Not a Hallmark Movie

Oleksandr (Sasha) Fatkhullin  (January 13, 2013)

As I read the posts / blogs from other Host Families that had these wonderful, “Hallmark Movie”, type experiences with their Host Children, I have to ask God to guard my heart against jealousy and bitterness.  I wanted that experience.  We did not receive it.  But we did receive the biggest blessing, a huge eye-opener, and a real, in your face defining moment of God’s unconditional love for us.  There were so many parallels we could draw from our experience.  Due to Sasha’s past, he had built up a wall, shutting out true love.  Sasha couldn’t accept our love but how many of us have turned our back on God’s love.  Sasha didn’t always show gratitude and he definitely didn’t realize all we had done for him and given him.  But do we, as Believers, always show the deserved gratitude for what God has given us.  Sasha didn’t or couldn’t receive our grace but have we always been able to receive God’s grace.  Sasha tired me at times. Boy did he drain me.  Sometimes to the point where I felt like I could no longer reach – but it was at those moments that I was reminded of God’s sacrifice and Jesus stretching out his two arms on a cross to die for me.  If He could do that, I could love and care for a broken, damaged orphan.  Sasha didn’t realize his need for rescue, for redemption but haven’t some of us denied Christ’s redemption.  But through it all, I loved him.  I loved him.
Fast-forward to Alex now (January 8, 2016)
That same boy that you read about above is now thriving with feet planted, blooming into a wonderful man. We have had our difficulties because of Alex’s awful past but love eventually won out. And the same boy in the above note, is the same young man that meets host parents at the airports to calm their nerves, give them hope of the future and later, on bended knee, talks to orphans assessing their needs, passing it on to the host moms and dads, and ultimately reassuring them, I was once where you are and scared of the unknown. But there is hope. Alex is now 18 years old, a junior in High School, has been a member of the track and field, soccer, and wrestling teams. He dreams of being a paratrooper in the Army and maybe do some work as a translator as well. He is a wonderful big brother to Annie, Joey, and Jack. He has the sweetest, biggest heart. He has a nurturing, protective nature about him. The boy that once couldn’t accept love, LOVES hard in return. He is still healing. He is still broken from his past but he prays to live the life that God planned for him. His Sunday School class recently had a lesson on suffering and he is realizing that maybe his past suffering can now be used for good, to help when orphans come for Hosting.