Monday, May 23, 2011

Nohelia, center, with classmates.
It's a Girl

Many of you may be familiar with Nohelia’s story from this blog. Her family has been an important part of our lives since arriving here. Two of her older brothers are part of Micah; Daniel graduates from Zamorano University this November, and Charlie is in his second year studying dentistry at the Catholic University. Last year I put a request out for financial help so that Nohelia and her 2 younger brothers could go to a private school and some of you stepped up and made that happen. Deisy, Nohelia’s mother, was my housekeeper and friend.

Three and a half weeks ago I received a phone call from a sobbing, hysterical Nohelia. I could only make out bits and pieces of what she said, something about getting in a fight with her oldest brother, Fernando. Her mom said they got into a small argument because Nohelia had refused to cook for him when she got home from school. Sensing that I wasn’t getting the entire story, I picked her up the next day after Nightstrike and brought her home. She had a black eye, marks on her neck from being choked, and bruises on both legs and arms. I was shocked at the severity of the beating in relation to the non-chalant comments made by her mother.

Without going into the details, let me first tell you that Nohelia is still living with us. She has started seeing a counselor and our goal is to have Deisy begin as well, hopefully being able to bring their family back together at some point. Nohelia is safe, trying to work through the continual roller coaster of emotions that come her way.

What I can’t get my head around and leaves me sitting here in utter disbelief, is the attitude of Nohelia’s family. Go back 50 years in America, when it was the woman’s fault for being raped and you’ll understand my confusion. Here is a 16 year old girl that was beaten by a 23 year old man for refusing to cook for him. Her mother resents her for the problems she brought into her home. Her 2 older brothers think she deserved it and needs to apologize to her family and go home. Her 2 younger brothers don’t see why I am so appalled. The abuser, well who knows what he thinks; I haven’t talked to him because I would hate to put his head into a cinder block wall, but I’m sure he believes he was justified.

Deisy is no longer our housekeeper, not because of her attitude toward the beating, but because I can’t have the tension that is between the two of them in my home. Deisy and I have talked a couple of times, I have told her I simply cannot understand how she can be okay with this. When I explained that Nohelia was afraid to go back home, she told me that was ridiculous, there was no reason for her to be afraid as he was sorry and said it would never happen again. Really? I asked her if that wasn’t the exact same thing she had heard from abusive spouses and boyfriends in the past, and when she said that it was, I asked her how, then, could she believe him? How could she expect her daughter, who witnessed her mother’s abuse and heard the apologies and promises from the men, how could she expect her to believe him? Well, because he said so.

Three weeks later I still don’t understand it. I have a 16 year old girl who thinks her mother doesn’t love her, who can’t believe that her mother took his side on this. She misses her family, misses her pets, feels guilty and worries that her 2 little brothers aren’t being taken care of, since much of that fell to her. She has zero self esteem, has trouble sleeping due to nightmares about bad men coming to get her, and simply feels lost.

This situation has stirred up memories from my past that I would really rather not relive. You see, I was sexually abused by 2 family members, beginning at age 5 and ending at about 12 years old. Supposedly my mother never knew, although I believe that she simply did not want to know. The effects of that abuse created the same feelings in me that Nohelia is dealing with. Although I do not like revisiting some of the incidents of abuse, I have come out the other side and am thankful that I can share with her the hope there is in Christ to not only survive, but to become stronger and thrive.

Please keep us in your prayers as we walk this road with Nohelia and her family.


That could be the name of a bad movie but, unfortunately, it’s what we are looking forward to this Saturday, May 28th. After the election promises that Mel and his gang would be brought to justice, an accord was signed yesterday by President Lobo that allows Mel to return to Honduras without any fear of consequence for his actions, and allows him to participate in Honduran politics once again. The actual physical return of Mel isn’t so much the problem, but the resurgence of the Resistencia, Mel’s rabid followers. They are the ones that tagged just about every wall in Tegucigalpa with graffiti, burned down some fast food restaurants, caused major issues for regular citizens with the burning of tires, throwing of molotav cocktails, and the utter chaos.

Instead of giving you a rehashed version, please read what La Gringa wrote so well in her post.. The picture at the top featuring the head of the Resistencia and Hugo Chavez alongside Mel is a pretty good indication of just how NOT GOOD this can be for Honduras.

Please pray for Honduras, and for Brian as he is scheduled to arrive back from Roatan just an hour or so after Mel’s arrival.

4 Weeks

Four weeks from tomorrow we take off for our annual trip back to the states. We are looking forward to spending a week on the East Coast seeing Washington DC and New York City. After that we will be heading to Oregon to visit family, friends, and supporting churches. We are so excited and so ready for this time to recharge and refocus. Please be praying that we finish out these last few weeks strong and leave our ministries in good hands while we are away.

New Mission Organization

Another reminder to all of you that have faithfully supported us, that we are no longer with ACTION International Ministries. As of April 11th we are now a part of Community Vision International. If you are a current supporter please make changes to how your donations are submitted. If you mail a check from your home or from your checking account, please begin sending your support to:

Community Vision International
P.O. Box 33286
Portland, OR 97292-3286
Account # P113BNW

If you prefer to submit your support over the internet you can go to our page at:

Payments are processed through PayPal so you can use a credit or debit card, or your PayPal account if you have one.

CVI does not offer automated monthly donation processing. If you want to have your donation made automatically you will need to set it up as a bill pay through your checking account. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; CVI charges 1/3 the administration fee that was charged by ACTION and, therefore, does not offer the same amount of services. The loss of automated donation processing is the only service that is affecting us and our supporters and we apologize for this but believe it is worth the trade off. Thank you for your understanding.

May God bless you all with His abundant peace today and always as you seek to follow Him.

1 comment:

beckyc said...

I am very sorry for Nohelia, though I know it is a very common occurence. But through grace, you can share in her sufferings as you have suffered likewise.

Regarding Mel, gee-whiz, what an absolute bummer.

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