By Marina Vega, Go Now Missionary
"M-a-r-i-n-aaaaaaa! Why we have to do math? My brain can't handle too much math. We always do math." These are the words of one of the girls I'm working with. Her name is Atlehang. She is 13 years old and has been living in Restoring Hope Village for more than six years. She is one of the people who has impacted me the most in this trip. Knowing her past and seeing where she is right now, I can see how God is working in her. When they rescued her, she was living in very bad conditions. But with care and love, she is now a healthy young girl with new vision and purpose for her life.
Atlehang was one of the first girls that came to me and asked me questions about my life when I arrived to Restoring Hope Village. I remembered that she asked me if I came from India. Even though I told her 'no' various times, she still asked me if I knew how to speak Hindi and dance.
One of my first weeks after I arrived, I was talking with a friend back home in Spanish. Atlehang came and heard our conversation. Her face was amazed and intrigued on how I was speaking to my friend. She stayed to listen to my whole conversation and then she asked my friend to sing to her in Spanish.
What shocked me was her sincerity when she asked me questions, or was listening to me singing Spanish songs, or asking me how to say things in Spanish. I've been praying to have more opportunities with kids to be able to know them more and God has given me opportunities to know Atlehang more.
Two weeks ago, I learned Atlehang's story. You can see how God worked on this young lady in her early age of life. If you met this young and beautiful girl, you would realize she is full of life, joy, and the Spirit of God. You would never imagine what she went through by the way she is living her life right now. You always see her with a big smile on her face, trying to make you smile and see the good side of life.
Right now I'm working with her and helping with her homework, especially in math and reading. She is in fifth grade and her math level is equivalent to a second grader. There are times she makes me laugh with all the comments.
Not only did God give me the opportunity to help with her on school, but also to spend more time with her and to know her more. I'm praying that God will use me to guide her closer to Him.
The more I know Atlehang the more I admire her. She wants to travel the world and become a missionary. I believe she would be a great missionary. I'm really excited about what God has instore for her. If she did not let Jesus Christ enter on her heart, she would be a different Atlehang.
Right now Atlehang is challenging me to depend more on God. I try to see things from a different perspective. I'm so thankful that God put this amazing young girl in my life. Thanks to her, I have
started to see that our God is bigger than I imagined and I'm in falling more in love with Him.
Marina Vega, a student at Texas A&M University, is a Go Now Missions semester missionary serving in South Africa.