Healing from Unexpected Places
Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, World Hope International’s Founder, continues this month to share some of her thoughts from through the years in our Founder Series; asking questions, sharing stories, and reflecting on opportunity, dignity, and hope…
A number of years ago, as I was visiting one of our centers for survivors of human trafficking, I was overwhelmed to tears listening to the tragic stories. But even greater were the accounts I heard from the house parents as they told of an incident the night before I arrived. They recounted how several girls ages 5 and 6 were referred by the police. These small girls were literally unable to put words to their pain. With voices trembling the house parents tried to recount what the authorities told them about the place where they had been rescued. I thought to myself, “I am glad we have good professionals on staff to immediately begin the healing process.”
After several days of visiting additional World Hope programs and various meetings, I returned to the center. As I entered the center, I was stunned to see these same little girls the house parents had described jumping rope, laughing, dressed like children, and singing. This was emotional to me on several levels. The house parents told me that the night they were brought to the center, they looked as if they were teenagers with extreme make-up and provocative dress. They said it was freeing to the children when they helped them bathe and get rid of all the make-up. Then they brought out age-appropriate clothes for the girls. They went on to describe how the little girls touched the dresses with awe and asked, “Can we wear these?” The house parent’s answer made the girls cry when she said, “Yes, these are yours. You own them.”
Immediately, the counselors met with the girls and work began. But there was something else going on that I could not quite “pinpoint”. Finally, after a few days as I continued to visit with the house parents, two of them began to tell me how they had been praying for the Lord to do healing deep in the girls as they slept. One said, “We pray for God to give them dreams that will bring healing.” I was a bit taken aback as these women have very little formal education. They went on to describe how God has been answering these prayers. The girls at breakfast began immediately telling about their dreams and the house parents would process the dreams with them.
Later, I mentioned this to the trained counselor. Her response validated the experience. She said, “Yes, that is exactly what is happening. I further work with them on their dreams. We are seeing healing happen far faster than I expected. This is something I would have never considered.” She went on, “this is what happens when house parents love the survivors and see their work as more than just a job. They enter into the healing process; God gives them wisdom beyond their full understanding, and they obey.”
During those weeks, I realized God uses everyone, with formal education and no education, to bring healing to all people whom He loves.
Did you know that World Hope International used to have a center for survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia? Though that project ended, World Hope International continues to operate a Recovery Centre today in Sierra Leone.
To support these efforts, you can make a gift to The Hope Fund, which allows us to respond where and when it matters and continue projects centered on clean water & energy, protection, global health, and social enterprises.