She feels dirty, ashamed.
Her head is bowed and no tears roll down her face.
She can raise her head with pseudo pride.
She can even flash a fake smile.
She knows how to hide what she's feeling.
There's a song that gets played often in the Philippines. You hear it everywhere, sometimes in a taxi or a bus, at the mall, or from the neighbors singing loudly on karaoke machines. This song is called, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”; some of the lyrics include “Don't cry out loud, just keep it inside, learn how to hide your feelings, walk high and proud, and if you should fall remember you almost had it all." The message is about hiding what you really feel, and the focus is on regret. It's not originally a Filipino song, but sometimes it seems like it's an anthem for so many just surviving poverty and exploitation.
At Safe Refuge our vision is to rescue, nurture, and rebuild lives.
Instead of telling her to silence her feelings, we tell her: DO cry out loud. Cry to God because He hears you cry to us because we care. There's a beauty in her tears that words could never possibly articulate or capture. When she cries, it’s a little bit of a miracle, because she is feeling again. She’s not dead inside, and shame is losing its grip on her heart and mind.
In the last several weeks at Safe, there's been a lot to cry about. Good tears and sad tears. Tears of joy seeing promises fulfilled, dreams come true, and victories. Tears of sadness over pain felt, friends lost, and dreams dashed. We found out a 14 year-old resident, Elsie, had murdered her nine-year-old cousin before she came to Safe Refuge. When she was 9, she had witnessed her sister being beheaded by her grandfather. There was so much rage trapped inside of her, with no outlet, no safe place to grieve, and it came out in a very destructive way. Elsie ran away shortly after coming to Safe. We cry because of the horrors surrounding her precious life. Because Elsie wasn’t protected when she needed it the most, and we cry because we miss her and only God will be able to help her now.
We also found out one of our most beloved Safe Refuge family members, once a resident and later staff, has been hiding the ugly things she didn’t want seen and eventually it turned to running. We miss her and our hearts are sad to see her self-destructive actions. So we cry. We don't cry because we don't believe God is working to change things. Tears don’t mean we don’t trust God. We KNOW He is working, we see the everyday miracles. We are so thankful for His faithful hand and presence and thankful for tear ducts to cry cleansing cries so we can continue on step-by-step, minute by minute, in all of the opportunities we have to see lives transformed and hope restored!
You can follow the day-to-day journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Also, please invite people to like Safe Refuge's Facebook Page, and if you or your group/church would like to hear more about Safe Refuge please let us know by replying to this email or emailing us at:
Thank for you standing with us to rescue nurture and rebuild lives!
Rhea came to Safe Refuge in May 2014. She was emaciated; she believed she was cursed and would be dying within the next few weeks. She brought with her a 7 month-old daughter whom she could no longer take care of because she was so weak. Within a few days we learned a lot about Rhea. She was 34 years old and had already buried two husbands. Her 6 year old daughter, Clarissa, was born with a severe cleft lip and palate. Rhea stopped going to school when she was in 3rd grade, because she needed to work. Her story was a vicious cycle of loss and extreme poverty.
We shared with Rhea about the God who breaks curses and wanted to give her hope and a future. Safe Refuge supporters made it possible for us to get Clarissa the medical care she had been denied her whole life. Clarissa has now had both surgeries she needed to repair her cleft lip and palate. She's nourished and thriving. Rhea now believes in the God of the impossible, and she's ready to go back to her province and raise her daughters.
We are hoping to help Rhea start a small business selling fruit and vegetables. If you would like to be a part of helping Rhea and her daughters please follow the links in this email!
Donations can be given through the link in this email or by sending a check to Safe's PO Box:
Safe Refuge International
PO Box 690194 Vero Beach, Fl 32966
Naomi and Andrew got married September 5th, in Vero Beach, FL. It was an amazing celebration of God's faithfulness! Red and Ara were able to come to represent Safe Refuge and they led us in a Filipino worship song about the goodness of our God in EVERY hour and EVERY day. To sing that song together as a part of the wedding ceremony, was especially significant for Naomi because it's a song she has sung through moments of sorrow and victory over the years serving in the Philippines. Naomi and Andrew are excited about what God has done in bringing them together. They will be visiting Safe Refuge Philippines in early 2016.
There are a lot of requirements to become licensed by the government as a safe house for minors. These include overhead costs that we are struggling to balance with the top priority of feeding, sheltering, and educating the precious souls in our care! Here are a couple specific needs:
We need to add another licensed social worker to our team! Her monthly salary would be $250. Please consider helping us make this happen.
We are also in need of hiring a full time accountant in the Philippines. It's going to cost us $1,000 for all the filing and financial reports we need to submit to comply with the requirements. Also, to have a national CPA on our team full time it will cost $250/month. Would you please pray about this need?
It's enrollment time for our college students! November starts the final semester of college for two of our beautiful overcomers! Please keep all of our students in your prayers, and if you can, sponsor a student. The investment is unshakable! It's around $800 for a semester of college or $160 a month!