Monday, March 21, 2011

restavek

I always wonder if I should share things like this. I've gone back and forth as to whether or not to tell you about this-- but I decided to. I try to be very honest and discuss things that are happening in our lives. This is something happening that's pretty raw...

We have stepped into a situation with a little girl 10 year old girl. She's the textbook definition of a restavek. She's been horribly mistreated. She doesn't get to go to school while the biological children in the family do. She has to clean and cook and do the laundry. When she doesn't do her work well, she's beaten. By definition, (a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another), she is a slave. And she's beaten like a slave. She has a fresh wound from being whipped on her face (just Friday-- three days ago) that's still pretty swollen and causes her a lot of throbbing pain.She also has dozens of less fresh wounds and scars all over her body. Her back and arms and butt and legs are strewn with scars from being whipped. She has a place under her arm that's nearly healed but still a bit scabbed over where her "owner" burned her with electrical lines for not doing her work well.

We found out about her through some friends who live downtown. She came to their house on Friday and said she needed help. The friend, knowing I have an orphanage, called us.

We took her to the police station Saturday and they contacted the judge who gave our orphanage temporary custody until we can stand before him (tomorrow). She's gotten cleaned up and looks much better. 90% of the time she's super spunky and tough (even to the point of being a bit mean at times). But then she breaks into these puddles of tears and seems to have a lot of anxiety. She gets very jumpy and nervous when people yell or when a loud noise is made. This morning she woke up with "pain under her heart" and was nearly hyperventilating.

Would you pray that we can get all of the preliminary paperwork figured out today so that we're prepared tomorrow to stand before the judge? Would you pray for peace to reign in her heart? Would you pray for her wounds (both physical and emotional) to begin to heal? Would you pray that SOMEHOW we can find the birth family today? (The neighbors have given us some good leads.) Would you pray that the judge would not allow this family to occupy her anymore?

Children don't have a lot of rights in Haiti. I can't change that. But I can do for one child what I wish I could do for all of them. I am begging God for the favor to stand up for this sweet, broken girl and use my voice to change the trajectory of her life... please pray with me.

5 comments:

  1. Praying for this young girl, for you and for your family. may God's love and mercy shower down upon all of you...Carol Goodale

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  2. praying for mercy and healing, which is there for you from God.

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  3. It's VITAL you share this!

    It's so easy for us in the States to get wrapped up in "helping Haiti (or insert desperate country here)" mode of donating, and then somehow the cause becomes about Stateside communion with our friends during projects to raise money or such. Noble, necessary and beneficial, yes of course, but detached and luxurious in ego-satisfying congratulations.

    And then Haiti (or other places where horror is met with hope from God and brave people like the Mangines), becomes a nebulous blob of undefined suffering, and is not spotlighted by an individual terror that cannot be imagined by people who fret about too much to eat and have too much time to pour into electronics instead of people.

    Thank you for posting this. Thank you for the opportunity to see the gruesome reality.

    We will pray for her, for you and the sitution.

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  4. praying guys. sitting on pins and needles waiting to hear judges decision.

    tara

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