Many of the women living here at Tamar (name of YWAM Olongapo's community) bring their children with them. Honestly, there is nothing like waking up in the morning and heading down to the main area to see small, dark-eyed Filipino children scrambling around, laughing, playing, smiling shyly at me, and begging to use my digital camera! (lol…) Of the many joys I am experiencing here, a top one would be the innocence and wonder of the children here.
Not a lot of personal circumstances surrounding the children have been shared with me yet in terms of whether or not they themselves have been victimized. However, some of them have been eye-witnesses over and over again to their mothers' victimization. They have see sex, rape, prostitution, women lined up in bars with numbers pinned to their panties (always easier to abuse a person when they're a number and not a human), as well as physical and emotional abuse.
What is going on in the minds and hearts of these little ones?
The tiny ones… the babies… I wonder if they'll remember anything at all (what a blessing that would be). Some of the older ones though I cannot help but stare into their dark eyes and sense a brooding fear. "This community will fail us too."…. "Mom will go back"… "He'll find us"… "Women are just trash"… messages and lies and fears whispering around their spirits already where the enemy will corner them and gloat in taking them for his own.
How quickly the enemy forgets his own defeat.
There is healing here. There is transformation here. There is LOVE here.
As the mothers begin to see changes in their little ones, it spurs them on towards pursuing God's freedom for themselves. As the children, then, see the new creations in their mothers, a tenuous trust begins to blossom. Childhood is restored. Renewed. Redeemed.
Just yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, one of the newest 'disciples' (clients) gave birth to her 3rd child. She gave birth after having been with Tamar/YWAM for only 2 months, with 2 older children, and a smoldering demeanour of mistrust, fear and weariness.
But the beautiful boy was born into freedom… into love… into God's family.
Now that's humility.
That's a song the underground will sing of for ages to come.