Sarafina swept the floor of her grandparents’ house, discouraged, ashamed and with no hope for her future. She wanted a job so desperately, but after discontinuing her studies a few years prior, she figured her chances of ever getting a decent one were slim to none.
She had moved in with her maternal grandparents after her mother died and her father remarried. Her grandparents had worried her stepmother wouldn’t love or look after Sarafina well, so they welcomed their granddaughter into their home with open arms. But their finances were pretty tight, which meant Sarafina would not be able to pursue higher education that would enable her to get a good job.
In her younger years, Sarafina had participated in GFA’s child sponsorship program. Seeing the need of her and her family, Gospel for Asia (GFA) staff had welcomed 5-year-old Sarafina into the program, providing pencils, books, a schoolbag and all the other supplies she needed to succeed in her studies. Providing education support such as tutoring, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers invested in Sarafina’s education and success.
After completing the 12th grade, Sarafina graduated from the program with plans to pursue higher education. Instead, due to her family situation and their financial constraints, she took care of the house and helped her aging grandparents. Sarafina feared being a burden on her grandparents, yet she also longed for the opportunity to continue her studies—a dream that Sarafina felt might never be fulfilled.
A Second Chance
A few years later, local Gospel for Asia (GFA) staff conducted a youth fellowship program and invited all the graduates of the child sponsorship program to attend. Sarafina happily accepted the invitation, excited to attend the event.
Sarafina’s former teachers were thrilled to see her and inquired how she was doing. They were shocked to learn that she, who had held such promise, had discontinued her education. Sarafina explained what had happened and how she had to prioritize caring for her grandparents over pursuing her dreams.
The Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers listened attentively and offered encouragement. They even informed Sarafina of a place she could go to pursue further education that would help her secure a job.
Sarafina was overjoyed! She excitedly enrolled in a course to prepare for work as a blood bank technician. Though the program was not easy for her, Sarafina put her trust in Jesus and remained in contact with the Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers from the program, who provided encouragement and support every step of the way.
Renewed Hope, Strengthened Faith
Eventually, Sarafina finished her degree and obtained a job in a hospital as a pathology lab technician. Sarafina was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude at the second chance she had been given to reach her dreams.
“My heart is filled with gratitude toward God and His people,” Sarafina said. “I will never forget [the GFA workers] and all the help I have received from them. It is only because of [them] that I am in this job today.”
Through the encouragement and support of the Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers, Sarafina not only was able to pursue her heart’s desire of finishing her education and getting a job, but she also experienced Christ’s love.