so much has been happening. more than i can possibly keep up with in my writings. but a recent quick story has been sticking in my mind.
we hosted a group a couple weeks ago. my brother, chad, brought a bunch of his friends - as he typically does every february. it was an extraordinary few days, full of memories.
among other things, they brought a bunch of gift bags for grandmas and widows in the village. you know... stuff women love. basically a big, nice shoulder-bag full of goodies. things like soft towels, slippers, earrings, chocolates, hair brushes, blankets, lotions, etc, etc.
btw... this is stuff that women in our village have never received in their life.
|translating for bridgette as she shares with priscila|
but one of the women we chose to give this special gift to was not a widow or a grandma. priscila is perhaps worse than a widow. she is a victim of regular abuse - both physical, verbal, and every other kind you can imagine.
she is the mother of one of our rhinos, so we hear all the stories. we have tried to intervene. we have confronted the husband face to face. we have called police. we have surrounded him in prayer. but he continues...
on this day, chad and his friends arrived with gifts to lift priscila's spirits and remind her that she is special. my job was to simply translate, as bridgette showed her all of the gifts and explained what they were.
but i couldn't help myself.
there in the background, against the wall, stood priscila's husband. with a stone cold expression on his face, he was probably bothered by the fact that we were in his home.
i took advantage of the opportunity, and went on a rant about how special women are. i explained that this group of friends were here to remind the women of Buena Vista that they are loved and cared for. i shared what the bible says about how men are to treat women. i looked directly at his eyes and told him that his wife is soft, gentle, delicate, and precious... and that his job is to protect her, provide for her, and make her feel wonderful.
it was a long and exaggerated - on purpose. my hope was that the spirit of God, through the truth of His word, would pierce the heart of this mean, alcoholic, abusive man.
i can't say whether it did or not. but i know it meant something to priscila.
as bridgette lovingly shared all of the items with her, she graciously received them, but showed no emotion. just a slight smile and "thank you" - nothing more.
until her husband left the room.
one of the group members had asked to see the family's property, so the husband walked out to show them around. the second he left the room, his wife broke down into tears.
thankfully, bridgette was there to hold her. priscila needed a woman's understanding arms around her. as bridgette held her into her neck and shoulder for several minutes, priscila let out her unexplainable pain with a hard, emotional cry.
unable to speak spanish, bridgette could do nothing more than simply cry along with her - which is exactly what was needed in this moment.
as soon as the voices and the rustling sound of the group returning towards the house were heard, priscila swiftly wiped away her tears. within seconds, the lifeless expression she had on her face before had returned.
the moment was such a symbol of the oppressive cruelty and abuse that men hold over women in our village. we see it over and over again through daily life experiences here. for generations, women have been considered worthless outside of sex, cooking, cleaning, and caring for the kids. they are often treated like garbage.
not any more! a new generation of young men are rising up. soon the village will be full of rhinos, and those discipled by rhinos. young men who will break these awful chains of abuse towards women. young men who will fight to defend these precious, innocent daughters of God.
indeed, the girls of Buena Vista will soon reap the benefit of all the years of tireless work and effort invested into the buena vista sports academy for boys...