From the very beginning, in naming our center ‘Dream House’, our team sought to make girls’ dreams come true: a real family, in which nobody humiliates and abuses them; a life without fear, where they are not pushed into an abyss.
And what more suitable day and occasion to affirm this than Christmas?
None of the girls had any idea what surprises awaited them as they returned from a Christmas eve church service.
While they were away, some people from our team had prepared a special Christmas dinner, and gifts.
“It was so interesting to see the first reaction of our girls,” says Irina, a Dream House team member. “They entered the house and simply stiffened in astonishment. For most of them, Christmas was a day of getting money from neighbours or fellow villagers, because on the eve of Christmas people by tradition are very generous. When I saw tears of joy, and girls’ eyes sparkling with happiness while gifts were being opened, I understood once again: Christmas is for rejoicing; to gladden someone’s heart, and to share with love.”
One girl said: “Many times, I’ve heard my school friends share their impressions of Christmas: gathering with their families for a holiday, and waking up in the morning to find gifts under the Christmas tree. In such conversations, I was always silent. I had nothing to tell them about my Christmas. I never received gifts for Christmas or got to choose the gift box I desired. Now, I have something to tell my friends!”
After finishing our festive dinner and opening the gifts, we moved on to another special event for Christmas night – carol singing. Having rehearsed Christmas carols, a crowd of us went to knock on people’s doors. Each visit was delightful. On the way we talked, had fun, and through the constant, pleasant singing all the people heard the message of Christ’s birth. People were opening their homes and hearts to us with gladness. For the first time in their lives, the girls learned that it is much more pleasant to give people happiness and pleasure, without expecting anything in return.
Anna, a Dream House participant, shared her impressions. “For the first time in my life I had a real Christmas. It was the first time in my life that I met such numbers of people who answered me with a smile and gratitude. And our singing together was so cool!”
We returned home late that night, tired but happy.
Alla, Dream House coordinator, recalls: “Watching girls during that day as they sang, prayed to God, thanking Him for sending His son to earth and wishing Jesus a happy birthday, I realized again that this Christmas helped all of us to feel like one happy family, where everyone has a place.”