There are times when my heart breaks for the girls in our home. The fears and pain they carry can be overwhelming at times and I wonder how it’s possible for them to keep going on. And then there are times when I am blown away by the sheer strength I see from them, these sweet girls, these beautiful survivors in our refuge.

One particular girl, whom I will call Hope* has struck a cord in my heart in the past few months. Her story is overwhelmingly tragic, and when she first arrived a few months ago, we were all a little worried about how she would cope. I remember talking with the counseling team a few months ago and being struck by the horror of her life. At multiple points I stopped the meeting to clarify bits of her background and felt terrible dread: How could she possible overcome some of these deep, deep, loses?

Hope is the daughter of a two prostitutes, raised on cardboard boxes on the streets until she was 5 years old, when her mother married an extremely abusive European man. Her stepfather’s beatings and molestation started immediately. The raping began when she was 12. When she was 15, her “parents” pimped and trafficked her to other foreign men, and would beat her if she refused. She was rescued about six months after this began and both of her “parents” are currently in jail awaiting trial.

Now, let’s get one thing clear: most likely Hope will struggle, on some level, for the rest of her life because of the abuse she has endured. That is the way of life. Unfortunately, there are no miraculous cures for her trauma, but we can offer her consistent love, good counseling, support in every possible way, and if she is willing to invest a lot of work, there will be a lot of healing and growth.

And Hope has invested work. Many of the trauma symptoms she displayed upon first arriving six months ago have improved markedly, she’s a bit less fearful, a bit more trusting. She has been making leaps and bounds in ways that have actually surprised myself and many of the other staff members. To top it off, Hope is brilliant. Her diligence in studying her high school lessons has been nothing short of remarkable. Her English skills are phenomenal, and she really likes to write. In fact, she writes so well that our home school program has published some of her writing in their newsletter!

And even more impressive, are the actual words of her writing. Her strength shines through the paper and ink. As does her HOPE.

Please read Hope’s words below. Do they encourage you? Write her a message in the comments section and we will pass it on!


8 replies
  1. Holly S
    Holly S says:

    Wow Hope! Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad to hear you’re recovering well at My Refuge House. You’re an inspiration! Keep up the great work with your studies, you’re going places! Your English is better than a lot of young people’s is here in the US. May God continue to protect you, provide for you, redeem you, and reveal his plan and purpose for your life! You’re a rock star!

  2. jonathan h.
    jonathan h. says:

    Great work hope! You are right you have to stand up for yourself and do what is right, know that you are not alone though. God is with you always, and you will always be part of the MRH family. Keep up the good work in your studies! Your words are inspiring!

  3. Lily Gross
    Lily Gross says:

    Keep on writing, Hope! You are a precious child of God. Sometimes feeling and seeing His love is so hard, but know deep down that it’s always there. <3

  4. Audrey H.
    Audrey H. says:

    Hi Hope! Your writing is not corny at all…it’s very inspiring. I especially loved the phrase “do some ‘karate style.'” I may put that into practice if I need to 🙂 Keep growing and keep on writing! God bless you!

  5. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    Hi Hope,
    First of all, your writing is excellent. The grammar and English is well written, but what I like the most is that you speak from your heart, and you speak your truth. There are so many people who don’t know how to do this! So keep on doing what you do! One of my favorite sayings is “Fall down 7 times, get up 8″…. or stand up 8!!! You ARE doing this! BE PROUD!!!
    With healing thoughts and love,
    Stephanie 🙂

  6. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves over superficial, unimportant things. Can anyone relate? And then My Refuge House is there,day after day, working with God’s grace to heal lives who have really significant challenges. Thank you MRH and may the Lord Bless and Keep MRH.


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