The Spark that Started the Fire

Alexandra is a young girl, age 7, blonde pigtails, big blue eyes and a laughter that never fails to make you smile. She is living in a children’s hospital with her mom battling a spinal disorder that prevents her from running and playing with the kids in her community. Although she is able to walk, she must rest constantly and can not move very fast. Her strength is waning but she giggles and grins in spite of that which is attempting to hold her back. Battling and slowly defeating the pain in a way that never fails to summon tears. Alexandra is precious, she is loved by God, and she is my friend.

I first spot Alexandra seated on an old wooden park bench with her mother during a day of outreach ministry in Romania. She sits there, watching intently, as my team and I set up our equipment and get ready for our program. Once we are set up, we are free to disperse among the people who have gathered around. I immediately grab my friend, a translator, and a handful of paper & crayons, and head over to her.

“Chao!” I say in greeting. As I crouch down and offer the art supplies to her, I watch as her eyes widen with glee and a grin spreads across her face.

“Da!” she says nodding eagerly as she accepts the paper and crayons from my hands.

I sit down next to her, joining her in drawing a picture of my own. As I draw with her I listen as the translator talks with her mother and relays the conversation back to us. Her mother informs us of Alexandra’s spinal disorder and lack of strength. She then goes on to express her gratitude, with tear-filled eyes. She tells us of Alexandra’s loneliness, as she has lost most of her friends since moving to the hospital permanently. As I listen to her mother and watch Alexandra color with a grin as wide as the ocean plastered on her face, I can’t help but get a little teary-eyed myself. Alexandra is shy and doesn’t say much but her grin and bright eyes are enough.

Me and Alexandra ❤

After coloring for a while I show her how to make a paper airplane and we fly it back and forth for a while. As we are tossing the plane back and forth Alexandra can barely contain her laughs of joy as she reaches to catch the plane. Her expression is overflowing with delight and there is no way I can describe the feeling that comes with seeing that kind of love.

Every time I think of that moment I can’t help but smile. There’s something that happens when you see joy spring to life inside a child who is hurting, not only physically, but emotionally as well. As I stand there laughing along with Alexandra, I think to myself, “THIS is why I came here. THIS is what it’s all about. THIS is love.

Later, after the program is finished, my ministry group and I disperse into the crowd again to offer prayer and talk amongst the people around. After a little while we make our way over to Alexandra and her mom. As I crouch down next to her seated on the bench, she immediately grabs my hand and grins. I smile back and then ask her mom if it would be okay to pray for her and Alexandra. She nods and my group and I start praying healing over her. As we finish up I lift my head to see Alexandra smiling as much as ever and her mother wiping tears from her eyes. My heart breaks. Nothing noticeable happened at that time, but I believe that God will one day heal her miraculously. It’s a true reassurance I have in my heart and I continue to pray for her every day.

In the last moments that we are at the hospital, I sit with Alexandra as she finishes up her drawing. The drawing has turned into a picture of a girl in a field of flowers and butterflies with the sun shining down. It’s beautiful. When she is finished she signs her name at the top, focusing very carefully to make her cursive just right. Her mother informs me that she is learning cursive in school and that she has been practicing diligently. She completes her name and then, to my surprise, hands the picture to me and whispers something to her mom.

{In Romanian} “She says she would like you to have this and that the girl in the field is you. She also says thank you for playing with her.” Her mother tells me.

Alexandra then proceeds to indicate my hair and the color of the girls hair in the picture. How they are similar. She then points out the different things throughout her picture. Describing it through gestures. I can feel tears coming on and it takes all of my strength to contain my composure. I thank her with a huge smile and gave her a hug, holding back the tears. “I don’t want to leave.” I think to myself.

As we walk back to our bus I look back and wave, as she gives a small wave back. That smile forever ingrained in my mind.

To this day her picture still hangs on my wall. It never fails to bring a smile to my face every time I lay eyes on it. That day, that memory, will forever stay in my heart and on my mind. The day that I met Alexandra, is the day that I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

~ Michaela

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