby is a Heavenly Gift.”