Saturday, February 20, 2010

On Mirna's Passing

It was one of the worst ways to die. She was alone in a teaching hospital in a developing country, in a coma after being hit by a car. Her family members had no idea what had happened to her since she went out late one evening and never came home. They didn’t go looking for her until three days had passed since she would often disappear on drinking binges. They found her in the morgue with one arm morbidly bent out of shape since the doctors didn’t bother to cast it. It was not the way her two daughters had envisioned God answering their prayers. Ever since she abandoned them at the Jericho Villa Rehab Center in January of 2008, Genesis and Vanessa had prayed for their mother Mirna. Mirna came to Jericho through an invitation from her sister-in- law, Indira. This is what Mirna shared with us when she came to Jericho.

Little by little, my eyes were being opened. I could see that I was not doing anything good. I wanted to change because I was hungry and cold, and wasn’t sleeping well on the streets. We were getting sick from sleeping on the floor in an abandoned apartment without electricity or water. The girls cried in fear at night, and I started to pray to God. I asked him to help me and my girls. Indira, my sister in Christ, found me and invited me to a church called “Oasis of Love” and the next day Indira brought me to Jericho Ministries to pray for me and my daughters. There I found people who belong to Jesus and who help prostitutes and the addicted in need of God. I felt that my life was worthless. Picturing myself on the streets without food or a home, I decided to make the effort to take a step forward. I realized that I didn’t want my children to become like me. I didn’t want them to live the painful and horrible life that I had led, bound up by the devil. But, Jesus loves us and wants to forgive us for all our sins. I ask my Lord to give me the strength to keep going forward with help of my sisters at Jericho Ministries.

Mirna entered Jericho when Genesis was 6 and Vanesa 8 (Mirna is 2nd from left with Vani and Genny Penny in front of her in the photo)but within a month of starting the program, the lies of the enemy seemed more real to her than the Truth. She decided one morning to abandon not only this new venture but her two daughters as well. Once she made her decision to leave she walked quickly down the mile long dirt road to the bus knowing that her daughters were in a place where they had a roof over their heads, food to eat and love to spare. But being abandoned by your mother is not an easy thing to digest, no matter what your age is. These two young girls, already having suffered tremendous abuse because of their mother’s lack of mothering, would now suffer being left behind. It took some time but little by little they adjusted to life at the Villa. Hae Young was their new “Oma” (Mother in Korean) and Tia (Aunt) Elvia would often invite them to stay with her in town on the weekends. They began to grow stronger as did their prayers for their mother’s true conversion to Jesus. They envisioned her back with them at the Villa, living happily together, learning to live in the ways of God. Sadly it was not to be.

Mirna came back to Jericho a week before she died to take advantage of a medical brigade that we offer once a year to the women on the streets. She assured me that she was going to change her ways and enter the program at the Villa “soon”. She hugged her daughters close and both girls had such hopeful looks on their faces. No one could have known that she was actually hugging them goodbye. I read a bumper sticker once that said, “Life is fragile, handle with prayer.” Life truly is fragile. We do not have any idea when we will go onto glory land or to the abyss, depending upon our decisions in the here and now. That’s why the Scriptures say, “Today is the day of salvation.” We can only be sure about the right now. I don’t know if someone out there needs to read this but I am sensing I need to write it. It’s not a politically correct thing these days to talk about being eternally separated from God (hell). But it is a reality. It can and does happen. We need Jesus, not only to live a life of power and love in the here and now but for the not yet. He is our blessed assurance of life eternal. Do you have that assurance? Are you living for Him in the here and now and trusting Him for the not yet? If not, the remedy is very simple. Not “easy”, but truly “simple”. You merely have to submit your life to Jesus and allow Him to take control. Much easier said than done but it is the truth.

We took the girls into my office to tell them the news. We had already decided that Vanessa and Genesis would now live with Elvia and her husband Tony since they would need more attention. A bond had occurred between this couple and the girls from their earlier weekend visits. As I spoke out their worst nightmare, both girls visibly crumbled, one onto my lap and the other onto Elvia’s lap. I don’t know how long we stayed there just rocking them as they sobbed and sobbed. We anointed them with oil and prayed for Jesus to bind up their broken hearts and restore their broken dreams. There was no explaining why this had happened. We tried mostly to thank God that He knew way beforehand that these little ones would need a safe place where they could receive love and learn to trust again. We prayed for Him to fill the emptiness that only He can fill when someone so dear has been lost.

I thought about the girl’s prayers for their mother. God answered in a different way, a way that made no sense to any of us. But then I remembered something Mirna had said. She had breathed this almost like a prayer, “ I realized that I didn’t want my children to become like me. I didn’t want them to live the painful and horrible life that I had led, bound up by the devil.” Perhaps this was God’s way of answering the prayers of the mother for her children. I don’t know….honestly there are so many things that He does that I do not totally understand. I just know that I trust Him even when His ways are not mine. Especially when His ways are not mine.

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