Recently, I was counseling *Joy who said…“It is not God” she said as I looked into her bright medium brown eyes. “Sometimes I had to pour alcohol into the bowl or blood from a goat. I didn’t like it…my father is there (in the Shrine) but my mother is not. Unless you call her, I will not go back!” “I have NO intentions of calling her for you to go back…!” “It is not God,” she went on to say, “…it’s not the ‘Important God’ it didn’t have a mouth, it cannot speak back, it’s in the shape of a man or a woman…you pray to it. “What’s it made of…wood, stone?” I asked. “It’s made of clay.”
We talked more during the counseling session speaking between Ewe and English. Now 18 years old, she was released from the Shrine just over a month ago and came straight to BVTC. Initially when I met with her she told me she was 16. Later we calculated the years and discovered she was actually 18! She had forgotten her age! Having gone into the Shrine at 9 months old and seeing no way out…it makes sense how *Joy lost track of her age. Our discussion awed and saddened me, but it was also evidence of God’s Light and the gift of the Holy Spirit being with us even if all we’ve been exposed to was darkness from almost birth.
*Joy continued…“The leader would read the bible but it’s not the same Bible” as I reached up to pull down my little blue New Testament Bible off the shelf. “No, it’s not that one it’s a different bible…like in that (your)Bible if God said ‘don’t kill anybody the other bible (“Shrine bible”) might say kill somebody!…I didn’t like being there…it didn’t feel right…the God in that Bible (looking at mine) is the ‘Important God’, He speaks.” “Yes, He does!” I replied. “Would you like to know about Him?” “Yes!” “Do you know about His Son Jesus?” “No!” she replied clearly. “Would you like to know about Jesus?” “Yes!” *Joy replied. My heart smiled…my face did too!?
Thank you this EASTER Season for caring about the lives of these girls. Because of you, *Joy and 23 other girls rescued from the Trokosi Shrines and challenging environments have a safe space in the “Counseling Cabin” to share their stories and heal through God’s love and learn about His Son, Jesus Christ!
All students, 70 in total, are also empowered weekly through the Business Skills Seminar I enjoy teaching and are engaged in the S.E.W.(Sowing Empowered Women) Project.
Additionally, this month I conducted the “Sharing Hope in a Time of Need…Dealing with Trauma” Staff Training in which BVTC Teachers learned to identify the effects of trauma in Trokosi survivors.
Thank you for continuing to support this ministry!
P.S. Wanna Know Where BVTC is on the Map?…Yellow section lower right> “Volta”> under the “V”> “Frankadua”=Baptist Vocational Training Centre (I live about 15 mins. south from the Centre in Juapong-not seen on map)
Want to Support the S.E.W. Project? (BVTC Students create their wares to sell locally and Globally)
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Dela Smiles inside the BVTC “Counseling Cabin!”
*[name changed to assure Confidentiality]