This book is not about people who were born poor and then became rich. This book consists of true stories about extraordinary human beings, who despite, rather because of, the terrible ordeals that life has thrown at them, achieved personal successes and became healers, educators, advocates for the abused, inspirational speakers, motivational symbols of survival, and achievers of sacred dreams. These tales will encourage people who are dealing with challenges that the ruthless twists of fate present to them.



I was born and lived in the beautiful city, St. Petersburg, Russia. I have firsthand experience living under a communist regime. In the 1980s, Communist party leader Gorbachev started a political movement, called ‘’perestroika,’’ the literal meaning being ‘’restructuring.’’ He called for reformations within the communist party and economic system. Those reforms brought chaos in the country by shaking and changing established laws and policies. During the period of the Communist empire collapsing, Russia plunged into a period of unprecedented crime never seen in its history. Explosions and gunshots were part of life. Bandits organized into gangs; they forced every business owner to pay a portion of their income, they controlled different parts of the city, and they knew where businesses were located. Criminals abducted and tortured disobedient entrepreneurs or the members of their families. If that did not convey the lesson, they would kill. My husband and I were business owners.



Busied in our ordinary life we don’t think very often about other people’s tragedies. Most of us were blessed to be born in democratic, secure countries, where we know about wars only from the news. However, in many places on the planet people are dying violently. Tortures and sex slaves markets do exist in 21 century. I was astonished to read about survivors of these ordeals, who appeal to world’s leaders asking for changes. Stories of disable people, living full life and making impact on millions are also miraculous. Reading this book will change your perception of whatever you are facing now.

Heidi Chevrier

The book made me reconsider a lot of what I though, were serious problems in my life. Most of us don’t appreciate what we have, but comparing my struggles with real ordeals that book’s characters went through I felt truly ashamed of my feelings. Incredible examples of courageous people changed my perception of any problems

Brian Crombie

Ordeals and opportunities is an aggressive exploration of both the institutional and personal ordeals that these extraordinary human beings had to contend with. I came away with the feeling that I was not forced to measure up to the people in these stories, but rather, adopt aspects of a mindset similar to theirs in the pursuit of justice and meaning in my own life. If you are someone who has been dealt a cruel blow by the institutions that drive our society, or if you have gone through unfortunate circumstances, I would recommend exploring the stories of these individuals, for they may shed light on your personal story with one of their own.

Arnold Layne, writer


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


©2023 All rights reserved | Marina Ray | Website design by Web Engine Studio

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?