Daniel 2:22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
This summer God revealed 4 major stories of abuse. We asked for God to expose the darkness and He did in major ways. We are still processing some of these stories and how we might be light in their darkness.
I would like to share one of the stories that unfolded at the end of June. I wasn’t quite ready then to share this on the blog. But here is a strand of emails that I wrote my family explaining the tragedy that had taken place.
Written June 25th, 2012:
Tonight I received the devastating news that a 6-year-old girl was raped and the man was beaten nearly to death and taken to the jail.
The man that raped her was someone we all know and love. The town is completely devastated.
One of the things that we have circled and prayed about as a staff is that the darkness comes to light. That we EXPOSE the evil in this town. While this hurts every part of me – perhaps this is an answer to that prayer – - that darkness was just exposed in a major way that has the entire town talking about a subject that no one wants to address.
I’m calling on you specifically to pray for our weeping staff and short-term missionaries this week – that God uses us in a major way right now. That this tragedy will open doors in a way that will keep other innocent children from suffering.
Please pray for this little girl who is in the hospital here in town. We are going to visit her right now.
Pray for those who seek to destroy and hurt others - that God will convict their hearts in a way that brings life-change.
Last night we met with the little 6-year-old girl at the hospital. She was shaking & crying. My heart could barely take it. We prayed with her and we left weeping.
Then we got a call from the jail. They asked me to bandage this man’s head. He needed first-aid. They wanted ME to care for a man who raped a child. (How can I do that? He makes me want to vomit.) At first I said - NO WAY. There’s just no way I can do that. There’s just absolutely no way…….. BUT- what would Jesus do? So I went.
This morning I asked Momma Gigi what should we do about this man? She said that if we go to visit him in jail the people will think we are for him. That the staff is looking at me - and will take their lead from me. This is one of those moments where I’m struggling to find my footing. God laid on my heart that HE went to the prisons himself. If I want to lead this town in their reaction - I need to be His hands, feet, and face – EVERY DAY – not just when it’s convenient or easy.
So today momma Gigi and I went to the jail cell. I saw the man- curled up in the corner. He was rocking himself back and forth. His head was covered in bandages with blood seeping through. The town had broken several glass bottles over his head -before the police could pick him up. They told me all day long people had come by – spitting at him – yelling curses at him – telling him that they would kill him if he weren’t in that cell.
We learned that he would be going to PAP jail. The police guard said with this sort of crime – he won’t make it 3 days in that jail before he’s killed. So today we spent an hour in the jail cell praying. We prayed for his heart to be convicted – that he would repent – and that God would show mercy on him if he truly repented.
It was hard for me to even utter the words – “Show mercy on this man” – - a man that has done despicable things. Knowing we only have today and tomorrow to talk to this guy before he faces an uncertain death in PAP – - it weighs heavy on us. While this man must reap what he sows – I also don’t want anyone to spend eternity in Hell. Yet I can barely look at him myself.
This afternoon we went to the girl’s house and spoke with her and her mother. Many neighbors gathered around us. A few said that they don’t’ need our prayers – that they don’t need our God. If our God allowed this to happen – then we don’t need Him. Momma Gigi blew me away. She must have talked for 45 minutes- pulling out more scriptures than I can count. She spoke BOLDY about our Jesus. By the end, the neighbors and us held hands. As mothers - we cried out to God – and we prayed for healing for the little girl. We laid hands on her and asked God to heal her – physically, mentally, emotionally, & spiritually.
I can honestly tell you that I’m broken before the Lord tonight. It’s hard knowing that the Haitians are looking to us for guidance when I can’t even process how I feel about it myself. Tonight we watched the town bring their children into their homes way before the dark fell. The town is visibly shaken. Pray that we find our courage during this time to show grace that only He can give. That as a town we come together and somehow through this entire thing – God doesn’t receive the blame – but works all things out to His glory.
There has been such heaviness here. Within our own staff. Within the community.
We made our first radio announcement to the public today to address the tragedy. We spoke for 20 minutes. We are asking for everyone to open their eyes and to open their hearts. That these tragedies happen every day behind closed doors and that now is the time to come together and create a community-wide watch. We have an hour program now scheduled every week for the next 3 months to educate about abuse on the radio.
After the radio announcement a few of the mom’s came to us from the mountains behind our house. They told us that they understand the need to come forward to seek justice for their kids. However – we don’t understand the ramifications that has on their children.
They explained that adults and children are ALREADY calling this poor little 6-year-old girl the “wife of this man”. The staff explained to us that this child (victim) would spend the rest of her life being teased and ridiculed. Unless she moves – she will never get past this tragedy.
The mountain ladies told us that this very man has raped some of their children. They wouldn’t come forward because of the shame their children would face. Yet they don’t understand by not coming forward this guy was able to hurt so many more children. These ladies live in the mountains behind my home – their children come and watch movies on our steps.
There is so much shame involved in being the victim – Haiti is so hard on it’s own people – that many won’t come forward because they don’t want to spend their lives being shamed & laughed at.
I sit here in tears…..how in the world do we help them?
I sent those 3 emails back in June. It has taken me a few months to process that story and there are 3 more just as devastating. The one thing that God continues to lay on my heart is – to give Grace and show Love.
Understand – they don’t deserve it. They have done horrible things. I have no doubt that Christ was weeping with us. But I don’t deserve His grace or mercy either. None of us do. I can hate the lady who beats her children or I can try to show her Christ’s love and pray He can change her heart. We can hate her - or we can educate her and provide counseling for her.
I found myself with so much HATE in my heart this summer. But hating them doesn’t help the victims. It actually doesn’t help anyone. I need to hate their actions but love them. I have to find ways to show them Jesus even when they act like the devil.
It’s so hard. I can’t even begin to describe to you how hard it is. Showing Grace doesn’t give them a free pass. It just gives them the chance to know Jesus.
We are learning so much about what is legal here and those things blow us away. The more we seek the truth – the harder it is to find our footing.
Christ laid down His life for sinners. He was a perfect man who did nothing but show love and compassion. And WE hung Him on a cross. He was willing to die for us. So shouldn’t we fight with everything we have within us? Shouldn’t we be on our knees – desperate to unite EVERYONE (ALL sinners) with Him?
This is my prayer…..
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’