– You know, once my mother told me that she might leave and never come back. But still, she will always love me, more than life. – The girl whispered confidentially in my ear. – Aunt, she loves me so much, don't you think she'll leave me alone?
Friends, whether a young and beautiful mother of five children, Erna Lipchenko, will survive depends only on God, and on our spiritual kindness. This wonderful, close-knit family lives in unbearable conditions, in a room completely unsuitable for living. But that's not what the kids are worried about right now. Trouble hung over their heads… Their mother can leave and they'll never see her again. The poor woman has already lost hope for help, and stealthily says goodbye to her dearest children.
But we won't let that happen, will we? The eldest daughter, Erna, is 17 years old, Mikhail is 15, Alexander is 9, twins Maxim and Mia are 8, and their life is not a piece of cake. Their existence is cold and hungry… Can you imagine that they miss school because they don't even have money to travel? There are 7 people in the family: their father Andrey, a Jack-of-all-trades taking any job; his wife is Erna, seriously ill and requiring a lot of money for treatment, and their five wonderful children.
Erna: You know, I'm very ill… My greatest fear is that my children will be left alone… How will they live without me? Before, we both worked with Andrey, tried as best we could. But then I got a serious diagnosis and had to leave my job. I often feel weak, dizzy, and get tired very quickly. I'm not afraid of death, I'm afraid of leaving my children orphaned. Doctors diagnosed diabetes and iron-deficiency anemia. But we have no money for treatment. I take Limfokin against diabetes, but we have no money at all to cure anemia. We need to raise the level of hemoglobin, we need transfusions, but you know how expensive medicine is in the country, and we don't even have money for food. And I am getting worse day by day (crying).
Erna: It is vital that I start treatment immediately. A course of transfusions is required, the cost of which is 500 lari. For us, this is just an enormous amount. In addition, I need a lot of tests and checks, a full examination, but we have absolutely no funds. And the state refused to finance me. You can see for yourself how we live, we have nothing, no furniture, no appliances, no basic everyday items. Very often, we just don't have anything to eat. And this shack we live in is about to fall on our heads. We also pay money for it.
– Erna, please tell us how you met your future husband.
Erna: Do you believe in destiny? The fact is that when my parents divorced, my mother and I were left completely alone, without any male support, there was no one to even screw in a light bulb. Of course, when the TV got broken, it was just a disaster for us. We called the master, and his son, Andrey, came with him. Young, handsome and very sociable guy. The TV was fixed, and Andrey, since then, has become our frequent guest, and personal master. He came and asked if something needed fixing (laughs). Then we started dating, I didn't even notice how I fell in love. One day, he asked me to become his wife, and I agreed without hesitation. We were married twice. I was a Gregorian and my first wedding was held in an Armenian Church. But Andrey's uncle, a priest of the Orthodox Church, could not accept this. It was he who insisted that I was baptized according to Orthodox customs and the second time, we were married in an Orthodox Church. So I got married twice, but to the same man! The main thing was that we did it for great love and since then, despite all the hardships, nothing has changed between us.
– Is there anybody helping you? Parents or relatives?
Erne: You know yourself what hard times are now, it is difficult for absolutely everyone, there is a struggle for survival. Andrey's Brother is mentally ill, and all the funds of our relatives are thrown at his treatment. He is in a very difficult condition, perhaps even worse than I am. My mother helped us a lot while she was alive, but unfortunately, she died of cancer 3 years ago. I would like to thank the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky on Marjanishvili street, where Andrey's uncle served. They helped us a lot while he was alive. But unfortunately, the uncle died young, at 48, after a second stroke.
– Could you have imagined that such a misfortune might happen to you? How did you imagine your future?
Erna: Like everyone else, we dreamed of a large and happy family. Full of love and understanding. Andrey and I always wanted a lot of children, so that they could always support each other in difficult times. Our children are the main thing in our life. Thank God, they grow up to be wonderful people, kind and smart, and they make us very happy. I had no idea about my illness, I lived a full life, I was always ready for anything for the sake of my children, and I worked hard. And now… I'm so scared… Not for myself, but for them. If something happens to me, they will have absolutely no one to support them.
– Did you ask someone for help? The local authorities, for example?
Erna: I knocked on all the doors, went to all the authorities. Apparently my request is impossible to fulfill.
But I cannot take the sin on my soul, and say that we are not helped at all and we are left to fend for ourselves. The state pays for our housing 300 lari a month, and we pay 50 lari extra ourselves. Some people don't have that either. We receive social allowance in the amount of 500 lari. The state also provides vouchers for food to children.
I applied to the Ministry of Health to have the state insurance company pay for my treatment, but they said that there is no money in the budget now.
– Do you believe in God? What do you see as salvation?
Erne: I am very religious and often go to Church, my youngest three children are godchildren of Katalikos Patriarch Elijah II. And I'm happy for them from the bottom of my heart. Sometimes a bad thought stirs and I begin to grumble at my illness, at my evil fate. But then I realize that I have five healthy children, and this is real happiness. Some people dream of having at least one child.
– Do you believe that strangers can be good to you?
Erna: I believe it from the bottom of my heart, and I have seen it many times in my own experience. Due to a lack of funds for rent, we have changed 13 apartments in 19 years. When our family was thrown out on the street because we delayed payment, our neighbor let us live with her. One day, we couldn't pay the rent for two months, and the landlord just got into the situation and forgave us this debt. Holy man! The neighbors bring food when we are start starving. How can I not believe?
– How did you find yourself in this house?
Erne: We will rent this apartment for 350 lari, but you can see for yourself that it is not possible to turn around here, especially with five children.
– Do your children go to school or kindergarten? Which of the children, in your opinion, is the most talented and in what way?
Erna: Thank God, textbooks are distributed free of charge at school. Without this help, I couldn't have done it. The only problem is that the school is very far away, and we don't even have money for transportation. Therefore, they have to skip classes, they are far behind the program and worry. Although their teachers consider them gifted and highly praise them.
Each of them is gifted in their own way. My eldest daughter draws well, she is creative and thinks to try her luck in the field of beauty.
Mikhail is now 15 years old, a very modest and shy boy, he is well versed in computers and electronics.
9-year-old Alexander dreams of becoming a pilot! He talks about it all day and night! He watches videos and flight simulations, and is also interested in his younger brother Maxim, 8 years old. So I will have two pilots at home (smiles).
Once we even took the children to the airport so they could see the planes up close and how they fly. They were so happy! Mia also has a talent for drawing, she draws everything she sees.
– For example, what do your children eat? What is their daily diet?
Erna: Cereals, soups, but is this food for a growing body? Chicken every two months is a holiday for us. We are very much helped by the social canteen. Of course, like all children, they are madly in love with chocolate, but this is an unacceptable luxury for us. The older ones are already conscious – they don't even ask for anything.
– Let me talk to the kids now. Let's talk to you guys, can we? – How do you study, how do you help mom and dad?
Erna (17 years old): I love beautiful nails. And in general, a woman must be well-groomed. I can make a good manicure, and I often do it to my friends. I also like to communicate with my friends on the Internet, I don't have a boyfriend yet, I think it's too early yet. And I don't like anyone very much. And there is no time for such nonsense. I have to help my mother, clean the house, take care of the children, cook. One day I will become a professional and successful manicure master. I will work in an elite salon! And my dream is to see the sea, at least once in my life.
Mikhail (15 years old): I am fond of computer programs and spend most of my time at the computer. I have not yet chosen a profession, life will show. I am not very sociable, I prefer to be alone at home. Communication with technology seems more interesting to me. Sometimes I go with my father and help him, he taught me everything. He and his father went like that. I really like working with electronics.
– And maybe one day, you and your father will meet their love while fixing the TV?
Mikhail (15 years old): (giggles) It's possible! To be honest, I haven't thought about it yet. But I admit that this has not happened yet!
Alexander (9 years old): I also like computers, I like to watch videos about planes, and I already know everything about them. Becoming a pilot is my dream. I will fly commercial flights and travel all over the world, I want to see the world so much.
– Why a pilot? Where do you want to go first?
Alexander (9 years old): What do you mean, why do I want to be a pilot? Are you serious? (giggles) It's just wonderful! Whoosh and you took off and ended up on some islands like in pictures!
Whoosh and you took off: "Dear passengers, please fasten your seat belts, the ship's captain, Mr. Alexander, will take you to Berlin". Whoosh…
- And if the plane in the air, God forbid, breaks down, what will you do, how to save people?
Alexander (9 years old): And if something happens, I can land the plane on the water, and in the woods, and on the road... I've seen in movies the protagonists do so. And I'll be a sooooo cool pilot!
– Have you seen the sea? What do you think it is like?
Alexander (9 years old): I only saw it in the movies, I will definitely see the sea, and I will see the ocean! And then I'll tell you!
Maxim (8 years old): We have only one computer, and we even quarrel over it sometimes… I don't know what I want to be, but I like planes, too. I help my mom, put my toys away, and I clean up after Mia, too. I'm an adult and I go to bed without stories. Mia is our little girl, she always asks for a bedtime story.
– Mia, who tells you stories? What do you dream about before going to sleep? What is your favorite dream?
Mia (8 years old): Everyone tells me who has the time. Guess what Alex says (chuckles) about his planes! And how he will take us all to Berlin. Why Berlin, I don't know.
Maxim (8 years old): What did I dream about? Seriously? Do you want to know? I was dreaming about my classmate Nonna, as if I was giving her ice cream. But don't tell anyone, okay? Otherwise, I will be very offended.
Mia (8 years old): And I love painting, I want to be a world-famous artist. I love bunnies, they are cute, and I draw them often. I also help my mother around the house. My mother used to always tell me stories, but now she is very tired and because of that so my older sister, Erna, reads to me. My favorite is about the frog Princess.
– Do you want to be a Princess, too? And who will be your king? Who braids your pretty hair? Who do you love the most from your siblings and why?
Mia (8 years old): Didn't you want to, aunt? All girls want to be princesses! And then marry a Prince as cool as my dad!
Erna braids my hair, I'm her model! And most of all, I love Alex, because he promised to take me for a ride on his plane when he grows up. And when he has a house by the sea, there he will arrange for me one pink "princess" room! He's kind, isn't he?!
– Erna, you have wonderful kids. Let's continue our conversation. – What's your family's income? What can you afford?
Erne: Social assistance is our only income. Andrey doesn't have a permanent job. One of his eyes has been closed since birth, which is why they don't hire him anywhere. He worked from time to timeas a loader, fixing electricity, and taking on any part-time job. My husband has always been caring, always tried to provide us with a decent existence. And I helped him as much as I could, but now, this disease... (sobs)
– What is your most cherished dream? What are in your opinion the things you need at home in the first place?
Erna: The biggest dream is to have a roof over my head and, at least once, go to the sea with my family, with my children! In our position, this is just a pipe dream.
With all my heart, I want my children to be able to get a decent education. We have no household appliances, no basic conditions, and what's more, there is not even food! We are grateful to the social canteens, they help us so much. I even do not speak about the funds for treatment… If I don't immediately take care of my health, something irreparable may happen. That's what I'm afraid of. I don't want to leave my children orphans! God help me!
– Why did you decide to contact us?
Erna: I found out about the Fund a long time ago, I saw how they gave out free products, then found your Facebook page. I was amazed at how many destitute people you help. I'm just in a desperate situation, and I'll be grateful for any help.
– When we write about you, almost all of Georgia will know about your family. Would you like to meet friends of the Fund?
Erne: I am already very grateful that you came and listened to me, of course I will be happy to meet everyone.
Friends, as you can see, the large Lipchenko family is in extreme need. To survive, the family is in dire need of food, medicines, furniture and household appliances!
Let's support them, show mercy, give the children a chance to develop normally and have a happy childhood. All children need a healthy and lively mother, friends, let's save her life! You can personally visit this family and provide assistance. The children and their parents will be merely happy! Call Erna, find out about her needs, cheer her up, support her, tell her that she is not alone and that nobody will leave them alone in their trouble! It is very important.
Here is their address: Tbilisi, 14a Kvareli st. Tel.: 558 62 99 14
Dear friends, Chernovetskyi Fund initiates a charitable action: to help the Lipchenko family. As you know, the Fund does not stop at one-time assistance. Without children, the country and people have no future. Take care of the younger generation! Help them survive! "Write them down" as your relatives. And we are sure that the Lord himself will bless you.
And be sure to repost our publication. Let all your friends know about the grief of this family! It is very important.
God gives us the opportunity to take care of people who are not able to do it themselves. Not all people are the same. And not everyone is as kind as we are. Please, do not pass aside the sorrow of others! Unhappy people are given to us from above so that we can prove our faith to the Almighty not in words but in deeds!
Friends, there is one more request, if you know about the misfortune of a neighbor or friend, do a Charitable deed, write to us by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Fund account GE15TB7194336080100003, GE42LB0115113036665000 or GE64BG0000000470458000 (purpose: Lipchenko family). You can also transfer money from our website.
You can as well transfer money from the terminals of OPPA, TBCpay and ExpressPay. Find our Fund in "Charity" section. (You can learn about the additional rights and obligations of the Fund by following the link https://goo.gl/GY2Gus).