This Christmas season at Upbring we’re sharing some of our favorite gifts — the kind that continue to be a blessing long after they’ve been received. From the gifts of home and comfort to health and education, we’ll share inspiring stories as our way of saying thank you to all of you who so faithfully and generously made these gifts possible.
One of the biggest misconceptions about children in foster care is that they are vulnerable, troubled, or weak. That’s not how we would describe any of the children we’ve had the privilege of serving over the years. These kids aren’t vulnerable, they’re survivors. They aren’t troubled, they’re healing. They aren’t weak, they’re resilient.
Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from a difficult circumstance. A resilient person can withstand what might keep most people down.
This is the story of a girl who tapped into a well of determination and spiritual strength, further breaking stereotypes about foster children.
Rachel knows there is a plan for her future — it just took her a little longer to figure it out. Neglected as a child, Rachel often went to school with unwashed clothes, smelling of smoke which permeated her house. The other children viciously bullied her, until she began to believe she was worthless.
One night, after arriving at Krause Children’s Center, Rachel felt overwhelmed by the sadness she carried in with her. Crying in her room, she overheard two girls talking about God in the hallway and decided to pray. Ever since then, she hasn’t stopped.
Rachel’s favorite Bible verses are Luke 12:7, and Jeremiah 29:11 — both emphasizing self-worth and hope, two things she now has at Krause. She also likes to share her spiritual growth with others by leading devotions, and says she never needs notes because she “speaks from the heart.”
Motivated by the positive change she sees in herself, Rachel’s new hobby is writing pieces of advice down for her little sister, collecting them in a box which she decorated especially for her. Rachel hopes her sister will learn from her mistakes and break the cycle of abuse and neglect.
On track to finish high school early, Rachel wants to join the Air Force. After that, she wants to be the first person in her family to graduate college. Once she establishes her career, she wants to study music therapy so she can help other kids who have been through similar struggles.
“Everyone has resiliency inside, it’s just a matter of unlocking it and turning your struggle into something beautiful.”
Please consider making a year-end gift now to support more girls like Rachel. Your donation to Upbring will be a gift of encouragement to our resilient children this Christmas season and into the New Year.