After losing her infant daughter decades ago, Ella is now a mother again—at least, that's how she sees it—thanks to Bridge of Hope.
Ella's mother and stepfather rejected her when she was only 15, abandoning her when the rest of the family immigrated to South Africa from the Netherlands. Ella, who wouldn't give up that easily, traveled the long distance on her own and found them, but the situation only got worse. She was forced to support the family and suffered both verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her parents. But it was only after the birth of her daughter that she felt the full measure of their cruelty.
Young and unmarried, Ella had nearly died during delivery. When she discovered that her mother had taken the baby and denied her access, Ella suffered a breakdown and was placed in a mental institution. Then her mother declared Ella mentally unfit, leaving Ella no other choice but to relinquish legal guardianship.
Ella soon ended up on the streets, penniless—and childless. A kind police officer discovered Ella and brought her to his mother, who not only took Ella in but took her to church as well. Life slowly started to improve for the young woman, and she was eventually able to buy a small house with government assistance.
Years later, after Ella suffered a stroke and could no longer attend church, members of a house church invited her to their fellowship. For the first time, Ella felt like she was part of a family. She'd been raised to know about God, but now her faith grew and blossomed. And when André, director of GFA South Africa, visited the church one Sunday and shared about Bridge of Hope, the Holy Spirit spoke to Ella's heart, and she became the sponsor of an 11-year-old girl named Anamika.
"Ella has such a childlike relationship with our Lord Jesus," André remembers. "She is always so thankful for the blessings she has, which are little in my eyes. It makes me feel very, very small." And Ella loves Anamika, her new "daughter." "She takes this little girl to God in her prayers every day," André says. "It's almost as if she found a daughter in the place of the one who was taken from her so many years ago."
As a Bridge of Hope sponsor, when you bless the life of a little boy or girl in Asia, you are blessed as well!Learn more about sponsoring a child.
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.