A Summer of Healing: When Hope Soared

We were incredibly blessed at the end of May to bring out two interns from Project Rescue to come to work with us in Akhi’s Place. Each day they taught English and did art therapy with the girls. These interns lived at Akhi’s Place for four weeks, and each of the seven girls was dramatically benefited by their ministry.

Each week, they did at least three sessions with the girls, ranging from playful and light-hearted to really digging deeper into the things of God. For the very first session, they had the girls draw a picture of what they consider to be the happiest time of their life. We had no idea what to expect, but we were blown away with their responses. Most of the girls drew scenes from village life, like rivers, boats, tubewells, etc. A couple really focused on Akhi's Place and their new life there. Ranjana, our newest and youngest girl, had quite an angry emotional response. Over and over she shouted "A man. Man behind bars. Birds, birds, birds. A man. A man!" What was so amazing about this is that she has struggled to speak and was completely nonverbal for almost nine months. She still is not a fluent speaker and can only say very simple things. It seemed, though, that the more she scribbled with her chosen black crayon, the more she found her voice to be unlocked. 

This was the first of many such experiences with her where we can really see the Lord at work in her life. Healing is quite a process for these girls, but from the very start, we can see clearly that the Lord is bringing restoration to each of them!

During this time, we also had an official Akhi’s Place Dedication. The ceremony was complete with a wonderful performance by the girls, singing worship songs that they had individually written. It was beautiful and humbling to witness their praise. Then we had the interns share about Rescue Arts and a special project they had done specifically for this day. They helped the girls make kites that detailed their hopes and dreams, what their family looked like, what they loved about Akhi's Place, and a special Scripture for their lives.

Even though it rained very hard, we went outside and all witnessed the girls flying these kites as a symbolic offering up to the Lord. They had never flown kites before, and their squeals of laughter and delight were priceless. We were all covered in mud and happier than we could have hoped to be by the time the kites came down. It was a truly amazing day!

After our interns returned to the States, we set out for Thailand for medical appointments and a conference with Southern Asia colleagues. While in Bangkok, Gary was released from all of his doctors! One doctor even said, “I just can’t explain why Gary is doing so well.” But, of course, we can!

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