Usually we end our reports about first visits by creating a list of what help is needed. But this time, we’ll do it differently. We visited the Stojkovic family in Dobrujevac near Aleksinac. Although they only asked for a rotary mower and hay baler, it was obvious that their home had been damaged by humidity and as well, needed insulation, eavestroughs, a pathway around the exterior and renovation of the rooms.
When we asked them what help they would prefer to receive in the event we could not provide both the machinery and home repairs/renovations – later you will learn more of their circumstances – there was only one answer:
“The machinery, if at all possible; then we will easily manage.”
This reply from mother Jelena spoke volumes about this family and was a signal to us to make every effort to get them all they needed. Jelena has a serious heart condition, and her husband, Miroslav, also has heart problems. Three of their four beautiful children also have health issues.
“Each child has a heartbreaking story”
David (17) has had omphalocele since birth (intestines, liver and occasionally other organs remain outside of the abdomen) and requires surgery. Sara (10) had a dislocated thigh bone and underwent five surgeries. A sixth surgery awaits to repair a twisted bowel. Petar (9) barely survived a premature birth at five months, and today is in special education. Stefan (6), thank God, is healthy.
Mother Jelena adores her children, but admits life is not easy:
“God gave me four children, but with each I went through serious trials. Each child has had a sad story, and we had our own troubles, challenges and misfortunes. It is hard to get back on track, but we must.”
“We are not lazy, but we have been on a rocky path”
Child allowance is the only steady income that the Stojkovic family has. They live primarily from farming.
“We are not lazy people, but life has led us on a rocky path. We have five acres of land and some cattle. Even though we have a tractor, we work mainly with machine implements. We often ask for someone to lend us a hand, but that help doesn’t always arrive on time. That’s why we are always late with the crops, mowing and baling hay. All my life I have been saving money to buy the necessary machine implements, but unfortunately, even if I were to live another 1,000 years, I wouldn’t be able to save enough,” said hard working Jelena.
The rooms look terrible due to the black mold from the humidity. We won’t even mention the old, worn furniture. As if all of this wasn’t enough, a fire broke out in one of the rooms a while ago. Fortunately, the Stojkovics were in the next room and were able to put it out.
“You are our angels of mercy!”
We will end this report with Mother Jelena’s words:
“Thank you for coming to verify that which I wrote to you about. Don’t forget us. You are our one last hope. Our angels of mercy!”
These are words from which one cannot walk away. May these words inspire us all to help another disadvantaged family. The young Stojkovics and their hardworking parents deserve it. Donations can be sent to the Charity Organization Serbs for Serbs accounts.
Donation platform (VISA, Mastercard…): http://www.srbizasrbe.org/donacije/