By: Catherine Ryan   |   Posted: August 15, 2022

Meet some inspiring children who stayed strong in faith during difficult times.

These 3 Children Are True Heroes of Faith

Meet some inspiring children who stayed strong in faith during difficult times.

Written by Catherine Ryan
Photos by Tigist Gizachew, Lina Marcela Alarcón Molina and Jonatan Ruiz
Abel smiles at the camera

Having faith when everything is good is easy. The hard times are the real test. When you hear someone talk about their faith being shaken, it’s almost always after getting bad news. It’s when someone’s life has been turned upside down — the unexpected death of a loved one, a concerning medical diagnosis, a crisis or disaster.

Those who stay strong in faith in difficult times are true heroes. We’re sharing the stories of three of them below.

And they’re all children.

Because as Angela Schwindt, a home-schooling mother in Oregon, once said:

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

Yesid in Colombia

Yesid is in the doorway of his home

Yesid's life changed completely on Dec. 7, 2019. He was enjoying a day with his family when a relative lent him his motorcycle to go to a nearby store. Minutes later, 15-year-old Yesid was in a terrible accident in which he suffered life-threatening injuries. Staff and volunteers at Yesid’s Compassion center in Colombia began praying for him every day and sending his family messages of hope.

Yesid had brain surgery, but he remained unconscious for a month. His recovery looked bleak, and hope was slipping away. So when Yesid suddenly woke from the coma, it was a miraculous answer to prayer. Still, doctors warned that Yesid would be unable to function as he used to. After three months in the hospital, Yesid finally returned home, but he was still unable to speak or move his body.

However, Yesid never lost hope. As the weeks passed, he started to move his fingers, hands and feet. Then, he talked! Yesid still has a long road to recovery, but he’s getting better every day. And through it all, he has remained optimistic and grown in faith. He hopes to finish high school, complete university and graduate as a doctor.

"I have much more faith in God because of what happened,” Yesid says. “Thanks to him, I am getting better. I thank God for every new day of life.”

Sthefania in Peru

Sthefania sits on her bed

Sthefania was a cheerful, healthy little girl. But at the age of 11, her spirit and strength began to weaken. Doctors examined her and proposed different medical treatments, but nothing seemed to stop her health from deteriorating. It was a scary time for Sthefania.

“I always had to stay in the hospital. When I was afraid, I would sing the songs we learned at church to praise God. That gave me peace,” she said.

Finally, Sthefania and her family got a diagnosis. Sthefania was suffering from a vast, advanced infection that had made a small hole in the side of her heart. Doctors said she might have only a couple of months left to live. She had to undergo surgery as soon as possible for there to be any chance of survival. The operation was scheduled to last six hours, but it ended up taking 14 hours. Yet, the result was a successful one.

“When they were preparing me for surgery, I was confident my health was in God’s hands,” she says. “My parents, the nurses and all the people around were crying, but I knew everything was going to be fine. I asked them to play my favorite song 'The Glory of God' at the time of the anesthesia.”

Sthefania is still recovering from her operation, but her mother says she’s slowly returning to the playful girl she was before she got sick. Thanks to her faith and the support of her local church, Sthefania’s future is bright.

Abel in Ethiopia

Abel smiles at the camera

Abel was 9 years old when he noticed a small bulge on his belly. He didn’t pay much attention to it at first, but it wasn’t long until excruciating cramps made it impossible for him to walk. Abel was referred to a hospital in the capital city of Addis Ababa, where doctors broke the news that he had a cancerous tumor in his stomach.

Abel had been registered in the Child Sponsorship Program since he was 3 years old. The staff were a source of emotional, spiritual and financial support for Abel and his mother as they faced the unimaginable. Thankfully, after three years and nine rounds of chemotherapy, Abel is now cancer free. And his faith is stronger than ever.

“God is the reason I never gave up hope,” says Abel, now 13. “I know, in the Bible, Job didn’t say anything bad to God when all the painful things happened in his life. Rather, he believed in him. I love this Bible story. I thought about it often during the times that I was sick.”

“I know the prayers and concerns of many people played a huge role in my recovery. Just like Job, I tried not to complain but put my trust in God. God healed me just like he healed Job,” he adds.

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