Cracked China

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Fragile lives can be difficult to mend- like cracked china. Though filled with hardships from the very beginning, Siyora’s story demonstrates God’s grace and sovereignty even when faced with the impossible, such as mending a broken cracked life. Siyora was born during a time of civil war in Tajikistan. A civil war that tore the country of Tajikistan apart and left thousands of children homeless and defenseless against all types of threats.

Siyora’s father fled Dushanbe with his family into the Tajik countryside in order to escape the warfare and widespread disease. He carried in his arms his first-born baby daughter and led his wife through the lines of gunfire to safety. There wasn’t much her father was unwilling to do for those he loved.

When Siyora was still very young, her parents began to notice red spots on her skin where tiny blood vessels had burst. It was the first small crack in the china. Gradually, they began to notice severe bruising and uncontrollable nosebleeds. More cracks in the china. They wondered what could be happening to their precious child. Concerned, Siyora’s family took her to a group of Tajik physicians for help. After testing, they were told she had idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a life-threatening bleeding disorder. It was the largest crack yet. Her father once again feared for his young daughter’s life. It was around this time he heard of ISOH/IMPACT for the first time. He knew they had already helped several Tajik children by bringing them to the United States for medical treatment. He began emailing Dr. Linda Greene, beseeching her on behalf of his frail daughter whose random bleeding episodes became more and more uncontrollable.

In the summer of 2002, Dr. Linda Greene traveled to Dushanbe with a small medical team. Siyora’s father brought his daughter to see Linda and the team. Impossible to fix were the words to describe Siyora’s medical condition. He was told that even if they could help, the medications needed to stop her bleeding would be both expensive and dangerous for her. With the word impossible playing over and over in his head, Siyora’s father wondered if the cracks in his daughter’s life were becoming too large to mend. Though he was told Siyora was not a candidate for the medical rehabilitation program, he remained persistent. He provided transportation, food, and protection for the team as they traveled around Dushanbe and throughout Tajikistan. At every opportunity, he continued to present his daughter to Linda, hoping she would reconsider. Prayerfully, Linda brought the situation before the Lord. She was reminded that He is not only the God of believers, but is there for everyone.

“…Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” The Lord made it clear to Linda that it was His desire to mend the cracks in Siyora’s life as well as reach out and touch her family. Siyora was then accepted into the Children’s Medical Rehabilitation Program.

Siyora was eight-years-old with a number of cracks when she traveled to the United States to stay at the Children’s LightHouse. Though her life was fragile, Linda understood that Siyora’s health consisted of more than the state of her body. Like glue used to fix the cracks in a broken china dish, the Lord intervened in Siyora’s heart. Though easily broken, Siyora grew strong in the Lord during her time at the Children’s LightHouse. The Word began to fit the pieces of her heart back together, and she clung to the promise that said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Siyora’s first blood test showed her platelet level at around 39,000 per microlitre (μl). Platelets are necessary to help the blood clot and should typically be numbered between 150,000 and 400,000/μl. With the help of several local doctors, however, Siyora’s body also began to mend. Her condition, though not cured, was stabilized through prayer, nutrition, and medication. Her platelet levels increased to around 90,000/μl, and Siyora continues to take medication to keep it under control.

While her spirit and body were on the mend, Linda also saw to it that Siyora’s mind was nurtured and challenged. She was enrolled in school, where she was active in sports and excelled academically. Siyora graduated with honors and as the salutatorian from Monclova Christian Academy in the spring of 2010. Her experiences at the Children’s LightHouse have led to her desire to become an anesthesiologist.

Her cracks mended, though not forgotten, Siyora returned home to her family in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on July 16, 2010. Siyora is studying Russian in Dushanbe and hopes to attend college abroad in a couple years. While she is greatly missed, Aunt Linda and her other friends at the Children’s LightHouse continue to pray for Siyora’s strengthening of faith and health through Christ, who can heal even the most shattered lives.