I want to share a story about a man I saw a few weeks ago in the Emergency Room of our hospital. This man came into the ER after overdosing on his psychiatric medications, saying he wanted to kill himself. I asked him why he did it, and he started telling me about his life. He told how, at age 4, his mom put his hands over the stove and turned on the fire and burned them, because he took some candy before dinner without permission. Then he ended up in foster care, where he was sexually abused and molested by his foster dad and uncle for the next five years. They would take him upstairs, tie him to the bed and abuse him over and over. He said he bled so much, they would have to stitch him up, but then they’d do it over and over again.
It finally stopped when he tried to kill himself at school by tying a jump rope around his neck and jumping off the monkey bars. He was 9 years old. After this incident he was sent to a group home where he was abused and bullied. Again, he tried running away and killing himself. As an adult, he’s tried hanging himself multiple times, shooting himself in the head (he still has the bullet lodged in his head), and setting himself on fire (his chest is all scarred and burned). He even ingested gasoline and jumped off a freeway overpass. He said he knew he wasn’t going to die by overdosing on pills, but if he kept hurting himself, it would eventually kill him. This man has spent most of his adult life in prison or state mental hospitals, and he’s only 33 years old.
This was one of the most horrific stories I’d heard in a long time. This man was so desperate to die, and all because he had been abused as a child and exposed to more than any person ever should ever have to experience. I share it because it made me think about ZOE, and what ZOE does: rescuing kids who would otherwise be forced into a life of trafficking, suffering and abuse; rescuing kids out of these situations and, by God’s grace, helping to restore their lives so that they don’t end up like this man.
I know we can’t save everyone, not here, and not in Thailand, but the little that we do can make a significant difference, even just to save one of these little ones from the horrors of what they otherwise might be forced into.
What drives me to support ZOE and other relief aid organizations are the questions: What if I was the one born into a life of exploitation and human trafficking? What if my parents or guardians abused/molested me? On the other hand, what did I do to deserve being born into a middle class family that took care of me and provided love, stability, and opportunities for me? NOTHING! But here I am.
”…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48
We are God’s solution to the world’s problems – problems created because of our sin. And only God’s redeeming power can help us make things right.