05 December 2013

Beauty for Ashes

We've still yet to share details on our girls rescue home we started last year.  We've continually sought the wisdom from God on how to share about it and when.  Two things that are so important.  The girls we have brought in have come out of being trafficked, sold, abused, abandoned, forced into situation no person should be in, let alone girls that are between 8 and 14 years old.  The vision and calling God gave us for this home has been like being pregnant.  When pregnant, everyone knows about it but can't see it.  That's what our girls home has been the past year and a half.  What a long birthing process!  But soon we will share what exactly it looks like.  And the laboring we've been through to establish this home has been long and hard.  But when the baby is born, oh how worth all the pains and aches of pregnancy it is.  

A short summary is that we brought in 14 girls so since starting in March of 2012.  The girls we bring in are not ones we put out at Mattaw because of the extreme situations we bring them out of.  One of the girls we brought in back in November of 2012 was 10 years old.  It's been a bit over a year now that she's lived in our girls home.  For the sake of protecting our girls, we are not posting pictures or sharing names.  Last year when Christy was helping us while we were stateside, she was told about this girl.  It was the first child that was brought in while I was away and I couldn't be more thankful that Christy was here to help do this.  It was an emergency case where the girl, 10 years old, was being forced into some of the worst situations you can imagine.  By married men.  Construction men.  Teenage boys in school.  And older girls in school.  She had a mom but the mother was so sick from a disease that she couldn't protect her daughter.  We brought the girl in, got her immediate medical attention and she immediately wanted to start going to school that we have on site.  She was so happy to go to school everyday, knowing she could focus on school and not on who would steal her on her way home to do sexual acts.  The transformation was only explained to be the love of Jesus and loving care from our house moms.  After we returned from the states last year and having Ezra, I was so excited to finally meet this precious girl that I had heard so much about from Christy.  When meeting her, she ran and practically tackled me with hugs.  I was amazed to have known the story of what she endured and now what a restored and beautiful girl she is. I definitely shed some tears of joy.  Soon after being back, I was told more of her mom and how sick she was.  I couldn't get it out of my head and had to go find her and visit.  We went to meet Mama E.  


She was so frail and barely able to walk.  But she was incredibly welcoming and managed to smile and laugh with us over how great her daughter was doing.  I wanted us to meet the mom before bringing her daughter to say hi just to make sure it would be safe.  We prayed for her, gave her food and said we'd be back with her daughter soon.  

We went back to share with her daughter the picture above and the girl was incredibly happy and in tears from missing her mom.  Although she missed her mom, she was relieved to be out of the slave type environment she was in before.  It was actually really heart breaking.  But it opened a door to share more about Jesus.  And in that moment the girls destiny was changed forever.  We were able to share the full gospel of Jesus Christ and she received it all and wanted to be baptized.  It was an incredible day to see salvation come to this girl!  Not long after that is when we did baptisms at Mattaw with more children wanting to be baptized and this girl was part of that group.  

We again went to visit the mom and shared about her daughter being saved and baptized.  The mom was beyond blessed by this news since she too was a christian.  She had many mixed beliefs though and thought the disease was a burden she had to continue having because of sin.  We were able to speak truth to her that Jesus died that all would be healed, saved, delivered, set free and have complete peace from the inside out.  She was able to believe the truth and release the burden and guilt of her past.  Tears rolled down her cheek and the kingdom of heaven invaded that place.  

The next visit, we brought her daughter to see her.  It was obvious her mind was starting to be more scattered and we also prayed over that, still believing she would be healed and restored.  She wasn't able to see well but could feel her daughters head and see how we had let her hair grow out and fixed it nice.  She was so happy to see how well cared for her daughter was.  Her daughter cried seeing the condition her mom was in.  But the mom assured her how happy she was that she was cared for and now safe with us.  It was quite humbling.  The mom almost fell over from weakness and sat down to visit a bit more with us.  She didn't want to sit, she wanted us to have the few stools she had to sit on to show her appreciation to us.  We eventually convinced her to take one of the stools and sit down.  Again, she was joyful and smiled and laughed with us but we could tell deep down she was in excruciating pain.  We were told there wasn't much food in the house and she couldn't walk to find food some days.  She didn't like taking medicine for the disease she had and had so many heart wrenching stories of the struggle shes been through.  We were able to provide supplies for her from time to time.  Here she is the last time we visited her. 

We were told a month ago that they transported her from this house to her relatives house.  Usually this is what happens when someone is about to die.  They go and stay with family members.  We tried to trace the place she moved to so we could be visiting but were continually unsuccessful at finding the place.  Last week we finally found one of our widows that could take us to the place.  A few days ago our head teacher that was helping us get to the place found out that Mama E has gone to be with the Lord in heaven.  We were at a total loss for words when she shared this news with us.  The thoughts race through my head on "why we didn't push harder to go see her one last time", "why wasn't she healed", "why does this happen to an 11 year old girl".  But comfort came and God reminded me of the last time we went with her and how it was a good memory for our girl.  That maybe if we would have made it last week, it might have been harder for her daughter to see her in such a bad condition.  And that's where we find peace in knowing God had it all worked out.  So today we take our girl to see the grave site.  There was no funeral and no one was informed of her death.  This is common when someone dies of Aids.  There's a stigma still in certain areas and we hope today we can go and use this opportunity to bring education.  We also hope we will be able to bring life to a sad situation because that's what Jesus does.  He brings beauty out of ashes and the stories are endless of how He continues to do this in our midst.  The miracle of this situation for us today is that we were able to bring our girl into our girls home with enough time to heal from her past, restore relationship with her mom and now shes safe.  If she would have still been in the place she was and then her mom passing away would have forced her into an even worse place. We are thankful for God rescuing her at the right time.  And making a beautiful story out of one that was completely hopeless.

In everything we do, the scripture God gave us for the vision of Mattaw brings life.  It's a reminder of what we're called to do...

To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting(MATTAW) of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61: 3


John and Sarah said...

Can't find any words to respond
BEAUTY FOR ASHES seems to say it all...
God bless you <3

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