Beauty from Ashes: The Full Circle
On Vision Trips, I love watching for God’s miracles. Time and time again I’ve entered seemingly hopeless situations and then seen God’s hand move in powerful ways. It’s a gift that gives me the courage to continue on this exciting journey we share called Women of Vision.
During the past fourteen years, Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision supported the Children of the Tunnels project in Mongolia. It was our first project, our first love. Just this past year, we tearfully celebrated the time we all pray will come. Life is better for children in Mongolia, and the work is now sustaining itself without need for our monetary support. However, we will never stop praying for staff and children who became family to us.
We had the privilege of watching one special little girl named Shagai grow up. We met with her on each of our five vision trips to the land of the Big Blue Sky and Genghis Khan. Shagai lived on the streets with her mother and father, two sisters, and baby brother. Her father was mentally ill and couldn’t care for their family. One cold day, Shagai’s mother became ill and both she and the baby died of exposure.
Temperatures at 30 below zero, chased Shagai and her sisters, then about 6, 8, and 10 years old, into the dark dangerous tunnels under the city streets to keep warm on the steam pipes that heat the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar. It was in those tunnels that World Vision social workers met Shagai and her sisters. They invited them, with their father’s permission, to come out of the darkness and into a Light House shelter. Their precious lives are proof that what we do matters.
Shagai loved singing and dancing. World Vision provided opportunities for her to pursue those interests and return to school to get a good education. By age fourteen, Shagai was co-hosting a children’s television show.
Along the way, responding to the love of the staff and an opportunity to attend a local church, Shagai started a relationship with the God who loves her enough to make a way for her out of the darkness. Our hearts were touched when we saw Shagai in a World Vision Mongolia video several years ago sharing her story and thanking all of us for “contributing and praying” for her.
Shagai has now graduated from college and performs with a national theater group. She is happily married to a railroad engineer and the mother of a precious baby girl.
God’s hand in motion redeeming and rebuilding lives is embodied by staff and volunteers from around the world. 45,000 World Vision staff are strengthened by thousands of volunteers from local churches and communities. They are Kingdom heroes. So are you. Be faithful. Persevere. You are building a better world for children and women in poverty.
John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
by Sandy Grubb, Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision and Communications Chair and World Vision U.S. Board Member