Getting ready for March Madness

I had a day off work, so my wife Bonnie made asked me go with her to exercise class. I had declined many times before and don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to this. I had just started playing in a basketball league and I thought the exercise would help get me into shape. We did so many squats, high knees, and other exercises that wreaked havoc on my knee. The next day my knee swelled up and I discussed this with my wife. My wife would call the discussion whining, but I guess it’s all in perspective. How was I going to do my job on one leg? I was feeling sorry for myself when this thought came crashing in. God reminded me about the story of one of our girls from our CBC Children’s Home. I was able to hear her story on my last trip to Honduras and decided after hearing her story I should not whine anymore. 

Bonnie, my wife, and Jinny, one of my board members were helping the girls pick out clothes as they had arrived at our CBC Children’s Home with not much more than the clothes on their back. They were meeting with the girls, one on one, as they were letting the girls pick out clothes from the storage of clothes that had been donated from so many generous people. Bonnie and Jinny shared a little bit about CBC with each girl that came to get clothes and also offered the girls the opportunity to share none, some, or all of their story, whatever they felt comfortable sharing.

This was the tragic recollection of one of the girls. She began being raped by her own father when she became a teenager. This continued day,        after day,                      after day. This was her existence. Her normal if you will. When there is no end in sight to your suffering you learn to cope. She became resilient as she prayed to God to protect her. She became pregnant with her father’s child and her pregnancy began to show. After 5 or 6 months, it becomes very hard to hide the fact that a skinny girl is pregnant. The father became disgusted with her or with himself, and began to beat her. He beat her so bad that she ended up losing the baby. Besides the trauma of being raped by your own dad, now she is dealing with losing her baby and being told the whole time, “this is all your fault”. 

Tears streamed down her face and she sobbed uncontrollably as she continued to tell her story one gut wrenching detail at a time. A short time later as her birthday was approaching, her father told her they were going to do something nice for her birthday. He told her to get cleaned up and put on her best dress. When she came out of the house to leave with her father, there were 4 men waiting for her outside. Her father told her, she had been sold. The men were ready to take her by force, but she told them she would go with them peacefully if this is what her father had arranged. As the men took custody of her, she began screaming at her father. She shouted angry things at her father, that she would not repeat to us, and now feels guilty about saying. 

She was taken to a house and chained to a bed in an inner room with no light. She was forced to have sex and then sometimes she would be placed into a large box and not given any food. Sometimes she would be given water to drink. She prayed to God to protect her but didn’t know if he was listening. She said that every so often when she was praying, light would sneak through the box even though she was in an inner room and there wasn’t a light in the room. She took this as a sign that God was listening to her. 

One day she noticed that her chains were loose enough to where she might be able to remove them. She looked for a chance to get them off, but then she had to escape from the house. When she removed her chains she was able to make it outside, but was disoriented as she was used to sitting in darkness. A neighbor woman told her she knew what was happening to her and told her how to get to a police station just a few blocks away. She knew she had to get to the police station before any of the men realized she was gone. She arrived at the police station and was taken to Casita (a government run orphanage for girls). 

She spent only 2 weeks at Casita and then was transferred to CBC. Eight of us arrived in Honduras a week later as we had already scheduled a small mission trip. She was skeptical of us at first and we had to earn her trust. By the end of the trip we had started working towards building trust. During the Sunday service at CCR church, Pastor Bonnie Barker gave a message about praising God in your good circumstances, but also in your trying circumstances. Many people went forward at the end of the service and this girl was one of them. She was sobbing as she was praying. Many members of our group were gathered around her as she prayed. After lunch we asked an interpreter what she was praying about. She was asking God to give her the strength to forgive her father and the other men that forced her into sex trafficking. She had only been removed from sex trafficking for less than a month and was already praying for strength for forgiveness.

I am not at that point yet. All I can do is think about the Bible verse where Jesus says if you hurt one of these little children it would be better for you to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown into the sea. I can think of some other acceptable forms of punishment if you hurt children. I am pretty sure her father would fall in that category. 

We had a man tell us a few weeks ago, that we were stupid for taking in the girls that IHNFA (like DCF) would send us. Basically he was saying that all these girls were damaged goods and were trash in his eyes. I know this, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. God can take anyone, change them, and use them for his glory. I believe this girl has an anointing on her life. She will have an unbelievable story to tell about her deliverance and about her becoming who God intended her to be. God has the power to take any circumstance and change it for good. He has redeemed this girl’s life and I believe God will do great things through her if she continues to follow him. We believe every one of our girls has the potential to become what God wants them to be.

We would like to be able to take in more girls, but we need consistent monthly support to be able to take in more treasures. If this is something you are considering and would like more info please Keith Barker at admin@compelledbychrist.com.

Keith Barker