Home Christian News After 43 Days, Ohio Pastor Hears From Daughter Missing in Ukraine

After 43 Days, Ohio Pastor Hears From Daughter Missing in Ukraine

Trevor Littleton
Pictured: Littleton's daughter, Nastya, with her brother, Sergei, who was also adopted by Littleton. Screengrab via Spectrum News.

Ohio pastor Trevor Littleton and his wife are exhaling a sigh of relief after hearing from their surrogate daughter, Nastya (26), who had been missing in Ukraine and from whom they had not heard in 43 days. 

Littleton, who pastors First Church of Christ in Painesville, Ohio, had previously reunited with his other surrogate daughter, Dasha (20), at the Poland/Ukraine border after she evacuated the country as Russia invaded. The Littletons have nine children, five of whom were adopted or are surrogates. While Dasha and Nastya were too old to be legally adopted, the Littletons still consider them to be their daughters. The couple also adopted Nastya’s brother, Sergei.

In March, Littleton reunited with Dasha at the Ukrainian border, after urging her to flee her home and promising to meet her there.

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“I was afraid she might not do it. I was afraid she wouldn’t have the courage, because it’s terrifying,” Littleton told WOIO about Dasha. “But I promised her, get to the border, I will meet you there. I will get you. You will see me personally. I will get a plane, I will fly over, I will meet you there.”

At that time, Littleton had not heard from Nastya in two weeks. 

“It feels like your daughter’s been kidnapped and you just don’t know how to get to them, how to rescue them and, as a father, you feel helpless with this and it’s frustrating,” Littleton said. “One way or the other, we’ve got to find a way to bring her home.”

Dasha is currently living in Paris, and Littleton is working on getting her to Canada, and eventually to the United States. 

The Littletons have now received word that Nastya is also safe. 

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“A lot of joy,” Littleton told Spectrum News. “And when you’re numb to the tragedy, it’s almost like am I numb to the joy upfront here? Because there’s just that idea of this can’t be this good. Like we’ve waited this long for it.”

Littleton learned that Nastya was safe when his wife called him during a church meeting to tell him that Nastya had made contact with her.

After being without a phone for a period of three weeks, Nastya was finally able to reconnect with her parents through an old boss whom her parents also personally know. She had been isolated in her Mariupol apartment before leaving and finding a humanitarian checkpoint operated by the Russian government. 

“Her building was—we saw pictures of it where it was hit,” Littleton said. “Just the sides of it were black, windows were out, and she lived in that for three weeks before, it was another family member is all we can get out of it, who came in and convinced her to come out because you know, you’re a young pretty girl. Not big. Stuck here for weeks. The fear to leave her apartment was a lot.”