Her tragedy crashed into my heart for the first time in late May.
She was put in children’s prison at the age of 14 when hunger conquered morals and she stole some food. But in a fallen world, justice rarely reigns supreme and the punishment for her crime did not fit the offence. This girl spent the next three years in children’s prison where she was at the mercy of those who were set to guard her. She conceived a child and gave birth to him while in prison and then the two together lived in captivity.
As the end of May approached so did the end of her sentence, but there was one critical piece of red-tape keeping her shackled in
abuse. She is a hill-tribe girl, not a legal citizen of the country in which she was born and she is a minor. These two facts, bound her body and heart until a foundation was willing to step in and accept custody of the girl-child and her baby.
And I W.A.I.T.E.D.
With my heart breaking I prayed and waited for a sign from God. I WAITED for some show of God’s provision. I WAITED for some others to come alongside. I WAITED while she was still held captive.
Periodically I would hear a small beckoning in the voice of my assistant, Nitaya, “Can we take her?”
Again, I would feel that raw, aching tug at my heart while I waited.
Three weeks ago on a Saturday morning just like this, with quiet rain falling outside the window, in stolen quiet moments with Jesus…I was overwhelmed with a sense of urgency. A painful push of pressure from within.
“Act NOW! Don’t wait any longer. MOVE. RIGHT. NOW.”
And so I did. Within the hour, without having seen the grand signs for which I waited, I sent the emails and made the calls. “Yes, we will take her. Start the paperwork. We will take her today.”
And within the hour I received emails confirming a couple of large one-time donations to support the Compass 31 work. Within one day I received word that the girl was “missing.”
As we have sought her for three weeks, with prayer and with passion, I have ever so slowly come to the gut-wrenching realization of what exactly what missing means in the world in which we are operating. She is GONE. Like gone-gone. There is no record that she ever existed in the prison in which she was held for three years. Had she been released to another NGO there would be records of that. There would be forms and red-tape, documents, confirmations.
But the reality is, in a world where girls are a commodity and victimization is a way of life, “missing” means that she is either dead or sold. GONE. Either way, she is beyond my reach. All that “legally”exists of this girl now is the scar on my heart that will forever remind me of the cost of WAITING.
Pray for her. Pray for me as I struggle to learn how to live a life of worthy of the calling I have received.
“Trained faith is a triumphant gladness in having nothing but God-no rest, no
foothold-nothing but Himself-A triumphant gladness in swinging out into that
great abyss, rejoicing in a very fresh emergency that is going to prove Him
true yet again.” Lilias Trotter