Good things are happening! Wow. They just keep happening.
There is a certain freedom we feel in stepping out of this mission and their control and mishandling of difficult situations. We feel relieved. Sad. But relieved. A bubbling sense of freedom.
Initial contact with our supporters has us confirmed in the belief that they will support us and be there for us. Most of them are none too happy with how we were treated. Most at least have deep questions and concerns.
Our debriefing, which our mission refused to fund, has been totally funded by our churches and individuals.
Not only that, we were given some free pediatric counseling for our daughter. Even with two sessions, the change in her is noticeable. Her teacher said she heard her giggling. She has hope - that she is normal to have had this reaction and that it is treatable.
Then today, we got an offer to do a matching fund for her treatment from a group who wants us to work with them, but want to fund her treatment if we work with them or not. They were just concerned about her, about what she had suffered, and that she had not been cared for.
We cried when we saw that e-mail.
Someone cares. This little girl who has suffered for four years because she thought her daddy was going to be killed and has been suffering because she was too scared to even ask us some of her fears, including would they find him here and get him again, is seen and loved by a group of relative strangers... We know this group, but they have no responsibility to us... but they will care for us anyway.
I was in devotions this morning and heard about forgiveness and how when there is forgiveness, it means someone else agrees to pay the debt of a person needing forgiveness. The debt always needs to be paid. Jesus chose to pay it for us. Sometimes, when we forgive, we chose to absorb the debt ourselves instead of demanding it from the wrong-er. This struck me today when this group was willing to pay the debt of our mission. Our mission badly neglected its responsibilities in providing any care or support or debrief after a very traumatic incident. And this organization just stepped up today and said they will pay that. No strings. (ok, they offered us a job, but the offer of help was independent of the job offer with no strings.). Forgiveness - the payment of someone else's debt.
Interestingly, I had been struggling with forgiveness, struggling and asking God how to forgive when the debt was too big for me. Even if I decide to forgive, the wound is too big and what is required to heal it is beyond my capacity. So this had me in tears today.
We have job offers coming out our ears. We are not making those decisions now. We are waiting for several months. Taking time to heal. But some of them are interesting - ones that may allow us to care for our family, remain healthy, be where we need to be, and do the ministry on our hearts. So we are hopeful - a bubbling sense of hope rising up with the bubbling sense of freedom.
We met the a counselor one church made available. He heard the story, listened, asked questions, and shook his head. He said that this mission (the one we are with) is known in member care circles for things like this. For reports of supposed confidential sessions. For controlling counseling. He sighed and said that it breaks all the rules and prevents it from being helpful.
He called some of what we have been through spiritual abuse.
Tears filled our eyes. For years we had been humiliated, threatened, kept under "discipline", and told what we could and could not do to get help. Now we were heard and loved on.
They met, and they prayed for us, and spoke words over us, and blessed us. We have only been criticized for two years. We cried. We relaxed. We smiled.
They said, "This is a bit of a challenge. Because we have to build a new support system around you since almost everything you trusted is no longer supportive of you at all."
And they fed us! Wow, I could have had less feeding, but... :)
On the way home, we stopped to visit some friends who confirmed all what we had planned (and offered us another job.)
The future looks good. We will heal. We will recover. We will go on. We will chose a safe and stable group to join. God has not put us down.
Another leader of a organization we are associated with said to us, "Well, it is clear that God has shut the door to being with that mission. This is exciting. It means God has some wonderful new things ahead. But that door is closed. Walk forward from there." He also told us not to get hung up in how it was done, reminding us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. Somehow, that really helped me. Helped me not want to fight so much. I have this innate desire to protect, and when I see wrong, I want to stop it or change it so that no one else gets hurt like that again. But that battle may not be now, and may not be mine.
Oh, we also saw God's hand in that battle. Unknown to us, at the church who invited us to come, was a person who can exert a influence on our mission, and he was very upset that we had not been cared for. It may be that we just passed on the baton of fighting this battle to change things so others don't get hurt. So there is some rest there, too.
Good things are happening. We are beginning to smile.
And I am off on a fun trip with my daughter and her class.