Volume 24 Issue 12
I am Redeemed
My name is Rhonda. I am married with 4 children. My Dad was physically and sexually abusive. I was often left naked, cold, frightened and hugging my pillow in pain, then my father would appear in clown masks and said that if I told he would kill my mom. He said “no one would believe such an ugly nasty little girl.”
At age 5 my dad busted my head open and we moved out. I was relieved, but he was threatening, my mom, luckily a man was there to protect her. They ended getting married and then adopted us. He knew of the physical abuse, but no one knew of the sexual abuse. A family friend noticed peculiar behaviors in me, and the next day my parents sat me down and asked if I had been sexually abused. I began to see counselors. It was scary, humiliating and I felt judged and still believed my father’s lies.
At age 11, my uncle came to live with us. He too sexually abused me. Then my parents had a baby together and I loved her. My mom was lying to my dad and having us lie also. One night I heard my mom saying “Rhonda is not even your daughter, why do you defend her over your real daughter?” ‘Real daughter?’ Those words stung.
In high school my brother also made sexual advances on me. I became sexually active. Who would care anyway? I had a dream of being a psychologist but I never graduated. I met a man that seemed to care, but after 3 beautiful children we parted ways. I met my husband when I was 25. I felt loved. He knew about my past, but thought that I should be over it! I began to withdraw and we were preparing to separate, when I found out I was pregnant! I was overwhelmed with fear and excitement “How do you bring a baby into such animosity.” I knew God was drawing me near through this blessing, and I vowed to do things differently. Because of the arguing my husband left, feeling lost and lonely, I had an affair, only to find out that he was engaged to another woman.
It was here that I said Jesus “I have made so many mistakes and I cannot do this alone.” Then, I heard God speak “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
I reached out to Samantha Gonzalez who knew my struggles, and mistakes, yet she loved me unconditionally. We attended church where God revealed to me that when we shift our perception, our experience and circumstances also change. I attended the SOS women’s Bible studies. At SOS God has silenced the voice of shame! He is healing my brokenness and pain. He has taught me to forgive those that have hurt me. Through the help of Carmen and JJ, I am being discipled to do ministry and lead a small group in our SOS women’s class. I attend GED classes to one day become a Christian counselor. My prayer is “change me oh Lord and reduce me to love be the driving force behind my words and attitude; above all else, help me to see myself and my spouse through your eyes.”
I am redeemed! I am the daughter of the King! Today I no longer hide my scars, I wear them as living proof that my God truly heals.
DID YOU KNOW: We were able to provide Thanksgiving meals to 175 children!
Recently, SOS Ministries unveiled an initiative to launch our 25th year of ministry! Over the years, SOS has acquired buses and vans, purchased land, built a ministry center and added a men’s home, all to fulfill the mission of taking the love of Jesus to the streets of Bryan College Station. As we look to where God is leading, it is time to build our team. In 2018, we want to add 3 positions to better meet the needs of those we serve. We are asking for help in completing this immediate step God has placed before us. To fund 3 positions, $100,000 is needed as seed money. Of the $100,000, $54,000 has been raised. $46,000 is still needed to meet the goal. In 2017, the body of Christ responded to statewide and national crises and did amazing things together for the glory of God. At SOS, we have seen the body of Christ respond to crises in our own community. Each person has simply taken the step God has placed in front of them. As JJ said, “No one is called to everything, but everyone can do something.” On the enclosed card, you will find different levels of opportunities to give. God has given us each an ability to give in different ways. Please consider the gift YOU can do. As SOS continues to follow where God leads, we pray the Gospel will be revealed as we take the steps God has placed in front of us. Thank you for helping us invest daily in the lives of those we serve!