Regent University’s School of Business and Leadership (SBL) named 2004 graduate Nataliya Khom’yak as its 2015 inductee to its Alumni Hall of Distinction. Having partnered with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) to begin a ministry helping orphans around the world, Khom’yak is sharing her story and inspiration to SBL graduates.
“Never stop learning because God will put His opportunities in front of you, but it’s only up to you to take them and work them out,” said Khom’yak. “If you are faithful, there’s an unlimited opportunity in front of you to do whatever it is.”
Khom’yak put this advice into practice to change the world for thousands of orphans. She leads Orphan’s Promise, a CBN ministry that seeks to take vulnerable children and enable them to thrive. Its beginnings are rooted in God’s plan to bring Khom’yak to Regent.
“It was a miracle story,” said Khom’yak. “I heard about it from one of the students at that time who was a student at the business school, an old friend, a missionary who was instrumental in our salvation.”
Khom’yak came to the United States after hearing the gospel preached by an organization that traveled to her native country, Ukraine. She became a Christian and started working as a translator for the team in Oregon where she worked with a Regent student.
“When we came on campus there was a cool, peaceful feeling,” said Khom’yak. “I thought it would be a very cool place to study.”
Although the then School of Business did not provide full scholarships, a donor to Regent University said he wanted to fully support a student who came from Ukraine. Khom’yak was selected, and her journey began, discovering God’s calling for her life and obtaining the tools she needed to follow that calling.
“The best thing that I’ve learned is that it really challenged me to ask what is my purpose here and what was I created to do?” said Khom’yak. “What was my goal in life? Through the studies it was very interesting. I didn’t realize at the time that I was doing it, but looking back later, I knew I arrived to where I am because of the experience at Regent. Anything that we did, the feasibility study, the business plan, it all came back to the ministry aspect that I always had in my heart to help orphans and vulnerable children.”
When 700 Club co-host Terry Meeuwsen adopted three Ukrainian orphans and needed someone to help them learn English, she turned to Khom’yak. The two developed a friendship and began praying for three years about what they could do to help more orphans, particularly the friends of Terry’s adopted children. Eventually Orphan’s promise was born as a CBN ministry. December will mark 10 years since it started. Today, it has a presence in 53 countries. Among other missions, it is providing centers that teach life skills, English computer skills and God’s love to children who have reached the age to leave orphanages.
“God has a plan for you and the things He has put in your heart, He wants you to fulfill them,” said Khom’yak. “He wants you to be happy, and He wants you to find happiness in what you do for Him.”
Khom’yak was recognized at this year’s SBL commissioning ceremony.