Jaiana* is a 16-year-old Aslan girl who’s attended our programs since she was 8. She’s a perfect example of how one-on-one intensive care, over years of time, can completely transform the life of a child and the lives of her family. Jaiana is the reason we do what we do –leaving the 99 again-and-again for the one, until the one lost lamb understands that she or he is loved by God. Following are excerpts from an essay she wrote about how she’s learned to love herself at Aslan.
Jaiana’s mother is an Aslan graduate, but bad experiences in her youth turned her away from God. Even with those negative experiences, she wanted her children to come to be part of Aslan because she knew their lives would be touched in doing so. But, it hasn’t just been Jaiana’s life that has changed. The life of her brother, Jason*, has also been radically transformed. When he first started coming to Aslan, he was so emotionally upset all the time that it was chaotic for the other children. His mother took him out of Aslan for a while, but Lynn Ann wouldn’t give up on Jason.
After a year went by, she asked Jaiana’s mother if Jason could come to one-on-one tutoring. This is when a true miracle took place in this young boy’s life! Lynn Ann immediately realized that Jason’s behavioral problems were caused by his inability to put the simplest words together. He was a bright young boy, but he couldn’t read. During his first year in tutoring, Jason learned to read, and his personality blossomed. Then once he started attending Right Choices Bible classes, many more good things began to happen. Today, he’s a well-adjusted teenager on his way towards a successful life with a bright future ahead!
We shudder to think where these two young people and their mother
would be without the love they found at Aslan. That is why your ongoing support is so important to our success.
February marks our 45th year of serving these children. If you’re not sponsoring a child, please go to our website www. aslanyouth.org/donate/ and sign up now. When you sponsor Aslan children we are able to do so much. I promise it’s something you will never regret! Without your help, children like Jaiana & Jason would never have a chance!
* The names of the children have been changed to protect their privacy.
In Her Own Words
“I love myself and it took years to actually find my true self and to take off the mask I’ve been wearing. Persona is a type of mask. It hides parts of the self that you do not want to be seen by others, and it also expresses who you feel you are at the present time. But it does not say who you are when you are alone. The map of the soul shows a much bigger and more complex territory. I believe that loving yourself is one of the joyous things in your life. If you’re happy with who you are then it’s easier to love and be loved by someone else. You must love yourself before you can love another.
“I learned that when another person talks bad about you for no reason at all, don’t be so quick to slap back. Pray for that person. She sees something in you that she doesn’t see in herself. Confidence is silent and insecurity is loud.
“It’s just so stupid to me that we [humans] all agreed to create a word, ugly, that only hurts people’s emotions for being normal; that only brings sadness, pain & hate; that is only there to make the world a worse place. There is not a single person on this planet who is ugly because of how they look.”