Tanya* was born in a small village in Central Asia. She was the ninth of eleven children. One day, when she was two years old, her father took her to help make the hay. As they were coming home in the evening, he sat her on top of the hay in the cart. The pile was so high that she fell off.
She banged her head very badly, but her father and brother did not see this and only took her to the hospital after a day had passed. The doctors said she would have damage to her brain and they were right. She was not able to speak and could not learn things easily.
Problems at school and home
Everyone could see this when she went to school. By the time she was fourteen, she still could not read or write. But Tanya had a good teacher who believed there were things she would be able to learn. Tanya's parents wanted her to go to a special school for children who had problems like hers, but her teacher asked for her to stay where she was. At home she was treated very badly, both by her parents and brothers and sisters. They bullied her and beat her day after day, just because of the problems with her brain.
She was brought up by one of her older brothers who was very cruel to her. This lasted for many years, so life for her was very painful. When her family beat her, she started to go to see the people who lived next door who were Christians. They treated her kindly.
Soon they told her about Jesus who loved her and wanted to be her friend. She spoke to God (prayed) and said, "If you are really God then you can change my life."
God started to change things for her.
Dream about two people
One night she had a dream about two people who were Jesus' friends, called Mary Magdalene and Peter. In the dream she asked them, "Is Jesus real?" They told her, "Yes."
Afterwards, when she read the Christian's holy book, the Bible, she found that these were two real people. Until that time, Tanya had not been able to speak. All of a sudden, she could. God had started to heal her!
Soon after this, her brother told her she must choose between him and her God. She said she must choose Jesus because he did everything for her. God gave her a special strength to say this and for all the other trouble that she had. Her answer that day made her brother so angry that he beat her very badly, and she was unconscious for three days. But she did not change her mind.
Soon her family did not want anything more to do with her. Tanya asked Jesus to help her and give her a new family, especially a mother. God gave her a Christian lady called Kay* who is now like a good mother to her. Tanya thanks God that he is now her friend. She does not know what would have happened to her, if she had not learned to trust him. No doctor could help Tanya, but everything changed when she asked Jesus to forgive her and change her life.
She knew she could trust him to heal her and make things different. First God healed her, then later, when she was eighteen, she was able to study at a school for learning the Bible. God gave her the strength to do things for him that no-one believed she would ever be able to do. She started helping children and young people.
Now she has hopes and dreams. She wants to be married and have her own family. She wants to help people and tell them about all God has done for her.
* Kay is not her real name