The Underdog Wins
By Guest Author on August 14th, 2012

No one would think that a handicapped boy from Ukraine would make it. But he was destined for greatness.

Sasha Loux went to the stage and wheeled himself up the ramp with seemingly little effort. His hands were nimble and rapid, turning the wheels of his chair. Dozens of young hearts in the crowd watched in near unbelief as this little boy sped toward center stage. As he got into place, the talent show’s M.C. worked vigorously to entertain other young contenders in their steel chariots.

Quickly, I made my way to the front with our dueling guitars—one for me and the other for Sasha, the maestro. Sasha unbuckled his seat belt. I could feel the anticipation of his spirit. His eyes were alive with joy, and he was doing his unique excitement dance—cocking his head back and swirling in a half circle.

I grabbed the nine-year-old boy, who seemed to weigh less than a sack of potatoes, and I gently sat him down on the stage. His microphone stood no taller than the hole on the back of a bass drum, yet it reached Sasha’s mouth. We mounted our guitars and I looked down to give him our cue to start.

In this moment, I had a flashback to a time before he arrived. Less than four years ago, who’s audience would he have had? Living in the back hills of Ukraine in an orphanage filled with special-needs children, he might have thought only the boy sitting next to him would listen.

During his first six years at the orphanage, he had the audience of One who was tenderly watching him even before he was conceived. The Father of the fatherless was watching with joy and compassion in His heart. Something was brewing this Father’s heart. He had plans to prosper him, to give him a hope and a future.

“Now I have a purpose; now I have destiny. You made me for Your glory; You made me for Your glory!” Sasha’s words rang out over the crowd of other children with spina bifida. Maybe that was all those kids needed to hear from the boy who came out of a dank, little orphanage in Ukraine.

Statistics would have said that he didn’t have a chance. The odds were stacked against him, but this underdog’s world turned around when one family decided to take him in. They had the audacity to believe that his life was worth more than what his society had rendered him. Validation doesn’t come from the East or the West. But the eyes of the Lord search to and fro, searching for a loyal heart where He might display His power and love.

The underdog wins.

– Peter Kiiskila

Peter Kiiskila obtained his B.A. from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN, majoring in cross cultural studies with a international business focus. In 2004 and 2005, he completed an internship in Uganda, Africa, working with two non-profit organizations that exist to create holistic development in the local villages and to restore and reunite street children with living family members. In 2010, he went to Zimbabwe to work with community-based orphan care outside of the capital city, Harare. Later that year he completed the Orphan Justice Center’s Fellowship, a three-month intensive to gain understanding in the issues surrounding the orphan. He currently serves with the Orphan Justice Center as the Director of Mentoring, as well as serving with a non-profit organization to rescue, adopt, and restore orphans in the US.



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