Hello my name is Anya Bota. I am 24 years old and I live in Jacksonville Florida; originally from Ukraine. I have always had a heart out for kids wheather it was in sunday school, kids ministry or working in schools, where I currently am working.
Because I grew up in a Russian community I didnt get to interact much with different cultures and in 2012 I had the opportunity to go to Mexico and ever since then I have been coming to Mexico every year but it wasn't until 2014 tho when I met Cristina and David. When our church group was in Mexico in 2014 we were in need of a translater and Cristina was asked to translate. After that week I didn't think I'll ever see her again but little did I know that our paths would one day cross again. I followed the Casa Dayspring page and noticed that they were building something and I was curious so I messaged Cristina and after our conversation God put it on my heart to help out. I made up my mind to go help out and on January 27th, 2017 I came with a one way ticket. I came with the idea of being a helping hand; with an open heart to anything and everything God has to offer here.
My time here has been somewhat of a life changing experience the 8 months I got to stay here in 2017. When I went back home on September I couldnt get the Casa out of my head. There were hardship here and there, but after 8 months you build such close bonds with everyone here that the others things don't even matter. Listening to the testimonies of these kids was an eye opener about how much one can through in the little time they have been on this earth. I learned to not pity them because of their pasts but to be sympathetic and show them real love through actions since I couldn't express with my broken Spanish.
The second time I came was to spend the summer with them this year. Second time around was so much different, it's was like coming back to a family reunion and we started where we left of. One thing I struggled with the first time I was here was gaining their trust and respect. When I came back I was expecting the girls to take my stuff again but to my surprise they never did, it's funny how now we laugh about the times they were in trouble last year for taking my stuff and hiding it. These girls I got to live with for 8 months have become my little sisters and I couldn't be more blessed to have them in my life. I have witnesses how much they have grown over the year and what a difference a little love and joy can do in a childs life. We went through hardship and trials together but through that we are that much more bonded. I can't even call thid a missionary trip anymore, I call it family because thats what the Casa became to me.
Never in my life did I think I would have this opportunity and I thank God for these doors that He has opened for me because through these doors I got to meet so many amazing people and through this I have received so many blessings from God, family, friends and my church that kept me and the Casa in their prayers.
These kids may come and go out of the Casa but they will forever have a special place in my heart. As my time here at the Casa is coming to an end for the summer I am already planning about when I will be reunited with my Casa Dayspring family again.