Faith Is the Antidote

Today we were reminded about the power of faith and the power we have to make the most of the only life we get. As part of our encounter with the children, what seemed like a heartbreaking moment, in some miraculous way also served as a lesson and a moment of worship.

Man is given one life. Most of us can agree we want it to be filled with joy, happiness, and fulfilling moments. This is not always the case. For many, life comes with more downs than ups.

For this very reason, we must not only accept our circumstances and learn to live in contentment, but it’s on us to appreciate every day, choosing to move past anxiety, fear, self-doubt, and defeat. It’s on us to strive to be hardy, focused, optimistic, courageous, and faith-driven. For many these things are not inherent, but must be taught. For others, these things become about survival.

This is exactly what Ilya and Vika, two of the children with a very rough past, taught us today. Ilya and Vika came to the camp after being abandoned by their alcoholic mother and spending a traumatic time in a shelter. These little ones have a lot to share about life, and how it can be far from rainbows and sunshine for some. Nevertheless, Ilya and Vika, despite their difficult past, are a shining example of putting hope and trust in God.

Today, we got to see them, and as we made our way to say hi, we were surprised and rejoiced to see how happy they were to see us again. We had no idea of the impact we made on them and how valuable our last encounter was for them.

As they came to us, we quickly noticed they still had the ribbons from camp, even though a year and a half had passed since the moment they got them. We asked how could they still have them, to which they responded with the most heartbreaking yet encouraging words. For them, though the ribbons had become worn and the color had faded, they reminded them of the faithfulness of God.

They explained to us how this rather insignificant item saved them during the time their mother locked them in a room alone to go out drinking. In the midst of the fear and sense of abandonment, they looked at their ribbons and said a prayer, and from their words, God was faithful and helped.

The ribbons from camp serve as a reminder for them that as long as God was on their side it’ll all be ok. As I heard them share this I couldn’t contain my tears.

To think that we often lack faith when it comes to even the smallest challenge, yet see these little ones find a ray of hope in the middle of their darkness. It’s no wonder Jesus said the kingdom of Heave belongs to such as these.

As mentioned earlier, we only get one life and these little ones continue to teach us it’s on us whether we make the best of it, regardless of our circumstances or setbacks. We go to bless these little ones, but often, it is we who are blessed.