Emerging From The Shadows

Emerging From The Shadows

 

Anna’s Life in Aftercare

The following story was written by one of the Operation Underground Railroad team members who oversees aftercare for the children it rescues. This is an update on a young girl O.U.R. rescued in Africa a little less than a year ago. She was just fourteen when she was raped, then kidnapped and eventually made a child bride. She was pregnant when O.U.R. rescued her and had the perpetrator arrested. He is currently serving time in jail for the crime.

Anna
There is no “one-size-fits-all” after a child is rescued from sexual slavery. However, when a survivor is provided resources, counseling and people who truly invest in one’s life you often see the birth of hope. This is the story of Anna, a young teenager who has been through the worst horrors that this life can produce, and yet, she has hope beyond understanding.

I last visited with Anna in December 2015. I got to see the infancy of hope in her as she sang Amazing Grace and told me that she wanted to do something with music when she got older but wasn’t sure what.

I could not be happier to report my most recent observations and interactions with Anna. She is not just surviving but is thriving in many areas. While “thriving” is defined very differently based on the individual, one thing is consistent; hope.

This visit I did not even make it back into the home before I saw her with a bright smile coming out to the patio. She walked with a confidence and glow that only comes when one is experiencing restoration.

Through generous donated gifts, O.U.R. was able to give Anna clothes, books, nail polish, puzzles, jewelry, and clothes and toys for her baby boy. Her gratefulness about the new items would inspire anyone to sacrifice a meal to provide her with things she can call “her own.” The true gift she said was, “Thank you! I feel loved.”

She kept looking at the different nail polishes, so I asked her if she was good at painting nails. Without missing a beat and with a huge smile on her face, she said, “Yes, I am very good at painting nails.” So, of course, any woman who hears this offers her unpainted nails to be used as practice. Anna graciously offered to paint my nails, but it wasn’t just “painting nails.” There was a beautiful pride she had as if communicating her feeling and belief that she has so much to give back to the world.

Uganda Aftercare 2

For all those who stand with us, I hope you know the gifts you give out of love are received not just as “items” but are also received with the same spirit of love. While we are a world apart, we are yet united in love through the healing process of restored hope.

O.U.R. also had the privilege of spending quality time building a relationship with Anna, her baby, and one of the social workers at the center by taking them out to eat at the local mall. Anna stated that she had never been to the mall.

When we all arrived, Anna’s eyes were so big as she looked around at all the different stores. When asked where she wanted to eat, she confidently pointed toward the restaurant on the second floor. She is showing so much growth, finding strength to express her desire with confidence that her opinions matter.

Over lunch Anna shared that she was excited about going back to school in a few weeks. Anna also stated she had a better idea of what she wanted to do after she graduated from secondary (high school). She hopes to become a businesswoman, open a music studio and incorporate being a DJ within her business.

I observed that Anna has grown so much over the last couple of months through the care she is receiving at the aftercare center in Africa. She still has a long journey ahead of her and obstacles to overcome. However, what if no one had come to rescue her?

O.U.R. has been blessed to rescue so many children around the world from the horrors of sexual slavery; but if O.U.R. was created just for this one precious life, it has all been worth it. Anna has hope for her future and believes she will accomplish her dreams. She is truly an inspiration to all of us to invest in the lives of others.

To help “Anna” and others like her please go to OURrescue.org

 

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17 thoughts on “Emerging From The Shadows

  1. When I began reading this, I anticipated either a video or photo of her. I was disappointed. I am an abolitionist sending monthly donations, so I feel her safety in my soul: joy.

    This is truly a wonderful story.

    1. I am quite certain that no photos of her face or videos were included in order to protect her anonymity. Someday she may be willing and able to claim her story publicly and stand as an advocate for others still wearing her former shoes, but at this time, she is still a traumatized child who needs to heal and grow in private.

  2. “She hopes to become a businesswoman, open a music studio and incorporate being a DJ within her business.” May the Lord continue to mend your heart and bless your plans for the future.

  3. By the end of this story I went from being a supporter to being a donor.
    This organization’s dedication and this girl’s resilience are what make the world go round.

  4. I am so uplifted by Anna, she has a dream already. I hope she knows that many people from many places truly love her and pray for her. God bless O.U.R. and everyone connected to this amazing group.

  5. I am so amazed at the courage and steadfastness that the OUR team has demo started in these arrests. I have been listening to Glenn Beck radio show, and am so happy that he is digging into this he’ll Ishiguro industry, and reporting. We should not be silent about it. That is why so many years millions of women, children and young men have got caught up in it. The young people are not broken, but have dreams like all of us. So pleased to hear of Anna’s progress. She is an inspiration to me, a I am very proud of her efforts. God Bless her.

  6. How wonderful to see the positive changes in her life. What a great work you are doing. Seeing the changes in her life remind me of a beautiful butterfly coming out of a cocoon of dark despair. My wife and I have given some money and will give more. Keep searching for these children and the evil people who enslave them!

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