by Peggy Harris W.A.S.H. Board Chair
Her brother Roger, between the ages of 7 and 12, repeatedly raped Lucy. When she went to a family doctor and it was found she was not a virgin she was asked who did this to her. Because her brother had told her not to tell and if she ever did he would kill her, she picked the name of a youth in the neighborhood and said that he had done it.
by Peggy Harris W.A.S.H. Board Chair
Luke 15:20 paraphrased
So then she got up and started back to her parents. She was still a long way from home when her parents saw her, their hearts filled with pity, and they hurried, hugging their daughter and kissing her.
There was once a daughter who having received her education and was making her way in life, decided to move into a relationship that was not held in approval by either her church or her parents.
I went to the healing center because my husband was becoming violent. I managed to stash a dollar or two away at a time until I had saved enough for a bus ticket. I slipped away while he was at work. I arrived at the center tired, frightened and penniless. After two weeks of counseling, I called my husband to let him know where I was staying. He begged me to come home.
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I was sexually molested as a child and did not have good role models in my parents. When I got married I thought that I should obey my husband in everything. When my six year old daughter began exhibiting “acting out” behaviors, a church member told me that I should contact a program that helped Christian women address the issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
I was raised in a Christian home. So I was knowledgeable of the foundational principles of the church. I was getting really sick of being told all the time that I should be good and do things perfectly. I was tired of being told that the church was always right and the world always wrong when I know that the church has serious problems that they pretend do not exist.
Attending the residential training was an answer to many prayers I had made to the Lord. I was asking for guidance as to how I could move my life forward after I had been hurt by church members and people I considered my friends. The training empowered me and imparted to me strategies on how I could begin my journey of healing and restoration.
When I first started this journey of healing, I never knew my life would change for the better from a life of abuse and heartache to being independent and feeling so empowered! I was determined not to stay on the path of destruction. God wanted me to be free from all my burdens. I found hope in a program called Women’s Healing and Empowerment Network. The people at the healing center care. They helped me deal with and face my problems. I learned that I do matter and am worthy, that I don’t have to be in bondage anymore, that God loves me, and I don’t have to take abuse anymore. This center has helped me get through every day. I know that it will help abused women everywhere. I believe in the staff, and I highly recommend this place. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful program.
When I enrolled to attend the healing seminar in September, I didn’t know what to expect. I actually went to this seminar to get some information to use in my ministry. I thought I was healed and was ready to help other women who went through what I suffered in my marriage, or are still experiencing in their marriages, especially when separation and divorce seemed imminent.
I enjoyed meeting and interacting with people I don't see often. I was disappointed that your 'Journey of Healing' workshop was just for women. Overall, though I'm glad I came to the conference and will continue to support it.
I am a pastor. My wife left me because I was physically and verbally abusive to her. She went to a place I later found out was a healing center for Christian women. I was embarrassed and hurt. How could she do that to MY ministry? After two months she returned home. She was a different person. At first I was angry with her and the people at the center. But my wife no longer kept quiet when I criticized her. No longer was she willing to listen to my shaming and blaming her for my inadequacies. Yet, I could tell that she still loved me. I began to admire her for her determination to stand up for herself. I was curious about the center and called the counselor and asked her if she could talk with me. I was surprised that she said yes, and was kind and patient. She told me that my wife was taught to value herself and recognize her limitless potential in God. She encouraged me to recognize my own potential and value to God. That really impressed me. I decided that I would get help for myself. I am presently attending a class for abusive men. One day I hope that I can meet the staff at the healing center. They helped to save my marriage and OUR ministry.
Every Saturday I had to attend the same Bible class as my rapist. I went to the healing center after my pastor found out about the rape incident and encouraged me to get some help. I was only going to stay for two weeks, but decided that I should stay for a month after I realized that I had issues from my childhood that made me vulnerable and accepting of abuse. I learned new skills regarding how to be more assertive. One week after leaving I decided that I would go to church and face my perpetrator. My counselor from the healing center had told me to dress nicely, walk with my head high and if I saw him, look him straight in his face. I did just that. When he saw me he felt so ashamed, he walked out of the church. It was obvious that he could not face me. After exploring my issues and telling my daughter about my experience at the healing center she informed me that she had been molested but was afraid to tell me. We both plan on going back to learn how we can help and support each other. I thank God that your healing center was in existence when I needed it. I wish that the entire church would support this program. There are many women out there who need it.
I am a pastor’s wife who suffered through physical and emotional abuse by my husband for 11 years. I went to the healing center because I did not want to expose my husband. I was afraid that he would lose his job if the conference found out about his abuse. Then what would happen to me and our two children if he lost his job? After attending groups and receiving individual counseling, I realized that I had certain rights, that I do not need to protect my husband, and that he needs to take responsibility for himself. I am determined not to let him abuse me anymore. For the first time in my life I had the strength to say no to his unreasonable demands.