On a recent trip to the states I had the chance to spend a wonderful time with my kids and grandkids. I had the chance to tell some worn out stories to my grandkids some of the same stories I told their mom’s and dad’s when they were kids. One of the great joys of being a parent and then a grandparent is sharing stories that share life principles. Trying to plant seeds for future generations the way such things used to be told in homesteads long before the electronic media age.
So on this recent trip, I spent time with each grandchild telling them some story that conveyed a life principle that I thought fit their particular bent. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)”. I can remember doing family devotions with a simple devotion guide with my kids growing up. Reading some life vignette with a biblical truth and substituting their name into the story. They loved it. They listened. And I heard my granddaughter tell me during one of my story times, my dad does that too. I miss those times. I still get them on occasion but that is something Debbie and I both miss and love to see is being passed on.
But it is not as though we never had it.
Let me tell you a story about Toha. As a very young girl in a very poor family, her mother trafficked her for sex. This happened multiple times as the abuser returned to take her more than once. I can only imagine what bedtime stories Toha heard. I can only imagine what bedtime meant to her. “Hey, let me tell you a story little one” must have been a totally frightening experience for her. No sweet dreams could be found in her life and no one was planting them there to help guide her life growing up. No one was sharing biblical truths in her mind and heart that she would need as she grew up.
Toha did not even know what was going to happen to her the first time. But, following that first time she knew. She knew it too well. It was awful! She had no desire for what these encounters were and yet, it was her mother who sent her with the abusers. What was she to do?
Finally, she developed her own plan. She contacted AIM. On one trip out, after 22 days and 198 “events” of abuse during that period, she cried out and AIM sent help. AIM conducted a rescue of Toha. AIM began the process of restoration and reintegration so that Toha could know the God who lives and is a great rescuer and restorer. She now knows the God who brings this hope.
Now Toha has a new story. She is beginning to build stories of hope and a future. Maybe one day she will have her own children and tell them life stories of hope and plans and a future. That is why we are here doing what we do. Toha represents victory over sin. Oh, sweet is the victory won by the Lord.
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Keep an eye on our blog; we will have more “bed time stories” to share.