Sometimes there are stories that hit you square between the eyes. Polly’s* is one of them.
Only a few years ago, Polly stood here with her uncle who was caring for her in front of his hut. Falling apart, dirty, barely providing relief from the elements, the hut was no place to be raising an orphaned little girl. He knew it. And he wanted more for her. But on his own, there was no way he could do anything.
Polly’s uncle brought her to a Home of Hope opening up because he couldn’t provide for her. He knew that she’d be so much better off in a family with a mom and dad, a solid education and Godly upbringing. He knew the love and the opportunity she’d have somewhere else were so much better. And so she came, a forlorn little girl in a tattered white dress with orange-bleached hair from malnutrition. And a new world was opened to Polly.
A couple of years after that, I snapped this picture at VBS. She couldn’t stand still, and danced around me, overjoyed. Her life looks totally different.
Sometimes, I think it’s easy for us to forget the before when we see smiling pictures of kids. But to know their stories, the things that have brought them here makes this work so much deeper.
Polly is able to dance today because her uncle made a choice to try and give her a better life. Polly has a new mom and dad, and sisters to love on, and a full life ahead of her. She can dance and dream and giggle and have the time of her life without a care in the world because there are people who have given and prayed and showered love on her.
This is the picture I don’t want to forget. This represents a far greater story than a week of games and fun, but it is perhaps here in picture contrasts like this that it becomes the most evident. New life. New stories. New chapters.
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*name changed for privacy