Rescue and New Hope
You are not hidden
There’s never been a moment
You were forgotten
You are not hopeless
Though you have been broken
Your innocence stolen
New Hope Girls is so hard to describe. It's so much more than any of the words I can drum up here, but, for the sake of the girls and for the sake of trying, I'll just say that it's a home that rescues girls in the Dominican Republic from trauma and abuse in the most horrific sense of those words. I remember the first time I heard this song, Rescue, while I was with the girls at New Hope. I'd heard it many times before, but the song gained a whole new meaning for me there... among 17 girls under the age of 18 who had literally been rescued.
I hear you whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will send out an army
To find you in the middle of darkest night
It’s true I will rescue you
I was sitting with them during their evening devotions. They usually play a few songs and sing along, preparing their hearts and minds for the message they're about to hear. Most songs you can hear them belt out the words, but this song began to play in English. While it was clear they had listened to it many times, the fact that it was in English and the mere somberness of the tune quieted the room. As I looked around at the sweet faces, I couldn't help but see my own precious nieces. Then 2 and 3 years old, I thanked God that they were safe. I begged Him that they never know this kind of pain. Tears welled up from a place of my own brokenness for each girl sitting around me.
This isn't fair. It isn't right. Their stories. Their heartache. Their darkness. The oldest was just 8 when she was rescued from working in a brothel. I looked at her as she sat in the window sill. Hood up. Head down. Tears flowing. I looked around to see a four year old completely unaware of the road to recovery that would inevitably follow her for the rest of her life. I looked at another who nuzzled up under my arm in tears. I asked her what was wrong, but I couldn't make out what she said. So, we just sat there crying together.
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
Over and over
You’re not defenseless
I’ll be your shelter
I’ll be your armor
As I sat there in the midst of all of that pain, the Lord spoke to me. He reminded me that He sees them. He knows them. He comforts them. He loves them. That the pain and the sadness are only part of their stories. That He will mend what is broken and redeem what was stolen. That He is bringing healing and "new hope" to each girl that comes through the door of that home. That He is allowing me to be part of something that is so much bigger than myself! That I wouldn't have the passion to fight with them if I didn't feel broken for them.
I just visited New Hope again this past weekend. Every time I go, I think about the moment I had that day during the devotion. I also think of my nieces, and I remember that these girls deserve the same attention I give my own family. They have become my family. They are fighters. They are dreamers. They are chosen. And they are worth it.
The oldest, now 18, has come to find true freedom and identity in taking on the role of walking with the younger girls through their healing. That four year old was able to play and grow while a safe family member was found for her to return to. Knowing what I know about each girl only gives me more fuel for the fight. There are others. There are more that don't know freedom. There are more that are fighting in the darkness. There are girls still waiting for their rescue.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” -Isaiah 6:8
***There are opportunities for you to get involved in the work.
To learn more about how you can help, visit www.newhopegirls.co/get-involved.***