As I sit here two police stations and three hospitals later, I am mentally exhausted. We came home today to two girls that had brought a girl to our home that had been beaten and raped the night before. Before we entered the gate I had my suspicions to why they were there, man was I wrong. As soon as the three girls were visible to us it was completely obvious which one had been abused the evening before. I sat on the ground beside them and stroked the one side of her face that wasn’t bruised or swollen. Looking at her just made my heart ache. It literally felt as if it were bleeding. From her eyebrow on the left side of her face to her lips displayed pain. It looked as if someone had slammed her face on the ground and slid it across the pavement over and over again.
She began in a quiet voice to tell her story. It was heart breaking as soon as she began her voice let on that she was use to this type of thing. Without saying it directly the emotions of her broken soul said that this was her life and it’s just the way it is. Two weeks prior to her attack her dad had kicked her out of the house. She said this was common because he drank all the time and when he felt like it he would make her leave.
My new friend revealed her evening the night before. Meskrem had gone and found a place to sleep and was covered with a piece of plastic when all of the sudden the plastic was ripped away from her sleeping body. Two boys stood over her and began to attack her. Next they raped her. She went into a different state of mind as she was enduring this life changing event. Almost as if she fainted and were not aware of the things that were happening to her in the moment.
A boy found her laying there on the street barely conscious and took her to a girls home that our daughter actually lived with her biological mom before we adopted her. These girls knowing what our ministry stood for they brought her all the way across town to us. We immediately knew we had to do 3 things. First we would need to take her to the police station in the area where the rape occurred so that we could file a report. Then we would take her to the hospital to get her body checked out and then prayerfully her dad would allow her to come back home. This was our hope because we have no room for any more girls in our ministry. We had just discussed earlier in the week we need to be able to go ALL-OUT for the ones that are there now which would mean saying no to many needs that arise each and every day.
You would think you would get some sympathy walking into a police station with a girl whose face clearly showed that she had been beaten but instead we just got cigarette smoke blown into our faces and were told to go to another police station. I thought that maybe the lack of sympathy was do to them being male. The second place we were told to go to wasn’t much different; we entered to an officer that for sure wasn’t going to get out of his seat to greet us. When telling the story his posture remained slouched and uninterested as he pointed us up the hill. As we entered the small room I thought we would finally get some help because it was a woman but instead we received very little emotion or concern. Continuing to play connect the dots we finally were asked to follow into another office. This man was hard and seemed completely unaffected that we had a young girl who had been beaten and raped. Come on people what if this was your daughter??
I can’t put into words the amount of aggravation I was feeling. I was desperate; my soul was desperate for someone to care. We went to three different hospitals before finding someone that would deal with “OUR PROBLEM”. While sitting waiting for hours in the waiting room my head began to hurt and I felt as if I were literally going to catch some disease. Looking to the left you could see blood on one of the benches; I feel the germs through the person beside me that continues to let out a long howl for a cough. It smelled as if I were sitting inside a toilet bowl that had not been flushed in months. As my mind was mentally failing me I remembered that we had made some progress after 7 hours because at least Mekrem was being seen now.
After receiving papers on all the test that they had ran on her you would have thought you were holding a small children’s book in your hand. We were told to come back on Monday to get the results but that we were to go back to the police station to get a paper written from them first. I was ready to surrender the evening to my family after all we had bought some local cheese and were cooking cheeseburgers for the first time since we had moved here just over two months ago. But I had one issue. We still had the girl, what would we do with her? The next two hours were spent trying to get her dad to come to the door. He just yelled out at us and turned off the lights. We even went and found 2 police officers to go back with us to his home. This time he hid quietly as if he weren’t there.
We were in an area where one of our girls Amellaworks grandmother lived. I suggested we go and ask her if she could stay the night there; just a few weeks prior she had allowed another girl and her baby to stay there until the next morning. We approached the 80 something year olds home. Every time we visit in the evening her home is filled with 2 or more people whom she allows to sleep there so that they have somewhere to lay their head at night. She agreed that she could stay with her until Monday when we would pick her up and go back to the hospital again.
That night I couldn’t get this precious girl’s beaten face out of my mind. My heart continued to be completely disturbed by the image, her story and her being all alone. I had no idea what we would do to help her but I knew my DADDY had a plan. I prayed that evening asking my FATHER to never allow me to get comfortable to what goes on where ever HE has me serving HIM each day. May I always be disturbed by what disturbs your heart FATHER!!
Monday comes and we go meet with Meskrems father. We wanted to make sure we got there early enough before he began drinking. We arrive at his home and get no answer. We call him and they sya he is at the super market. We walk to meet him but when we arrive it is no super market. The crazy part is that it is indeed his supermarket; a bar.
He looks not at all like I imagined. His frame is small and he is dressed in a suit. Very business man like. We entered into his stomping grounds. He glimpses at his daughter once and refuses to look again for many minutes. You can see the pain in his eyes. Not so much for his daughter but more so his life. We learn that he was married to to Meskrems mom and about 6 years ago they left. Meskrem said he kicked them out. Meskrem was together with her mom for a few years but then she disappeared. Here was this young girl left all alone. She went to her father’s house with no other place to go. By this time he had remarried but this wife to supposedly left too, he has no idea where she is either. He glances up again to look at his daughter and you can see his pain bursting in his heart. I believe he sees in his daughter, his ex wife someone whom he once loved but has since become angry at. I tell him I am sorry for all of the hurt he has in his life. We ask him if he would allow his daughter to come back home. He refuses; we ask him if he would be willing to pay for her rent in a room somewhere else. He again refuses and wants nothing to do with the one he helped create.
My anger just wants to explode on this sorry excuse for a father. I just get up and walk out of the bar without saying a word. I couldn’t thank him for anything because after all he had done nothing deserving of my gratitude. I could see this blank look on her face. She had become numb to the pain caused by her father. She suffered abuse and abandonment; what was left for her anyways.
We returned back to the 80 year old woman’s house that touches my heart and challenges me every time I am in her home. We ask her if she would be willing to allow Meskrem to live with her in her single room home. She agrees but said that she needs help with feeding her. We agree to help her by providing 320 birr a month. This equals to about 20 us dollars. We also agree to get her a bed, knowing that we don’t have the funds to do so but trusting that our provider, Meskrems provider would provide. We put the need out there and had 3 women that would come together giving 75.00 a piece to provide a bed, blamket and sheets. We praise our FATHER for what he gives to HIS children so that they can make their mark in this world one life at a time.
No matter where you are in life HE can use you to spread HIS love. Don’t allow the enemy to lie to you by having you doubt your gifts, talents and money to change the world one life at a time.
It is now Thursday and we are back at the hospital for the third time this week. There are no appointments here so you show up early and wait while this day began as us being the first in the waiting room. Now you are surrounded and have no personal space as I wonder what in the world does it take to get something done here? HE reminds me it takes patience and grace and suffering.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse…..it happens the moment when you want to break down and cry and can’t possibly go a step further in this process. We were the first people here this morning and the last to be seen. 3 ½ hours later Amellawork comes out with paper in hand. What looked like a glimpse of hope would soon become dreadful and dreary. The note she had in her hand was not what we needed. It mentioned nothing about Meskrem being raped. I asked Amilly to go back and ask the doctor to give us the specifics we came for. Then the craziest thing happened as she explained to the Dr. what we needed he took the original letter he wrote ripped it up threw it in the trash can and went to lunch.
Are you freaking kidding me…..I am ready to explode by this point. Who does this? We go and find the Dr. that examined her on Saturday. She says come back tomorrow. Fighting back tears I explain to her that this was our 4th time being there and that Amilly has stayed out of school for 2 days just to help me with my direction. There was no way that we could come back tomorrow. I couldn’t physically do it anymore. She calls the OBGYN dr. the only one who could write the note. She asks us to come back in an hour. This foreign little girl was getting so frustrated at the system that we are up against.
I find myself at this point speaking aloud HIS truth to give me the strength to continue on. This is the sacrificing that HE talks about; HE suffered for Meskrem that is why we are doing all this I tell Amilly. We can do all things through him who gives us strength, we are to go in mighty power and complete this task, HE went ALL-OUT for us so we must go ALL-OUT for HIM so this girl will feel her DADDYS love.
We went back and really got nowhere. I finally got to speak to the Dr. by accident he was walking around the corner as we were in search of him. I asked him boldly do you have children. His response was yes. I then asked him do you have a daughter. You could see he was getting aggravated with my questions; what if this was your daughter I asked, wouldn’t you want her taken care of. His response was simply this “I have to take care of all the important patients that are here, we do not have time for this.”
To all the so called problems in this world I make a promise to you that I will live my life to love you, to care for you, to encourage you, to challenge you, to teach you that you are important and that you were created with purpose.
Currently we are still working hard to help Meskrem, every step here takes weeks. This week we were able to get some clothes of her from her dads, got her bed set up, and continue the process of getting her in school. Just when I couldn’t take another step forward last week her dad called me out of the blue to say he would help us on that Friday, and he did he took her to get her picture taken and get some card that we needed. This week we went to try to get her transcripts from 6 years ago but the cashier was not there so guess what we have to come back on Monday. At this point all I can do is laugh, cry and pray and trust that HE will give me the strength to continue HIS work HE has started through me.
Pray that Meskrem will know JESUS personally, pray for HIM to transform her mind, heart and soul, pray that she will be able to start school next week.