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Stories from the Field

When You Get There Too Late

Many of the stories are very hard to hear. And they don't all have happy ever after endings.

Friday, July 30, 2021

When You Get There Too Late

Often when you talk with those who work in nonprofits, the first stories they share are full of hope and redemption. But when you’re serving the poor, many of the stories don’t have simple resolutions. Some of the most powerful stories in life are not about how we are able to fix someone else’s problems or remove suffering, but rather how we were able to love despite the heartbreaks and pains of living in a far from perfect world.

A girl with a dream

There was a girl in Egypt who had cancer. She was ten or eleven at the time that Aslan Child Rescue met her, and by the time that the team found her, the cancer had developed past the point where it could be treated successfully. The particular type of cancer she had was curable, if it had been caught at the proper time, but she hadn’t been prescribed the correct chemotherapy and didn’t have the resources to reach a better hospital. Aslan made sure she saw the right doctor, but by the time they diagnosed her condition, it was too late.

When it became apparent to Aslan and to the family that she didn’t have much longer to live, John was able to reach out through his team to ask what her dream was—what had she always wanted that she hadn’t been able to do before.

She said that she’d never been to a restaurant or to a hotel or even slept on a bed. She had overheard one night, while she was sleeping on the floor, her extended family questioning why her father had spent so much on her treatment. They questioned why he would spend every single dollar the family had saved up when they had long written her hopes off. He had loved her too much and hadn’t spared any expense to try to save his little girl.

Aslan heard this story and immediately gave the father back everything he had spent, which was something close to 1,000 dollars, but was all that they had had. And afterwards they put the whole family up at a hotel in Cairo for two weeks. The family was able to eat together at restaurants and each sleep on a bed at night. She had also mentioned that she had never watched TV, so there was a TV in their hotel room.

She wrote a thank you note to Aslan after the weeks her family spent in Cairo that would break even the hardest of hearts, and she was so happy for that time she had with her family. It was such a small cost, but it had meant so much to her and her family.

Partner with Aslan

“We encounter a tremendous amount of suffering,” John said, “and many of the stories are very hard to hear. And they don’t all have happy ever after endings. There is a lot of displacement—a lot of times we get there too late. But it’s an honor to serve and love those in need even when it’s painful.”

It’s important to remember that serving the poor isn’t always an easy thing. It is heartbreaking work to see children suffer, but this is exactly the kind of work that Aslan does every single day. 

With your support, Aslan may be able to get there sooner next time, and even if they don’t, they’ll be able to make small dreams come true. Every dollar that’s given to Aslan is spent directly on those in need. All organizational costs are covered by Aslan leadership, so every dollar goes to children and families and workers in the most difficult and hard to serve places in the world. 

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