I love this picture.
This, to me, is a picture of hope. It looks like it was painted by a happy girl who is excited about a birthday or a special occasion.
But it wasn’t. And that is what makes this a perfect picture of hope. This little hope fairy in all of its pink glory was painted by a young girl in an orphanage in Ukraine.
The orphanage she lives in is drab. Grey and neutral colors are everywhere, except for the art room tucked away in a large classroom on the second floor. It seems as though all the colors in the rainbow have been reserved for that one room in the entire orphanage.
And this is where our little hope artist painted a sweet fairy with her arms open wide, inviting life in with a smile on her face.
This little girl painted hope when her circumstances pointed toward hopelessness. She painted hope when nothing encouraged it. She painted hope even though nothing changed day after day.
This girl is a fighter. A hope warrior.
This picture makes me want to stretch out my hand to encourage this young hope warrior. I want to say “Don’t give up! Keep hoping. Keep your arms open toward life!” I know that there are days when her circumstances mock the spark of hope in her heart. I can hear their dark whispers: “You are nothing. Nobody wants you. What a waste.”
I want her to win.
I want her to experience the beauty of redemption .
Fighting for hope means clinging to redemption. It means believing that God can redeem- buy back, rescue from loss, ransom in full – situations and relationships in our lives. Because of the beauty of redemption we can stand firm and yell what Dan Allender calls “the quintessential cry of hope” in The Healing Path
God turned into good what you meant for evil. (Genesis 50:20, NLT)
I call it the war cry of hope fighters.
Fighting for hope means believing change can happen. It means leaning forward into each day, fighting for traction, for momentum that can move us forward – even an inch.
And that’s the thing about fighting for hope. As we fight we recognize other hope warriors and we want to cheer for them. We know how hard it is to keep hoping and we know that hope is worth fighting for.
Fighting for hope for those who can’t means reaching out a hand of encouragement to speak truth: This is not the end. God will work. And in the reminding, God shines and the darkness fades.
Would you like an opportunity to encourage a fellow hope warrior?
Let me introduce my friends Slavik and Alonya. They live out the beauty of redemption and they are some of the finest hope warriors I’ve met.
They began the Nasledie HeritageFoundation because they wanted to serve orphans and troubled children in Ukraine. They saw great needs all around them and began reaching out. Instead of getting overwhelmed and saying “The problem is too big. What difference could we make?” they stepped out in prayer and began making a difference in the lives of children.
Today they have teams that go into 18 different orphanages to do winter and summer camps, Christmas programs, and fun activities wrapped in the hope that only Christ can bring.
And when war began in Ukraine, they saw an opportunity to reach out to the refugees pouring into their city and they raised money to open a place to minister to these people in need.
To find out more about their amazing ministry check out their Facebook page – Nasledie Heritage Foundation – and their blog at nasledieukraine.blogspot.com. This site shares the story behind the ministry as well as opportunities to get involved.
Fighting for hope on behalf of those who can’t nurtures a spark of hope in their lives. And hope only needs a spark to grow.