The Story of Hana Serawit

by | May 17, 2012 | Leadership

Ethiopia, 1999, a tiny, three-year old girl is found abandoned near a temporary army post.

Soldiers on night security patrol heard the cry of a baby in the nearby forest. When they searched the area, they found a little girl, covered with a hand-woven blanket and soiled clothes. She was severely malnourished, weak, frightened and traumatized.

She told the soldiers her name was Hana. She had limited verbal skills, and did not know her surname, her date of birth or where she came from. The army took Hana to a local clinic and began a search in the nearby villages and towns to see if anyone knew the little girl. No-one came forward and Hana became a statistic – one of the millions of abandoned children in our world, who walk a tight rope between survival and death.

Each day 26,000 children under the age of five die from preventable causes.

The troops looked after Hana for a few weeks and transferred her to Christian Horizons (Ethiopia) where she found sanctuary in a residential home. The staff chose the surname ‘Serawit”, meaning “The Army” for Hana to symbolize her only known roots.

Hana is now a beautiful 12 year young lady. She is in grade 7 and has superior academic skills, particularly in chemistry. She loves to sing, and perform in drama. She enjoys worship songs and reading her favourite book, the Bible. Her career ambition is to be a doctor. Hana (which means “Happiness”) understands that she is alive for a purpose, and the miracle is unfolding in her life.

Hana says, “In the past, I used to wonder where I came from. Who was my mother? There were times when I felt overwhelming pain and loss. I used to cry at night in my bed, searching for an answer. I was confused, angry and grieving for something I lost. But now it is okay. I have my friends, and I have a Father. My father never leaves me and He loves me. ‘Yesus Kristos, Jesus Christ – what more do I want?”

God’s love has transformed Hana’s life. She is a role model among the children. She belongs to one of the several After School Programs supported by The Bible League of Canada. Presently 25 to 30 abandoned children and youth with traumatic pasts meet regularly for Bible study, worship, academic tutorial, English classes, music and drama, recreation, and cultural programs. The youngsters know that education is one of the surest ways for them to secure a better future. In 2008, The Bible League of Canada in cooperation with Christian Horizons will support nearly 3000 children in After School Programs in Ethiopia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. This program is part of an alternative basic education program, to change communities with Bible- based learning.

The evangelist with Christian Horizons, Wondewosen, often remarks that Hana is a leader in prayer and worship whom God has called for a mission. The apostle Paul is speaking to youngsters like Hana when he said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity”. 1 Timothy 4:12

Hana is making an impact for God. She is a survivor, filled with compassion…an upcoming leader of Ethiopia.

Kim Heersink


The Story of Hana Serawit