Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why You Support Us Here- Jane's Story

Last Summer, I distinctly remember long lazy days. I remember cobalt blue skies, the sound of lawn mowers, my kids laughing and shrieking in joy in the tree house. I remember hurried texts late in the morning from friends wanting to meet up at the splash pad. I remember late evening walks with my family and dog, and the kids darting in and out of neighbors yards to catch fire flies.

This is what childhood should be. 

I have a friend. We'll call her Jane. Because its my middle name, and she is part of me now. I can't share her name or her picture because she is in protective custody. But she did give me permission to share some of her story. Not because I want you to feel sorry for her, but because she has a faith in God that rivals any person I've ever met. And I told her that I would be honored to tell her story of trust in God.  She proves that shitty evil happens, (sorry for the language)  and you can hold onto God. You can hold onto God, He will hold on to you, and you can come out victorious on the other side. 

Josue, if you are reading this, I just want to say thank you from the very depths of my heart. And I'm so sorry.  I never thought to learn the Spanish words for the horrors that you had to translate for me yesterday. That you sat through that with me, so that Jane and I could go deeper in our relationship, it means the world to me. I hope that her faith touched you too.

Yesterday morning I was sick as a dog.  I've often noticed that on days I'm headed to meet with my special friends, my body seems to go under attack. I laid down on the cool tiles of the church office, to still the dizziness and the stomach that was not calm as it should be. I lay there and prayed. I prayed for healing just long enough so that I could get to the kids for the day. No way was I going to miss it. I had specifically told them that I would be back in one week. I was not not going to let them down. I need them to trust me, trust that I love them. I can't do that if I don't show up. Jane and a few others were waiting for me specifically. 

Jane is a beautiful spirit. She is a teenager who's face shines with inner joy. She has  incredibly long eye lashes that surround gorgeous black eyes. She loves Jesus.

I've been spending time with Jane for a while now. But yesterday, she trusted me with her story.  I held onto her, as she shared. 

Jane's father was killed while she was a small child. She was left with grandparents, a step-mom, brother, uncle and aunt.  These adults, who should have been protecting and raising this sweet, helpless, grieving child, did the unthinkable. 
Fear tactics

But one night after she crawled back to her bed, she heard a voice. A kind, unrecognizable voice. "Don't be afraid, I'm with you. You will be okay." The voice made her feel strong and brave.

Soon after Jane's uncle told her that she was going to be his wife and that they would be moving to the United States. She was not to talk or tell anyone that she was his niece. This terrified her, and she yelled for help. She yelled until a neighbor came and took her to the police. The loving voice went with her.

The police took her to her biological mom.  Where a fresh new hell awaited.  I just cannot even go on.

Jane was removed again, but took that voice with her once more.  She was taken to a safe place, where many other girls with similar stories live. In this place she discovered the source of the Voice.

I asked her how it is possible for such a young girl to cling onto and trust God after going through the suffering she had. Her response was this, "Because He stayed with me. And I know He loves Me. Because I'm safe now."

Jane bears a story that isn't even fathomable to most of us. But she refused to let go of God in her storm. She held on, and God led her through it. Now that little girl is lovingly caring for other little girls and ministering to them. She told me that she has peace now.

When Jane isn't by my side at the home, I watch her as small children run up and hug her legs. I see her sit to lunch at the end of the line, as others are served first. She is the last one to wave goodbye as our van pulls out of the gate. Her tragedy does not define her. It doesn't control her, it hasn't turned her towards bitterness, anger, despair. Her relationship with Jesus defines her. Her sweet smile, and shy eyes show who she is.

Jane's favorite time of day: Bible class. Because she can read her Bible all she wants.
Jane's favorite kind of music: Praise music to God

I hugged Jane for a long time. And as is often the case she remained by my side for the rest of the
day.  I love this girl. If I could be her mom, and change her story and experience with "moms" I would do it in an instant. I get to be mom, when I go through those gates.

So it isn't lost on me, that the reason that I can do that, the reason that I can hold the faces of those girls in my hands, and hug them like crazy, love them like crazy, is because of the people back home.  Because people sacrificially give of their paychecks, I can give real love. So thank you. A million times, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Mari, my heart goes through so many emotions as I read this post, through despair and horror, back up again to hope. I have often wondered if Christ ministers to those being tormented and am encouraged to read this story. I'm sorry your body isn't cooperating with you, yet I see a strong Spirit working in you through the power of Christ. Praise God for your faithfulness. Don't stop fighting the good fight, even though the work is hard. Mari, you are being His hands and feet! I will be praying for you to have strength to minister to Jane and to others. I will also be praying for the millions of other "Janes" who have not been rescued yet. I pray Christ will meet them where they are at just like he did Jane.