Ukrainian Refugee Dmytro Yakym Encourages Students to ‘Trust God’ during Chowan Chapel Service
On Wednesday, September 27, Dmytro Yakym from Boryslav, Ukraine, was the guest speaker for Chowan University’s chapel service. Dmytro was born with cerebral palsy. His biological family was unable to take care of him and he was being raised in an orphanage. This is where he first met Billy and Mary Nixon of Tyner, NC founders of Ukraine Connections, Inc.
From the moment Mary met Dmytro, she pledged to get him out of the orphanage. While the Nixons were making plans to help Dmytro, so were their friends, the Yakyms. Eventually, the Yakyms adopted Dmytro, and together they worked with the Nixons to get Dmytro medical care in the United States. Mary’s brother, whom Dmytro affectionately refers to as “Papa Joe” helped coordinate Dmytro’s medical care in St. Louis, Missouri.
During his testimonial, Dmytro relayed that even when he grew discouraged from the pain of surgery and physical therapy, he knew God was with him. Dmytro says he “ has chosen to trust God no matter what.” Dmytro continued sharing about the horror of Russia’s attack on Ukraine that February 24. Amid the chaos, Dmytro shared how the Ukrainian people have stood strong and continue to help one another.
Once the war began in Ukraine, the Nixons urgently arranged for Dmytro to return to the U.S. so that he could continue getting needed medical care. While living as a refugee, Dmytro is pursuing a degree in social work and is taking college classes in Ukraine. Remote learning has Dmytro going to class at 2 a.m. classes.
Dmytro shared how he was inspired and identifies with evangelist David Ring. He echoed Ring’s famous quote, “I’ve got cerebral palsy, what’s your problem.” Dmytro’s continued with his powerful testimony reminding guests, “Don’t think that God doesn’t have a plan for your life, because he has big plans for your amazing life.”
At the conclusion of his remarks, Dmytro invited guests to share a message of hope in a notebook to be sent back to Ukraine. When it is complete, Dmytro will send the book to his home church, Boryslav Baptist, who will pass on to other churches to share these words of encouragement.
Before guests came to sign the book, Chowan Ministerial Board Member Rev. Kelly Rhodes Adams closed the chapel in service in a guided prayer. As a part of her time, she remembers those suffering in Ukraine and others hurting around the world.
For more information on Chowan University’s Chapel, contact Minister to the University Rev. Mari Wiles at firstname.lastname@example.org