I have tried to write this blog for a week. But how do I put 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.
The precious angel sitting on my dear 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 Sara.
The day this picture was taken I was 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. . .
After the church service Matt, the 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.
As Matt lowered her onto the wooden 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.
not okay. NOT OKAY. NOT OKAY. NOT
OKAY
. NEVER OKAY!

NEVER OKAY! 
NEVER OKAY FOR A SMALL CHILD TO
BE TREATED AS LESS THAN HUMAN BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY SHE WAS BORN
WITH!

THIS IS NOT OKAY! 
GOD,
DO YOU HEAR ME! THIS IS NOT
OKAY!!
I hear you, Kristen. I am
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.
I wish I could tell you those
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.
It was left gaping.
————————————————————————————–
So, you ask, what’s happened in the last week? The wonderful news is that Jesus showed up. Here’s how:
  • 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.