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His name is Vadim. He is from Ukraine and he was born into really tough situation. His alcoholic parents beat him and stuffed into a wine barrel to the point that his body literally broke.

Stuffed in a Barrel

They cut open the top of the wine barrel just so he could have air and be able to see out just a little bit. That was the beginning for Vadim.

Vadim was sent to an orphanage at the age of nine. But at the orphanage things got worse. You say how could it get worse? His body was broken ’cause he was stuffed in a wine barrel. How could it get worse?

Because he was tortured. His lower body didn’t work and he stayed on the third floor of the orphanage. Every day he would have to crawl up using his hands to get to the third floor and then when it was time to eat all the kids would run down and he would be the last one down. There would be no food. And even if there was food the older kids would take it from him because they could.

Loads of Love

That was life for Vadim until he was 14. Some incredible people from Loads of Love, who knew hope, walked into that orphanage. Ed Dickson told Vadim about a man named Jesus. He loved him and Vadim said yes to this man. His life was changed instantly.

There was still a lot in his life that he had to work through but at that moment Vadim went from darkness to light. For the first time in life he was cared for. He had the chance to express himself and he wanted to do that through art because God gave him the ability to paint.

Now Vadim, a boy whose body was broken, who was beaten, who was tortured, who was malnourished, wasn’t wanted, is now married with a child of his own.

Hearing about Vadim’s story about going from darkness to light the Tim Tebow Foundation asked him, “Would you paint what the change in your life looks like to you?”

This is what he painted.


The painting shows the wine barrel in which his body was crushed. But it also shows him wheeling himself from darkness and that wine barrel to the light that only Jesus can provide.

Vadim is getting to live in the light because people had the courage to go to the hardest place and enter chaos so that every boy and girl knows that there are people that care about them and know there’s a God that cares about them. That truly makes darkness go to light.

Vadim created a painting for Ed that hangs in his home. His signature paintings feature light, hope and love. They illuminate the way through horrible situations by faith in Jesus. He is the bridge over troubled waters.Read more about kids from the Place That God Forgot.

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Hope grows here.  We share stories that inspire people, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Julie MacKenzie says:

    What a horrific life Vadim lived through. Heartbreaking that parents who are supposed to protect you from harm….are abusing you. It happens to many behind closed doors, unfortunately. So happy for him now. That he has moved forward in his journey with Christ & has found the light. Plus, he can now show his own son a wonderful life filled with happiness & love. The cycle has been broken. Thank you for sharing this story with us Pastor Bob. Wishing you & yours a Happy New Year filled with Health, Happiness & Prosperity! ❣️

  • Bob Jones says:

    Ed Dickson and Loads of love of do incredible work with Ukrainian orphans.

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