Alara is a 15-year-old Muslim girl from the Middle East. Because of exceptionally difficult circumstances in her country of origin, Alara’s family was forced to flee to another country as refugees.
As a result of complications with immigration bureaucracy, Alara and her family have been separated from her father for over four years. The diplomatic tensions between the country granting them asylum, and their home country has prevented them from obtaining freedom.
For the past year, Alara has been attending the teen program at a local evangelical church, where she hears about Jesus. Unknown to the church volunteers, Alara’s younger brother can never accompany her because he is paralyzed. Years ago, he fell from a tree, and has not been able to walk since. Alara 's brother longs to join his sister and the other children at the church, but leaving the house is impossible without a wheelchair, which is a luxury their family simply cannot afford.
One day at church, Alara sat quietly with a copy of her new Spark magazine, gently stroking the colourful pages with wonder and delight. Suddenly, she felt a sense of hope in her heart.
This gave her a thought, “If this magazine is giving me hope...it will surely give my brother the hope he needs too!”
But Alara was too shy to ask the church volunteers for another copy—the booklets looked expensive, and she knew they came all the way from Canada! So, she carefully tore some lined paper from her notebook and began to scribe the Scripture verses—her fingers working quickly as she hurried to copy the message of hope from the magazine. Later, she continued copying the magazine at home, writing out entire pages so she could give the original to her brother.
The next day, Alara arrived back at church ready to learn more about God’s Word, with her lined pages in hand. One of the volunteers stopped and asked what happened to the Spark magazine she had received the previous day.
Alara proceeded to explain her brother’s situation and how much it meant to her that he receives a copy of the Spark magazine as well. When the volunteer saw the picture of Alara’s brother, and the hundreds of lines she had written out on sheets of paper, the woman was touched.
She handed Alara a real Spark magazine, “This one is for you to keep.”
Alara was so surprised and grateful—but still insisted that other children might need a copy more than her! After the volunteer explained that there was more than enough for her to have another one, Alara humbly accepted the magazine.
What a beautiful heart Alara has! It was so encouraging to see the miraculous love of God encounter this young girl and light a spark of hope in her heart as she joyfully shared the Good News with her brother.