Last Tuesday I had no desire to go in LC. We prayed in the morning that the Lord would show us if He wanted us to go the community, by sending a huge rainstorm if He did not want us to go. "Lord," we prayed, "if at 2:30, there is lightning & thunder and really heavy rains, we'll know that you don't want us to go in."
I was nervous to go because of an email I got from Jose, one of the Metro leaders who is on a year sabbatical. Someone from LC emailed him to tell him about the situation with Estella, and then said that I had pressed charged against the mom. Jose said for me to be careful when we go back to LC, especially since my name keeps coming up."
So on Tuesday I was nervous and didn't want to go.
At 2:00 when I walked to the base it started thundering and lightning like you wouldn't believe. It was pouring rain, and I thought to myself, "Thank you Lord, we can stay here and not go out." But we prayed for our ministry time as if we were going anyways, just in case the rain stopped...and it did. At 2:20 there was no lightning, no rain, and just a small drizzle. It was a yes for us to go.
2 guys from a local church have started going with us, and I asked Matt to go with me to do the door to door visitations. We said hi to people along the way, stopped for some chit-chat, but I knew that it was important that we visited Estella's mom (Lets call her Mama D). In one of the many encouraging emails I recently received, a friend share with me this: We can't cure all diseases, make people love each other, or compensate for the wrong choices that people make. But we can do what you ARE doing and that is praying, standing with them, and working for their good. Government workers have the authority to take children out of unsafe places and put them in safe homes. Missionaries have the authority to speak the love, hope & goodness found in Christ. If Estella can't be taken from her home, than our role is to disciple the mom so she becomes someone that knows God and has the fruit of the Spirit evident in her life (joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, love, self-control, gentleness).
Matt & I arrived at Estella's home and knocked on the door. Estella answered, and she didn't look happy to see us. I asked if her mom was home and she said, "Why?" I told her that her mom was my friend and I wanted to see how she was doing. Mama D then came to the door, and after a little small talk there in the doorway, for the first time ever, she invited us in. I was shocked. And to be honest, a little nervous. Was being inside her house a good thing for us, or a bad thing? At least Matt was with me.
She told me how hard it was to see her little girl in the hospital- how they wouldn't let her see Estella and she waited outside of the hospital crying because she was refused the right to see her. "They said I did that to her, Karen!" "I know," I told her, "but remember, you showed me the police report. And even though people talk, and gossip, what happened that night is between you, Estella, and God. Remember that God sees everything and he knows the truth." She got quiet and it started to rain really hard outside. I wanted to leave, but she said, "Looks like you'll be staying awhile with the weather like this!" Great... I didn't want to stay, but I had the invitation &; I know that she is a woman in need of the love of God. I asked her if she could give me a tour of the home- it was like a maze of hallways with different doors- each door being the home (room) of one of her family members. She lives in the back room with her husband & 3 children.
It was a complete mess- with no trash can and a pile (4 feet tall) of trash on the ground, and chickens running around inside. I can't imagine living there.
Mama D then opened up even more to me, and shared that when she was 8 days old her mom gave her to her aunt, and when she turned 14, her aunt gave her back to her mom. She has been abandoned, abused, and rejected her entire life. I was at a loss for words for most of the time, but I think she just needed some caring ears to hear.
When the rain let up, Matt & I left, but we spent nearly 45 minutes with Mama D. I believe that because so many people have been praying for the situation, that God is allowing us the ability to minister to her. It wasn't how I thought God would respond in this situation- but something I do know is that He is all about families. And God's best for this situation is for Estella to stay in her family, Mama D to repent & change, and for the abuse to completely stop because the Love of God is what reigns over that home.