A Life Turned Around

February 18, 2016

God uses The Greatest Journey to transform sexually abused Costa Rican girl

Sara’s story was unspeakably sad. Raised in a home where physical and sexual abuse were common, she endured a tragic childhood until a social worker rescued the 12-year-old Costa Rican girl and brought her to an orphanage.

The government-run facility is not only for orphans, but for children like Sara who have been rescued from horrible family situations.

“Sara is a very shy girl,” said Alejandra Arroyo Valerian, who leads the orphanage’s sports and culture programs. “We offered her swimming lessons and more, but she always said no.”

Then Sara received a gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoebox, donated by a Canadian. Experiencing tangible evidence of God’s love for her seemed to open a door, because when Sara was invited to participate in The Greatest Journey evangelism and discipleship program offered by Samaritan’s Purse, she agreed.

As Sara learned about God’s love and forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, her heart changed –so much so, in fact, that when it was time to hold a ceremony for all The Greatest Journey graduates, she agreed to be one of the speakers.

“Thank you for sending The Greatest Journey books so we could learn more about Jesus,” she told more than a dozen shoebox donors from Canada who attended the ceremony, held on the orphanage’s basketball court.

“I was very sad before, but I learned about God and now I’m very happy. I can see a change in my life. So my advice is to follow Jesus and don’t give up.”

This was music to the ears of Alejandra, a committed Christ follower who worked hard to convince the orphanage to offer The Greatest Journey classes to children there who wanted to participate.

“Today, I saw another Sara,” Alejandra said ecstatically. “It’s only God that can do that, and through The Greatest Journey.”

“I remember how touched the staff and volunteers were that she was able to go up and speak to the group like she did because she was so shy,” said Ginette Belley, one of the Canadians at the ceremony. 

“They were just in awe and really happy for Sara.  So it showed me how important The Greatest Journey is for places like an orphanage.”

Please join us with your prayers and donations to ensure more children can receive the gift of God’s love and forgiveness through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey. Your support can have eternal consequences.