Women of Hope

Case de Vida, a shelter for abused women and children in Guatemala City.
Case de Vida, a shelter for abused women and children in Guatemala City.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

As a staff writer with Cross International, one of my most memorable visits came in Guatemala when I visited the women at Casa de Vida, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

I heard stories of great suffering there — but on the flip side, I was also told stories of God rescuing people from despair. Jesus has brought life and hope into the most desperate situations, and these women understand the power of His redemption in a special way.

One of the women I spoke to was Carmen*, who escaped torment to find healing at Casa de Vida. Carmen shared her story with me freely, hoping to help others who may find themselves in the same situation.

Before arriving at the shelter, Carmen was living with her sister’s family when the unthinkable happened: Her brother-in-law began to sexually abuse her on a regular basis. Because she was frightened by her abuser’s threats, Carmen stayed silent for the safety of her two growing children.

“When I became pregnant, my sister kicked me out,” she told me. “I was begging that God would guide me.”

After praying, she knew she had to tell someone about what had happened. When she filed charges, the police placed her at Casa de Vida. God was rescuing her, her children, and her unborn baby.

“I’m grateful for all the help” she said. “Not just me, but all the ladies are. I feel at peace here.”

“I believe God is helping me,” Carmen continued “The fears are being washed away. Thank God I am here. I feel that sharing my story I can help others.”

Carmen has found a new beginning in life, and Casa de Vida is doing whatever it takes to help her along the way. She has asked that you pray for her as she starts this new chapter.

“Pray that my baby would be ok, and my children and myself,” she told me as we ended our time together.

Carmen thrilled to tell me how Jesus had rescued her family from a hopeless situation, and her faith inspires me every time God brings her to my mind. Would you join me in praying for Carmen, and the other women at Casa de Vida as they rebuild their lives and grow in their faith?

*Name changed to protect the identity of the beneficiary.


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