July 2018: The Rescue of Clara
In my years in Sudan, I have seen great cruelty done by man and I am not surprised by much. But, the cruelty that has been done by men to small children, and justified by the perpetrators, is still hard for me to fathom.
I traveled down to Mexico to meet with the staff of Horizonte along with Pastor Jonathan Domingo. We had just recently helped Horizonte open a satellite church location in Ensenada. We had provided funds for 400 new chairs and extra support for the starting of the new church. Horizonte Church has quickly become a mega church in Mexico. They used to have two services at their main campus and have now grown to four services. The church body is mostly made up of young people, ages 25 to early thirties, and every service is full. With the satellite location, they will now have five services.
Far Reaching Ministries (FRM) got involved with Horizonte just a few years ago. What we have invested, has borne great fruit. Last year, I realized that the senior pastor’s car had over 250,000 miles on it and the assistant pastor’s car had even more miles. The woman in charge of the women’s ministry did not have a car and borrowed one that was donated to come up and meet with me at our U.S. headquarters. After the meeting, the staff took her to lunch. I noticed that one of the tires had two lug nuts that were missing and that was because there were no bolts to screw them onto. I did not feel it was safe for this young lady to drive back, so I had the car taken and repaired before she returned. The next week, I met with the pastor, the assistant pastor and the leader of the women’s ministry. I had them come up to meet me at a car dealership, where a good friend of mine works (in fleet sales) and bought them each a brand-new Toyota Corolla.
After our meetings, we went to lunch and Jonathan told me that they had received a new child in the orphanage who had been terribly abused. I told Jonathan that I wanted to go and see the little girl. Her name is Clara and she is only three years old. Jonathan shared that the child had been being raped by her father from the time she was two years old and had a sexually transmitted disease.
When I walked into the room to see Clara, she began to cry—she is afraid of men. She raised her arm to cover her face and would peek out over the top but would not look directly at me. She was afraid. Vicky, one of the heads of the orphanage, told me that when she has her diapers changed, she will cry because she fears she will be abused again. She does not want to be touched, but she also does not want you to leave, as she is afraid of being alone. We talked to her in a soft voice, and then laid hands on her foot, so as to not alarm her, and prayed for Clara which seemed to calm her down.
This is the hard part for me. When I left the room, I could feel the rage rising in my heart. How could a man abuse his own daughter? I know the love I feel for my own daughter, Jennifer, and I could not fathom a father doing this to a baby. When Jennifer got married, her future husband came to see me. He said, “Wes, I am afraid of you.” I told him that he should be afraid. I then reminded him that if he mistreated my daughter he would reap what he sowed. Fortunately, he has been truly growing into a Godly man and father.
The good news, folks, is that in the few short weeks that we have had Clara, we have seen her improve and play with the other children, even smiling and laughing. She cannot walk or talk, and the staff is working with the doctors to find out what her long-term prognosis is. It is my hope that through prayer, and God’s people showing her love and tenderness, she will be able to heal. She still cannot express her needs or wants and pulls out her hair and cries uncontrollably when she is angry. We hope that we will be able to find a family who will adopt this little one and show her real love, but it is still too soon to know what we are dealing with yet. If you would like to donate towards Clara’s care I can promise you, we will give one hundred percent towards this child’s care and for her future needs. She will require 24-hour care, seven days a week. We will have to raise quite a few monthly sponsors just to care for her on this level. If you would like to become one of the monthly sponsors for $50 a month, please fill out the enclosed card “For the Love of Clara”. It does not have to be $50, your gift can be whatever God puts on your heart. The one-time donations will also go towards her medical care and whatever else she will need.
Over the last few months, I have had many of you contact me, with very kind concern saying, “Wes, we can feel the stress you are going through in the newsletters.” And, yes, it is true that these last few years have been extreme. In the first five months of this year, I had to make two emergency flights overseas along with three other scheduled trips. It is extremely hard to find peace in the world I live in. And, while my stress level is difficult, it is nothing compared to what Clara is going through. Folks, I am a soldier and a man who is trained for war and who handles hardship well, but even for me, it is things like this that vex a man’s soul. I know the sensitive nature of putting Clara’s photo in the newsletter, but we have been asked to do so by the church, in the hope that the Lord will put it on someone’s heart to adopt her in the future.
Though the war continues to rage in South Sudan, there are ministry needs around the globe that need our attention. We thank you for standing with us as we shoulder the burdens of our brothers and sisters—caring for the least of these and the elderly—those whom the Lord has put in our path such as the Clara’s of this world.
Far Reaching Ministries