Help Senka Overcome Obstacles!
My name is Senka Nenadov. I am 25 years old and I am a graduate student at the Faculty of Philosophy attending two courses: French Language and Literature and Studies of Philosophy.
My everyday life is not much different from any other young adult of my age in Serbia: I like going to university every day, I love attending all kinds of students’ meetings, christian union meetings, parties, I enjoy going out for a cup of coffee, seeing my friends, travelling. Never in my life have I lived deprived of anything thanks to my family and friends.
However, there is another side to this story: I have lived with cerebral palsy since my birth. It was a consequence of complications at my birth. My physical disability was evaluated as 100 per cent disability back then. That is why I had to go under 6 surgeries as a little girl. However, I was growing up attending school and living quite a normal life, up to now.
Now please let me share with you how a life of a disabled person looks like in Serbia.
If I want to go for regular daily lectures at my university I have to face many barriers: first, I cannot go anywhere without my personal assistant. Then, I face inaccessible building entrances, inaccessible public transport, difficult seats to ’climb up’ even in new models of accessible buses, long way to walk from the nearest bus stop and my faculty premises. So, even if I choose not to use public transportation, I have to hire an assistant who is a driver and also who would have a very flexible daily availability since my schedule at school sometimes demands I attend classes and lectures during the whole day (in the morning, afternoon and in the evening) with longer breaks, so a personal assistant needs to be very available. To find a person like that I need to offer them a decent monthly payment.
Concerning my other needs (going to market place, going to see a doctor, going to a pharmacy) not mentioning my social life – to fullfil just those basic ones I have to face multitude barriers daily, so having a personal assistant is my urgent need.
In Serbia, there is no organised help and support for people with disabilities which means I have to find and interview and hire my own personal assistant. So far, as I mentioned, I have been managing with great support of family, friends, colleagues and part time assistants – sometimes my fellow students but now I am not in a position any more to pay for that.
I live alone with my mother since my father’s death, and her health has been deteriorating last couple of years - she is a diabetic with impaired sight and hearing which makes it even more difficult for two of us on daily basis. That is why this period of my life (until I finish my studies) is extremely hard for me since I don’t work yet and cannot support myself yet.
My specific needs are following: I need an assistant for at least 6 hours daily for a period of next two years. Minimal payment check for that in Serbia would be 150 euros ($165) per month. This sum of money is much more that me and my mother could afford on monthly basis.
This is why I am sharing my story and writing to ask for help.
Thank you in advance for you patience to read this and willingness to help!
With best wishes and blessings to you all,
When we as a community of friends, make life more manageable for people living with unique challenges we are all blessed. The cerebral palsy Senka lives with can become a tool and not a hindrance.
I think it is so important for Senka to live a full life in Novi Sad with the support she needs, because she is setting an example of what life with disabilities can look like to her community. Instead of being separated and marginalized people with all kinds of challenges can be important members of society. But ultimately we are fulfilling the words of scripture to help those in need and honor those with specific weaknesses. Our hearts grow in love and others are honored, that glorifies Jesus!
So, thank you friends! Thank you for showing love to Senka, for honoring her, and blessing her life!
So far we've raised almost half of what she needs for one year to pay a personal assistant. If you know of others who would like to help, please, spread the word!
I hope you will consider supporting Senka. Life with disabilities can be challenging. But we don't want Senka to have to focus on the disability, but rather focus on her potential and the work God has given her to do.
Let's not just decry the evils of inequality, let's do something about it! Whenever we can let's seek to do good. This is an opportunity to do good!
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-11
I hope you will join me in blessing Senka with your financial support as well as with your prayers!
My name is Marko Stupar and I am coordinating Evangelical University Students (EUS) group in Novi Sad. EUS is Christian student organization which is part of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES).
Our main goal is to reach other students with Gospel and to disperse christian students. To reach this goal we do Bible studies, camps, evangelistic events...
Senka became Christian in 2012. That was very joyful moment for us, especially for Daniela Kokan who was at that time coordinating work in Novi Sad. Daniela spent a lot of time with Senka before and after her conversion. Also, events that we organized, summer camps and Bible studies had big impact in her life. Immediately she started to be very active in her church and in EUS work. In 2014 she was our intern for one year. In this short letter I would like to highlight 3 areas where God is using Senka powerfully. In this areas she has been great encouragement for me, and huge blessing for our student work.
1. Personal evangelist - As you probably know, Senka is born with physical disability. Because of that she needs to have assistant wherever she goes. Most of her assistants are her friends who are not Christians. She regularly brings her friends to our meetings and they have a chance to hear the Gospel there. 2 years ago her friend was assistant at our summer camp. On that camp she become a Christian. Last mission week she brought another friend and her friend came with us to summer camp. She also become Christian at that camp! Now Senka is doing Bible study with her and helping her to grow in faith.
It is amazing to see how Senka uses her disability as her biggest strength by which she is bringing people to God. What people see as weakness and disability, God uses for his Kingdom!
2. Love for aplogetics- Senka is student of Philosophy. Although she studies in very hard surroundings where she is only christian among her colleges and professors who are all agnostics or atheists, her faith is very strong and her love for Bible and apologetic is huge. She always wants to learn more and to hear different opinions. I really believe she will become great apologists and fighter for God’s word.
3. Activism- Senka is very active in other NGOs as well. Although she studies, she uses her free time to go to different events. Also she is volunteering for several NGOs where she is helping people in need. She is one of founders of NGO Miral that is working with people with disability. This activism gives her opportunity to meet a lot of new people, share Gospel with them, make new friendships.
There are many other things that I could write about Senka. It is truly blessing for me to know her and to see how God is using her daily. Also, I am looking forward to see where will God lead her in future.