Thanking God for Life
By Andrew McChesney
Fifteen-year-old Giselle didn’t feel well when she woke up one morning. She prayed before getting out of bed as she always did.
“Dear God, thank You for everything You have done for me, especially that I am still alive,” she prayed.
She thanks God for life every day. She and her family immigrated as refugees to the United States from Rwanda when she was 12. She faced a difficult life in her African homeland, where her parents struggled to find work and the family had little to eat. She often went hungry.
After praying, Giselle slid out of bed in the bedroom on the second floor of the family’s small home in the U.S. state of Georgia and carefully walked down the stairs. She felt so weak.
“I don’t feel well,” she told her mother.
Mother was talking on the cellphone, but she interrupted her conversation.
“Go back upstairs and go back to bed,” she said. “Maybe you’ll feel better.”
Giselle turned around to climb up the stairs and collapsed. She heard mother call out her name as she fell down the last three stairs and crumpled onto the hard floor below.
“Giselle!” Mother cried. “Are you OK?”
Giselle was unable to reply. She couldn’t breathe, so she couldn’t speak.
Mother hung up the phone and ran over.
“Giselle! Giselle!” she said.
Giselle still couldn’t answer.
Mother touched her forehead to see if she had a fever. No fever.
Mother called Giselle’s 19-year-old sister to bring an electric fan to provide some air.
The cool air felt good on Giselle’s face. She began to breathe.
“Are you OK?” Mother asked.
“I’m fine now,” she said.
Mother wanted to take Giselle to the hospital, but the girl insisted that she was fine. Mother gave her some water to drink. Giselle later learned from the physician that she had collapsed because she wasn’t eating properly.
The night after her fall, Giselle prayed before going to sleep. She also prays every night before bedtime.
“Dear God,” she said, “thank You for this day, and thank You for everything that You have done for us, especially for keeping me alive.”
This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help refugee children like Giselle obtain scholarships to study at Seventh-day Adventist schools in the North American Division. Giselle received financial assistance from a 2011 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to study at an Adventist school in the U.S. state of Georgia. Through the influence of the school, she gave her heart to Jesus in baptism.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.
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