God still works miracles and the place he chose to work this one was San Antonio Texas at the Embassy of Hope. I am a parent who for the last 12 years has been trying to hang onto a daughter.
At this point it all feels surreal, but I can assure you that there were times that the pain was almost unbearable. It began so long ago with abuse that we didn’t even know existed. A little girl too young to even know how to say what was happening to her. Then at 12 years old the unspeakable nightmare of every parent; our daughter was raped. I can’t even begin to understand why she chose not to tell us about what had happened to her but she didn’t. Silence again. But she did start getting sickevery day when I took her to school. I couldn’t imagine why the 7th grade was so traumatic that it would cause her to be physically ill so we tried several doctors trying to figure out what the problem was. At her age I guess it never crossed any of our minds to give her a pregnancy test. So when she suddenly stopped being sick and told me one day and said she was ok now I took her word for it. I assumed she had finally adjusted to her new school.
Much later we learned that she had gotten an abortion. To this day I can’t imagine who would do such a thing to a 12 ear old girl but I can assure you it was scaring. From that time on her behavior was always self-destructive. Drug use ecame a way of life and I’m sure that it was her suppliers who also helped her take care of the pregnancy even as advanced as it had to of been. When she was 14 she was pretty much uncontrollable and we sent her to a boarding school that counseled her to at least be able to tell us what happened. She was ok while she was there for the next year and a half, but the minute she returned home the relationships that she felt most comfortable in were calling her back. She had gotten used to being used and using other people and there was always someone out there waiting to assume the role. Her normal was nothing I could even imagine. Back to boarding school, then to college only to have her life find her there. She was expelled the very first semester that she was on her own.
Looking back, she was probably on the phone with past acquaintances even before she had unpacked her bag. Our problem now was that she was over 18, out of our control. She moved out shortly after that and began a life of sex and drugs. She survived over the next couple of years as a hard core drug addict only by the grace of God. She finally moved home. Resolving to turn her life around but that didn’t last long. She soon discovered that there was a lot more money to be made when she allowed herself to be sold for services she had been taught from the time she was a little girl. Our presence in her life also was to constricting so she left again. This time she took it on the road and ended up in Dallas, TX. After watching a parade of men go through her life I guess the pimp she ended up with finally convinced her his love was the real thing.
Through a chain of events that only God could have orchestrated, she ended up in jail in Houston. A prayer request to my sister in Indiana, a call to a friend in Switzerland, a daughter in the US documenting the industry, an FBI agent in California, a consultant in ________, until I finally got a name, Embassy of Hope. Through all my years of talking with anyone who might help me reach my daughter I never had anyone who told me the things I heard from Elizabeth. I never had anyone who had no judgment of my daughter or was so convinced that she wanted my daughter with her. I could tell Elizabeth anything about her and it didn’t change her conviction that she was a child of God and could find the true love of Christ. Last July I took a leap of faith and bailed my daughter out of jail and took her to the Embassy of Hope. In less than a month she was speaking with Elizabeth about the reality of human trafficking to people who had no concept of the business. Elizabeth let her move at her own pace but with God it was lightning speed. In just a short time she found a spiritual home with other Christians her age who loved her for who she is in Christ and not for who she was. She is finally able to look forward to a life filled with family and love and a renewed ability to see God and rejoice in his
grace and mercy.
Who am I? I am a mother who raised her children going to a Christian School. I am middle class conservative America. You could have lived in my neighborhood and never dreamed that these things could happen to a little girl who lived there. I could be you so easily that you should be scared. Never discount the need for the support the EOH offers to the lost. I thank God daily for using people like Elizabeth and the Embassy to reach people in his name, to love those the rest of us want to, but don’t know how to love.