How many children at age 14 desire to be a teacher so they can help other children in need? Sayona does. She wants to bless others as her teachers have blessed her.
A Family in Need of Peace
Sayona lives with her parents, grandparents and two siblings. Her father and mother are daily wage laborers who struggled financially. The entire family devoutly followed their traditions, visiting local holy areas and performing their rituals. That piety was instilled in Sayona at a young age, and she dutifully followed her parents’ and grandparents’ examples.
Despite their piety, the family had no peace in their hearts. All their sacrifices and all the rituals they followed did nothing to settle the deep sadness in their hearts. And so, the family continued to suffer in silence.
A Place of Love
When Sayona was 13, a GFA-supported Bridge of Hope center opened in her village. The staff, led by the center's coordinator Rubin, went door-to-door, seeking to bless the local children. When the staff met Sayona and her family, Rubin told them of the newly established Bridge of Hope center.
The family, after hearing all the benefits the Bridge of Hope program offered such as a daily meal, hygiene supplies and education, enrolled Sayona.
Sayona threw herself into her studies, quickly mastering her lessons. The young girl soaked in the love and affection shown by the staff.
Sickness Leads to Desperation
Then tragedy struck. Sayona’s mother, Liana, fell ill with severe stomach pains. What little money they had went to medication and painkillers for Liana. But the painkillers had the opposite effect; one of Liana’s kidneys failed, triggering a series of hospital visits.
“My siblings and I starved many days,” Sayona recalls. “We felt sad and cried seeing [our] mother’s condition and financial crisis at home.”
Despite the family’s prayers and supplication, they received no answer from their deities. Their last vestiges of hope and faith shattered, putting the family at a loss.
Healing Power of Christ
During this time, Rubin and a local GFA-supported pastor, Baldev, heard of this family’s struggles. They both offered prayer and encouragement to Sayona’s family.
“Christ will deliver you from your distress,” the pastor said.
For the next four days, Pastor Baldev and his family fasted and prayed for Liana’s healing. God answered their prayers and removed the pain plaguing Liana! Witnessing this miracle, Sayona and her entire family put their faith in Christ’s unwavering love.
Inspiration Through Blessing
For Sayona, the Bridge of Hope staff never let up in their encouragement and love. Throughout her family’s ordeal, the staff was by her side, providing for and inspiring her.
“The Bridge of Hope center provided me nutritious food for the past one year. Every month, it provides my school supplies and hygiene kits,” Sayona says. “I also got a blanket recently. I am so fortunate to be part of Bridge of Hope. After my studies I want to help the poor children who are struggling like me.”
The support and blessings heaped upon her by the Bridge of Hope staff inspired Sayona. The young girl wants to be just like her teachers, blessing and encouraging children in similar situations as her.
“I have a great desire to become a teacher in [the] future,” Sayona says. “And I will teach poor and needy children free of cost as [the] Bridge of Hope center helps me now.”
How many 14-year-olds wish to be like that? Thanks to Bridge of Hope, Sayona does.