ALL OF THESE GREAT STORIES ARE MADE POSSIBLE BY PHILANTHROPY MINISTRIES AND YOUR KIND DONATIONS AND GIFTS.
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR EACH OF YOU!
Meet Auja…a beautiful, fun-loving young lady that is crushing life
with her determination.
She is a tremendous role model for her younger brothers and sister, showing them that your fate in life doesn’t have to be determined by the lack of opportunities afforded you as a child. In spite of hard times growing up in a tumultuous environment, Auja kept walking in the right direction. In high school, she got involved with a group of Young Life students and began to develop her faith on a personal basis. She attended groups and lived life from a positive perspective. When she was a senior in high school, she and her siblings were removed from their home and placed in foster care. But Auja didn’t buckle. She kept fighting the fight every day, making good grades and setting that example for her siblings to follow. She knew she wanted to go to college. She knew she had big life goals. She knew it would take hard work and perseverance. So she worked. She did what it took and got accepted to Belmont University to pursue her dreams. Do we believe she will accomplish her goals of becoming a pediatrician? YEP...no doubt!
Auja is in leadership training with Young Life
to become a leader and share her infectious positive life message with her own group. She has a heart for people, so much so that she signed up to go on a mission trip with Young Life to Honduras. She had high hopes that she would be able to raise money to go with her YL group over spring break to help change lives for those they will touch. Unfortunately, Auja was only able to raise enough for the down payment, yet she kept hoping and praying. The amazing people at DCS were able to get her a passport in hopes that they could raise enough money to make this dream come true for Auja. The first of February came and went with no sign of raising the money needed. Believe us when we say that a number of people were praying for a miracle for this deserving young lady.
When we heard about Auja’s story, we knew that we had to help. And interestingly enough, we discovered that her birthday was the 16th of February. Isn’t it wonderful when a plan comes together?! We jumped into action working with her social workers and Young Life leaders to plan a surprise birthday party she would never forget! And this is how it went down:
Auja’s Young Life leader worked with us to get Auja and her friends to Franklin to the Extreme Escape Game. It was great practice for team building and leadership training.
That was a total surprise, but that was only the beginning of a great night. Our Escape Game partners donated their party room for us to fill with people that have been a part of Auja’s journey; both biological family and DCS family.
As she and her friends exited the escape room, she was greeted with a crowd of special people singing happy birthday at the top of their voices. You can imagine the look of surprise and happiness that spread across her face.
She was ushered into a party room waiting with cakes, balloons, pizza for everyone (contributed by her aunt) and gifts. Pretty much, not a dry eye in the place! She was greeted by one of her amazing social workers that introduced us to share our exciting news with her. We had a special travel backpack filled with fun things for a trip to Honduras including some great personal items, a travel journal, dry weave clothing, and notes written to her from all her family and friends.
And, yes, we presented her with a check written out to Young Life for the balance needed to assure Auja a spot on that mission trip to Honduras. What a moment!
We were honored to be a part of Auja’s journey and can’t wait to get all the updates from Honduras! We are confident that as she goes through life, she will be encouraged to pass it on to the people she touches with her love!
Congratulations, Auja on running your race well!