Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Learning to dance

Right now, as you are reading this, little girls are suffering.
A 7 year old is being raped by her father.
An 8 year old is living on the streets to get away from her abusive family.
A 14 year old is being kidnapped for sale as a sex slave.
An 11 year old is being held captive in a dark room and has not seen the light of day for 3 years.
A teenager is repeatedly hit hard on the head, causing brain damage, to keep her compliant as a stream of men pay to have sex with her.
A 10 year old is taking drugs to dull the pain of her life.
A pre-teen is sold for sex 8 times every day.
A baby girl is being sold by her mother for...who knows what.

I know all these girls.  I have held them in my arms.  

These atrocities are  happening right now in Honduras, in SE Asia, all over the world, including the US.  Through the grace of God, the vision of Jeremy Springer and the She Dances organization, and the calling of Suzy McCall and LAMB Institute, 5 precious girls (11 - 18 yrs.) are safe, no longer suffering from the pain and abuse listed above.  They are living in La Vida Nueva, (A New Life) a beautiful home in the country with loving house mothers, a gifted Director, a dedicated child psychologist, and Spike, their dog.

A group of 18 people has been here all week from a small town near Birmingham, AL. This is their first international mission trip.   The men on the She Dances team have built  a swing set, 2 picnic tables, and a small counseling room at the house.  There are some teenagers, guys and girls, who are part of a dance/drama group called 3 Strands along with their leader, Amanda.  (It is very confusing to have two Amandas here.)  The team is rounded out by loving women patiently doing arts and crafts with the girls.  The team brought the girls a precious gift - a childhood, one they should have had years ago. 

The new swing set!
Loving her very first baby doll

The 3 Strands team performed their dramas choreographed to Christian rock songs.  My favorite part of this week was watching the girls learn one of the dances. In many ways, the dance lessons are a metaphor for their new lives.  Learning to dance is hard, confusing, frustrating, and exhausting.  Just as they master one set of moves, a new and more challenging set comes along.  They have to go back and practice the first moves over and over, sometimes messing them up as they struggle to add new skills.   The learning seems endless...until finally the dance moves come together and they are victorious! 

Learning to live a new life is hard, confusing, frustrating, and exhausting.  It is a series of "two steps forward, one step back."  They work hard to master new skills, attitudes, behaviors, and to let go of many more.  They have to go back and practice the first things they learned and sometimes they mess up the simplest things.  But, just as with 3 Strands, they have the Vida Nueva staff to model the right steps over and over. Patiently wait for them to catch up.  Coach them, guide them, and encourage them.  Love them.  One day, I believe, it will all come together for each of them and they will have a New Life!

As Jeremy says, every girl should be able to dance... Amen.