It was, arguably, the toughest story we had ever heard. David and I sat in the Mexican restaurant, with our April mama and her four little ones. All girls . . . all so precious. One of the middle ones immediately took to David and she sat with him almost the entire time while he gave her bits of chips and quesadilla and spoke gently to her about how she is Jesus’ little lamb. David and I exchanged glances several times as we listened to the heart-wrenching account of how this sweet, young mother and her four girls were abused in the worst of ways. The abuse just does not seem to end for her. One of those stories of abuse upon abuse upon abuse. Abused by her father, married young, wickedly abused by her husband, her daughters abused, turned out by the church . . . it just hasn’t seemed to stop. April mama wore a cutie Proverbs 31 t-shirt and a ponytail. To me, she is a baby . . . so much younger than I was when I finally left. David and I fought back tears over and over as we listened and asked questions.
Here we are, as a family, driving out of state to meet her and her lambs:
It was a family thing today. This mama needed help with her babies and our children love babies so it worked out beautifully. We brought these little lambs to the girls from the GHW team:
We tried to let the girls know that they are Jesus’ little lambs and that all of us at Give Her Wings love them and are thinking of them and praying for them.
The little town where our April mama lives is a blip on the screen. We even had to drive 10 minutes away from the town to find a McDonalds to have coffee! As she and I drove, she opened up a little bit more about the spiritual, mental and (gruesome) sexual abuse toward her and her daughters. She wept because she didn’t leave sooner. I tried to encourage her by reminding her that she did all she could do and then some. She is brave and strong but she is barely hanging on. She told me about how sabotaged she had been by her ex husband and, in a small town, gossip can be rampant and can ruin a reputation in an instant. She told us about how her ex husband had kept them all in a trailer with no heat, completely boarded up with no sunshine coming in for a year and a half. When she went to her church, they told her that “she complains too much”. She told me about how she brings her children to Sunday school and then hides in the library to read her Bible because she cannot worship without weeping. “So far,” she added with a hint of a smile, “No one has found me in there.”
When we sat down, in the booth at McDonalds, just April mama and me, the seats were flooded with bright sunshine. I said, “Is that too much sun for you?” She quietly said, “I love sunshine.” I almost broke down right there. How could anyone lock her away without warmth or love for such a long time? Because of this, she will be called “Sunbeam” by this little ministry, to protect her and her babies’ reputations.
Sunbeam has finally safely landed in a friend’s house but it is not an ideal situation for her or her four girls. She had a job a few months ago but her girls got sick (very typical and due to stress) and she had to care for them. She has no help in caring for her children, no support and no family that is in the slightest bit healthy. It is, indeed, miraculous that Sunbeam would desire to follow Jesus and, yet, she is immersed in His word. She said this, “Everyone told me that divorcing him would be unforgivable. Then, when I divorced him, they said that I cannot remarry or it would be unforgivable. I decided I would read the Bible for myself and not let anyone else tell me what they think it says!”
She wept when I told her that we want to help her. I told her how all the ladies at GHW wanted to come with me and show her and her girls how much we love her and how precious they all are to God and to us. I told her that she is not alone; she is safe with us and that we believe her. She told me that our belief in her is a gift.
Our goal, now, is to raise enough money to help get Sunbeam into a better community and living situation. With her abusers within 10 minutes of her and a rough living situation that is straining relationships and zero support, it would be in her best interest to just get her out of there. Truthfully, we don’t know how we are going to do that, yet. But, brain-storming days are ahead. It is rare that a mother can leave town with her children but Sunbeam can, due to the cruel and unusual abuse of her ex husband. We need your help. In the next two weeks, we need to (somehow, by the grace and generosity of our God and His people) raise this money to help this sweet lady and her children.
Please pray about giving and, if you feel so led, click here to donate through Paypal. Remember that all of your gifts are tax-deductible. We need the community of Christ to really pull together. We need your help. Sunbeam needs your help. Her four beauties need your help. Will you join us?
Megan and the Team at Give Her Wings