PAINT ING a RAIN­BOW from LIF E’S dark­est STORM

Activated - - NEWS - By Elsa Sichrovsky ELSA SICHROVSKY IS A HIGH SCHOOL STU­DENT. SHE AND HER FAM­ILY ARE EN­GAGED IN MIS­SION­ARY WORK IN TAI­WAN. READ MORE ABOUT FU-HUA’S STORY HERE: WWW.WANTCHINATIMES.COM/NEWS-SUB­CLASS-CNT.ASPX?ID =20111211000026&CID=1603.

I first learned about Fu-Hua Chuang when my fam­ily and I watched a doc­u­men­tary that fea­tured sev­eral se­verely dis­abled yet tal­ented young peo­ple. I was struck by the ra­di­ant smile that seemed to il­lu­mi­nate her whole be­ing, re­flect­ing the in­ner beauty of her soul.

In 1994, Fu-Hua was a lively and promis­ing ten-year-old Tai­wanese girl who ranked at the top of her class and dreamed of be­com­ing an artist. But tragedy struck when she and her fam­ily were caught in a house fire. Although all of them sur­vived, Fu-Hua slipped into a three-month coma caused by smoke in­hala­tion. When she re­gained con­scious­ness, it turned out that the poi­sonous fumes had ir­re­vo­ca­bly and rad­i­cally al­tered Fu-Hua’s life, leav­ing her blind, mute, and par­a­lyzed from the neck down. Aside from head and neck mo­bil­ity, the only phys­i­cal abil­ity she re­tained was her hear­ing.

As time passed and her friends and for­mer class­mates grad­u­ally for­got her, Fu-Hua slipped into deep de­pres­sion that spi­raled into sui­ci­dal thoughts. What hope was there in a wheel­chair-bound ex­is­tence, de­pen­dent on her mother to dress, feed, and help her with all the ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties of life?

It was a Chris­tian tele­vi­sion pro­gram that pierced through Fu-Hua’s an­guish, in­spir­ing her to put her trust in God. As her faith grew, so did her hope; and from her hope, three dreams emerged—to at­tend univer­sity, to be­come a writer, and to spread love to ev­ery cor­ner of the globe. Be­tween phys­i­cal ther­apy ses­sions, Fu-Hua lis­tened to over 300 au­dio­books, which en­abled her to build aca­demic com­pe­tence and grad­u­ate from high school. Then her teacher helped her gain en­try to univer­sity, where Fu-Hua has since been pur­su­ing her bach­e­lor’s de­gree.

Through a painstak­ing process of mov­ing her head to com­mu­ni­cate in Morse code, Fu-Hua has also com­posed over 300 po­ems that ar­tic­u­late with op­ti­mism her strug­gles, faith, and ex­pe­ri­ences. Us­ing this same method, Fu-Hua has also given mo­ti­va­tional speeches at high schools across Tai­wan and China. Through her speeches, she has touched thou­sands with the mes­sage of God’s love and hope. Her dreams are com­ing true!

Fu-Hua had ev­ery rea­son to give up on life, yet she not only chose to live but to make en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers her pur­pose. While her life will al­ways be fraught with pain, dif­fi­cul­ties, and strug­gles caused by her phys­i­cal con­di­tion, Fu-Hua says, “Life is a path. At times we en­counter pain, fail­ure, and sor­row, but if we have faith, the fu­ture is al­ways bright.”

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