The Real Voronaev Children

April 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Reflection on The (un)Forgotten: Story of the Voronaev Children
Kathryn N. Donev, M.S., LPC/MHSP, NBCC

The chronology of the history of events in the lives of the Voronaev children is the least to say vague and uncertain. We see only bits and pieces of their experiences. And from what we do know from theses small glimpses, the facts are so disturbing that it is easier to face reality by ignoring it. It’s much more convenient to allow the lives of the Voronaev’s children to get lost in the midst of the politics, procedure and papers (or lack thereof). But, the truth is that “The (un)Forgotten” story is not about the difficulties of anything else but the children. The children are the focus of Dr. Donev’s paper and most definitely should not be forgotten.

Reading the story of the Voronaevs takes a strong heart. It is indeed a sad one that for many of us may seem unfathomable. And yet the sparse historical accounts surrounding their life stories force the reader to confront discomfort. However, the sadist story of all is that when reading this account from the perspective of the children it was not one that I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t want to think about how the children might have felt or what they might have gone through. I refused because it was too painful. It took too much emotional anguish to even think about the pain and trauma that these children went through. Because of my refusal to contemplate the trials these children endured, I was unable to be empathetic. I was powerless to even begin to comprehend what might have gone through the minds of the children who witnessed and experienced events no child should have to. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a child with no “home” or much less no country. I was not able to walk a mile in their shoes. I have no idea what it is or would be like to live under Communism or to be the child of a missionary family who had so many struggles, which is putting it lightly only so I can verbalize this unfortunate reality.

When a child is in any manner separated from their parents there becomes a disconnect like no other in which a child begins to have self-doubt, insecurity and uncertainty. When this bond is ripped apart it leaves behind feelings of anxiety and guilt. Yet when a child first hand experiences a parent being dragged off by Communist police in front of them, this leaves an entirely different scar, one which never heals. It is a scar so deep, filled with enormous traumatic stress which no one could possibly imagine. Not to mention the other dynamics of immigrations and foster care that the Voronaev children endured. These children no doubt were left with feelings of loneliness and rejection in one uncertain situation after the other.

So when we look back and we read the history of the complications of obtaining visas and the difficult times of providing a place for these children to stay in addition to worrying about the financial means to do so; when we look at the bickering and shady details of people’s character, we must not over look that there where real children suffering in the midst of the chaos. They were not just characters of a story or pawns in a game. They were real even though they were only foreigners of poor missionaries. They have stories to tell. They have a voice which must be heard. They most certainly were not listened too while they were alive so let us at least do them the justice of listening to their whispers beyond the grave and hear their pain, hear their trials and hear their plea to leave the politics behind and begin to see the true reality of missions work. Too often in the world of ministry, the children are the ones who suffer the most and it is quite unfortunate that the littlest ones go unheard. We must speak for the least of these among us. We can not remain silent.

Does the God To Whom You Pray Answer?

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, News

young-man-prayingResponse to Rev. Jesses Jackson’s “There’s Still More to Be Done” lecture at the University of Nebraska | by Kathryn Donev

We as a society, as a culture, have come a long way indeed. And this is a good thing. Equality is a good thing. Independence is a good thing. Rights are a good thing. Voice is a good thing. And here comes the “however”. When our right to all of this freedom becomes perverted into selfishness is when I begin to question this idea of social justice. What is the purpose of such? Is it not for equality and solidarity together? When the latter is lacking there is no social justice. When your rights begin invading on mine then there appears to be a contradiction with neither social nor justice. Does freedom of speak serve it’s function when it invades on the opinions and belief system of another? In the midst of this rising post modernistic mentality, it appears that there is freedom for all but one group called Christians whom are becoming the minority not even standing up for themselves.

We have turned into a culture who is loyal to nothing and everything at the same time; those whom occupy for a purpose unknown to themselves, those who fight for the right to be right. All values are acceptable, all beliefs are true, all gods are God. This protest for social justice confuses and in turn controls. I do believe that everyone should have the right to fight for the right to fight but when we are fighting for acceptance of no absolutes and only objective truths there is something wrong and I cannot remain silent sitting at the back of the bus. Of course I agree with the stand against classification however a line needs to be drawn when we begin to fight against the distinction of right and wrong, of good and evil. I remember a time when right was right and wrong was wrong; when white was white and black was black and I am not talking about the color of your skin. If there is no distinction between good and evil, righteousness is obsolete. With all being relative, there is no literal Heaven or Hell. Spirituality is no longer synonymous with religious. You can pray to which ever god you choose or all gods at the same time just in case. Yet, regardless of your beliefs, the true test will be if the god to whom you are praying answers. There most definitely is still more to be done.