From despair to hope

We don't know much about Hope. We don't know her name, her age, where she came from or if she even has a family.

I will call her 'Hope*.' We got a call late one Friday night a few weeks back to pick up a young girl at the police station. She had been found on the road outside the city and brought in to the care of local authorities. At the time she was drugged and very afraid, I've never seen the look of “wild-eyed terror” like I saw in her eyes that night.

We don't know much about Hope. We don't know her name, her age, where she came from or if she even has a family. When she arrived at RH that first night and over the next several days she demonstrated severe erratic behavior and had to be monitored at all times. She wouldn't speak, she ripped her clothes apart when she got upset, destroyed everything she got her hands on, she didn't know how to use the toilet and had no concern for her personal cleanliness. It's impossible to put into words what we were seeing.

We knew we were not equipped to take her on long term. When the staff took her for a medical check she wouldn't cooperate and hospital staff said she needed to be checked into a psych clinic for observation. The plan was to keep her until we could find the proper place, but what nagged in the back of our minds was the concern that there would be no place for her. As it turned out we came up on a public holiday that made for a long weekend so we had to wait it out, and we prayed. I was at a loss for what to pray except for, “Jesus, help us help her.” My co-worker expressed that she could not rest at all during the holiday. She prayed and begged God with tears to show us what to do.

The only way to explain what happened next is that God heard our prayers and intervened. About a week into her stay with us her behavior completely changed. She became obedient and respectful toward the staff and others, she started talking and joining in activities with the other girls. She ate properly at meal times and washed her dishes. She started doing her own laundry, bathing and learned how to use the toilet.

Not only the staff, but also our girls have embraced Hope. In fact, it's mainly been our girls who have come alongside her and are teaching her how to live with us. Turns out she is a very smart girl who was lost inside of her desperate need for self-protection. Hope has begun sharing with our counselors about the severe long-term trauma she has experienced. She has expressed fear that we will send her away. She says that as long as she gets food every day she wants to live at RH forever.

Our staff assures her that she is safe, that we will not send her away. She begged to go to church with the girls this past Sunday and our staff said she was raising her hands and shouting, “Thank you God for bringing me here.”

Hope still has a long road of healing ahead of her, but we are thankful that God rescued her and brought her into our care. I believe we will see her thrive as she begins to study, receive counseling and learn to know who this God is who rescued her from the darkest of evil places. Please pray for Hope.

*Hope is not her real name and she is not pictured for her protection.

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