There are some people who inspire you to be more than you have ever been. Some moments that change the lens through which you view the world––and yourself.
I experienced one of those moments as I looked into the soulful eyes of a broken young Russian girl named Anya. A girl who had her innocence violently stolen from her and who has experienced an evil that defies description. An orphan with no one to come to her rescue––no father to protect her. A girl whose name literally means GRACE.
This video reminds me of another little girl named Anya––my friend Dawn’s adopted daughter. I am struck by how similar and yet how different their stories are. Both born in Russia. Both fatherless and abandoned to a life of self-preservation in an orphanage.
But this is where the similarities end.
Our Anya is the little girl with the quiet laughter and shy smile. While visiting an orphanage in Russia on a mission’s trip, Dawn and Anya locked eyes as the children filed into the room. At that moment she knew in her heart that Anya was to become her daughter. The paperwork was filed and in a country where you cannot choose your child a miracle happens. Dawn is matched with Anya. She finds a forever home with a loving family. She becomes the doting big sister of twin girls. She spends her days hanging out with friends as they spin dreams of their futures.
Her story becomes one of grace and redemption.
But this other Anya, her story has anything but a happy ending. There is no adoptive family to rescue her from her horrible fate. She is left to fend for herself in a world where evil men take advantage of vulnerable little girls.
But because of the passionate efforts of Tom Davis and those that support his organization, Children’s Hope Chest, Anya is given a second chance. I don’t know if Anya found a forever family, but I am confident that she was given the chance to join an eternal family. Through accepting the gift of grace that was provided through Jesus’ death on the cross we can all be adopted by the most loving father––God himself.
Two girls. Two stories. One name––Anya. One meaning––GRACE.
I too know what it is like to be fatherless. My heart bleeds for young girls who are forced to grow up much too soon. Like them, I have cried myself to sleep at night wishing I had a daddy who would wrap his loving arms around me.
Her eyes haunt me. They make me realize how much God has blessed me. I had a mother who worked tirelessly to provide for me, grandparents who showered me with love, and friends who encouraged me in my darkest moments.
Psalm 68:5 says that God is a father to the fatherless. One of the ways He fills that need is through the giving of His people. Just as I had people who poured into my life, we can partner with an organization like Children’s Hope Chest to give a fatherless child a hope and a future.
To get involved visit Children’s Hope Chest.
For updates on their efforts around the world “like” their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensHopeChest