Our Father in heaven, please help Sara… I can’t stop crying…
Ripping out your heart
into words what I saw? How do I neatly articulate what I witnessed so
that it sounds bearable and human? A week ago my heart was ripped out;
not a neat extraction and primary closure of a wound with clean, trim
edges. No, my heart was ripped out; like Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom
style: God reached in- messily wrapped his gigantic hand around my
heart- yanked as hard as he could – nerve endings
raw and exposed – excruciating pain and large, gaping
wound left to fester-kind of ripped out.
friend’s lap is Sara (her name has been changed to protect her). She is
12. Over a year ago her father left her mother for another woman. Her
mother then found a job working in the home of a woman living far enough
away that she stayed at the woman’s house instead of commuting. Sara’s
younger siblings went to live with her father and step-mother, but not
visiting the village where my friends had been doing ministry this month
in the Philippines. As Charlotte went to tend to the children during
the group’s church service, Sara was passed to me and I had the
privilege of holding Sara the rest of the night. We sang songs and she
loved to be hugged and cuddled. She just wanted to be held close. She
craved affection and touch. Soon I would learn why. . .
group’s leader, came and lifted Sara from my arms. She started to
whimper and cry. She grasped for my neck. She knew it was time to go
“home” and she didn’t want to go. As I followed Matt down the dirt path,
I would soon realize the nightmare of Sara’s hellish reality. Sara is
blind and severely malnourished, which has limited her mobility. As a
result of her disability she is considered “hard to care for” so when
her mother and father split, instead of going to live with either
parent, she was placed in a 12ft by 16ft room in the village, ALONE. It
was nothing more than a chicken coup that she was made to share with two
roosters. When Matt’s team first came to the village, they found Sara
lying naked on a large wooden plank- the only “furniture” in the tiny
space. Because of her disability Sara is not able to get herself to the
bathroom without help so she was left to “just go” and it was easier
with less mess if she was not clothed. As a result of lying in the
filth, her beautiful tan skin starting growing a fungus which has gone
uncared for, for more than a year. Sometimes food would be left for her
but with no one to help her eat, it is hard to determine how much food
Sara receives and how much the roosters eat. She has been left in these
conditions for more than a year with little to no human contact or
interaction. When her mother would visit the village she would seldom
come to see Sara. Her mother had not spoken to her for about a year.
Dark. Alone. No human touch or love for a year until Matt’s group came!
And the limited human interaction she had received was unwarranted by an
uncle who forced himself upon her shortly after she was initially left
there. Villagers claimed not to know what was happening. Everyone turned
a blind eye.
plank on which she existed and closed the door to her tiny, dark, lonely
cell something welled up inside me that I could not contain. WE WERE
REALLY GOING TO LEAVE HER THERE ALONE AND WALK AWAY! My eyes flooded
over with tears, I choked. I turned on my heels and briskly walked a
safe distance away as sobs began to wail from deep within me.
OKAY. NEVER OKAY!
BE TREATED AS LESS THAN HUMAN BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY SHE WAS BORN
THIS IS NOT OKAY!
DO YOU HEAR ME! THIS IS NOT
also grieving. What did I tell you earlier? I am moving. . . . I have
sent Matt’s team. I have sent you. Are you not the church? Is not the
church the solution? I am moving. Trust me.
words brought me peace that passes understanding, but in truth, I
continued to violently grieve Sara for the next three hours. My heart
had been ripped out.
- Matt’s team from N squad got the government and a
social worker involved in Sara’s case.
- A group of N squad
girls went to pray over Sara. Then Susie
from N squad asked Sara how she felt, she said she felt happy and she
said she knew Jesus was there with her. She found forgiveness for her
family and her uncle that day.
- GOD RESCUED SARA OUT OF HER SITUATION COMPLETELY! Later in the week the team found Sara sitting on a bench in
a new guardian’s home surrounded by her mother and sister. Sara was
singing. She was all smiles. The social worker arranged for Sara, her
mother, and her little sister to live with this guardian in order to
ensure she received proper care. Sara was so happy to be reconciled back
to her family.
- Through the social worker, Sara has received medical attention
regarding her skin disorder. Medication has been provided and the
diseased places are healing!
- Her mother has quit her job in order to be closer to Sara and
the social worker is helping her find other options close to home.
- God brought Sara and her mother and sister to church this past
Sunday, during the offering portion of the service Sara was carried up
on stage and placed in a chair where she began to sing a song in
Tagalog. The Words translated mean, “God is good so so good. God is good
to me.” God is good.
No Kristen that is NEVER OKAY. There aren’t even words to describe how NOT okay that is.
I have set here for several minutes and still don’t know how to respond to this…I am just speechless…I somehow think that is how God’s heart stays…ripped out and grieving
On a particularly heart wrenching day at work, a friend reminded me that the reason we know our client’s stories at all is because we have positioned ourselves to receive and respond. Perhaps ignorance is bliss because once we know the ugliness, we get a new broken place and we must respond. God facilitates the knowing, creates in us a heart that responds and equips us to be the solution or seek the solution. You have built an entire organization around allowing young people to see the worst of it and to respond in ways that allow God to work through them. In telling us, you allow us to do the same. Thanks, Seth. I love this young woman and Sara, and I know that God does, too. Something will come of this. It’s what God intends. Praying with and for Kristin (and you!).
This breaks my heart! I am a Pre-K teacher of students with disabilities and it appalls me that there are children like Sara all over the world that treated like wasted space simply because they are not “normal”. I know it grieves God’s heart to see his precious babies neglected and forgotten. And I know he has called me to do something about it! Thank you for reminding me why I do what I do!
While orphans and adoption have become a new celebrity “cause” with people creating organizations and a livelihood around them the fact is God was the original champion.
His heart bleeds for the lives discarded by trauma and choice.
And real empathy is Gospel driven.
Dear Daddy Seth and Mama Karen.
Greetings and blessings from Pakistan.
We will be praying.
Can’t even speak. Can scarcely believe the horror that beautiful girl has lived through. Not okay. Never okay.
And how incredible and amazing that things have so turned around for her too. “I am moving, trust Me.” He can do so much more than we ever think. Remembering that verse about the sparrow. That nothing, however small and seemingly insignificant, escapes His eyes. Imagine the enormous glory God gets every time that lovely girl says those words “God is good.” What power that has coming from one such as her. How that must mend the broken heart of God too.
New Testament leprosy in today’s world. Thank you Lord that your “hands” are still broken for society’s “unclean”! Praise you Jesus that you are still in the business of working miracles!!