Stories from the Field – March 2017
Two decades ago administrators who ran the state orphanage in Arad thought that the children showing up in their facilities were predestinated to a life with no future. They predetermined that these kids would end up on the streets, in prostitution or living some other bad lifestyle. Even when organizations like Global Hope showed up to care for some of the kids, they had little optimism that these kids would amount to anything. Little did they realize that God had a different plan!
Today we celebrate a great accomplishment by Teo, who has been living in Ana’s House since she was a toddler. Teo, who is in her second year of college at Arad’s Institute of Design, was awarded a full scholarship to spend a semester abroad in Coimbra, Portugal where she can continue her studies in Design. She left for Portugal in February and will be there for six months. All who meet Teo quickly realize that in addition to being a gifted artist, that she has an incredible spirit and faith that shines through. We praise God for what He has done and continues to do in her life!
Each year, as students move on to high school, Spring Valley Children’s Center brings in new children for school and for the dorms to fill empty spots. This year, they were able to accept three sisters: Ann (11), Pure (10), and Grace (7) both into school and into Talitha Koum Girls Home.
These three girls have gone through a lot of pain and hardship in their young lives. They come from a very poor family who live in the slums around Spring Valley. Their father was diagnosed with stomach cancer and has been undergoing treatments and missing a lot of work. Being that he is the only one providing income for the family, his condition led to even greater poverty. To make this situation worse, three months ago the family was traveling in a public transport vehicle when it overheated and caught on fire. Fortunately, the children were rescued by other motorists before they were harmed, but their father and mother suffered from third degree burns. The parents were hospitalized for a whole month and the children had nowhere to go. This is how they ended up in Talitha Koum.
When the girls came to live at Talitha Koum, they were significantly malnourished and traumatized. They cried a lot because they saw the burns on their parents and worried they would not survive. Praise God, their parents are healing from their injuries, and the girls are getting healthier. The girls worry less now and are able to focus on their studies. They express a faith in God that helps them get through the difficult days, and are grateful to be able to learn about God and worship Him at Spring Valley’s church each week.
Recently, the girls’ parents were discharged from the hospital, but they are undergoing a lot of treatment and therapy at home, and still unable to care for their children. The Spring Valley staff have shared how inspired they are by Ann, Pure, and Grace. Although they have felt sad for their parents, they do not have self-pity for what they’ve been through, or what they lack. They thank God every day for what they do have, and are encouraged by what the future holds for them. Ann and Pure say they want to be pilots when they grow up so they can see the world, and Grace says she wants to be a lawyer so she can help people when she grows up.
“Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company…You will argue with yourself there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.” John Piper
Each month the children who live in Hope Boys, Hope Girls and Prema Girls Home participate in Bible Club. It’s an important time of teaching the children about Jesus and helping them understand what it looks like to live a Christian life. For children who come from very difficult backgrounds and broken families, this becomes a time where healing can begin. Consider this story from Gayathri, who lives in Hope Girls Home:
Gayathri is 8 years old and comes from a Hindu background. She didn’t know anything about Jesus until she came to live at Hope Girls Home last year. “I had never prayed before nor had I heard the action songs and interesting stories in the Bible. My favorite action song is ‘Father Abraham had many sons!’”
Growing up around an abusive, alcoholic father and witnessing domestic violence at a young age, Gayathri lost interest in school and academics and fell behind other kids her age. She was feeling sad and despondent when she arrived at Hope Girls Home, but it didn’t take long to see life could be better and more joyful. Gayathri shared, “after coming here I am able to read English properly, and now I can speak and write as well. I am learning slowly but improving every day. I hope someday to be a doctor!” She says she feels loved and cared for in every aspect and her desire is that her family would live in peace and also come to church someday to learn about Jesus like she has.
We’re grateful to all of the Global Hope partners who invest in the lives of these children. You are helping to plant seeds for great futures!
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