Monday, July 16, 2012

Sheltering God's Little Ones

The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things; to love and to be loved. ~Mother Teresa

In last evening's service, Sally Sebo shared about caring for the orphans at the House of Hope in Romania.  If you've ever been privileged to hear Sally, you know what an infectious love she has for the children of Romania.   

Listening to the stories of how the children came to Hope House and the abuse they have endured, shared heart space with a book I have been reading.  Sunday's Child is written by Anne Lyken-Garner, and it tears at my heart with such force that, at times, I feel my heart will break in pieces.

Those of us who were raised with loving parents with the benefits of a free, affluent country find it hard to totally understand what childhood must be like for the less fortunate.  Sunday's Child is set in the 1980's Guyana, a time of political unrest and  poverty.  So while poverty impacted young Anne's life, even more impactful is the abuse she experienced at the hands of her grandmother.  Indescribable. Inhumane.  

Anne has written her story truthfully and succinctly.  The torture and abuse are in sharp contrast to the humor that seeps in from time to time. I finished Anne's book last night and know her story will continue to live in my heart.

The beauty of Anne's story is that, instead of allowing childhood horrors to define who she is, she has taken her pain and is using it to reach out to others. Sunday's Child is a story we all need to read and share.

Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. The National Childhood Statistics tell us that a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.  More than five children die every day from child abuse. 

This isn't a feel-good subject.  It's raw and ugly.  It left disturbing mind pictures that will stay with me a long time.  I'll hug my grandbabies close and make sure they know how much I love them.  I'll help support ministries like Sally's House of Hope.  And I'll seek to shelter with prayer those who work with God's precious "little ones."

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Such a tough and sad topic...but so important.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thank you for this lovely review, Pamela. It's little surprises like these that make my day. Thanks for that.

I hope that this book will impact young people to understand that bad things happening in their lives right now need not influence their future.

Also, I hope that adults can be informed about kids like me who're still suffering within their families each day. I so hope this can raise awareness of what we go through and the help they can provide.

Thank God, this is now all in the past for me.

Jennifer Dougan said...


Nice to meet you! How great that you and your daughter and granddaughter blog together. :)

That book sounds harrowing and powerful, wow. Those topics are necessary to talk about but so hard to hear. I always ache for them.

Have you read Mary DeMuth's memoir "Thin Places" about working through childhood abuse? It's helpful, hard, and healing too.

Jennifer Dougan

joy said...

Thanks God that Anne has better life now. It is really amazing how GOd can restore our hearts,body and soul that had been damaged and use those experiences to bless others. My childhood had been traumatic too, but I thank also God that he helped me to be a person who can bless others now in return coz I know how it was. Blessing to you Pamela:)

Betty said... are such a gifted women. I will have to read Anne book. Thank you for stopping by my site. Blessings

Laurie Collett said...

James says that ministering to orphans and widows is pure religion. Thank you for sharing this important book with us, & God bless,

Laura Boggess said...

I thank God for the way Anne bravely tells her story and brings attention to this issue. He uses it all, if we will give it to Him. THank you for sharing about this book, Pamela.

Dee said...

This is a very difficult subject for me ...but I do love to hear of those who overcome such terrible abuse and go on to make something of their life and help others.Many can not. It seems to me that horrific abuse of children is on the rise..I live near a large city and hear it on the news daily. So sad.Blessings to Anne and I pray her book does well.

LOLITA said...


Pamela, glad to hop in on you. Be going back ever so often..... soon.

God bless you!

Daisy said...

Loved the quote from Mother Teresa :) This is a topic that tugs on my heart too. Anne is definitely an inspiration. God bless!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Pamela. What a heart-felt post. Child abuse is always one area that is nearly impossible for me to understand. The weirder part is how others stand by and let it continue.

I remember reading "Sibyl" and "A Boy Called It", and those stories never do go away. Last night we were watching a 2010 Law & Order show about the rise of American kids sold into sex slavery. My husband said, I wonder how many people we pass in the store or who live on our streets that we think are normal and kind but who are really monsters? I wonder too.

I'll keep my eyes open for the book and will check out your links. For years, I always wanted to be part of operating an orphanage. I don't know why. Sometimes I think that they can be better than some foster homes are though.

I appreciate your post.

Kathy M.

Alicia said...

Thanks for tackling this tough subject. I'm putting that book on my reading list. I have a houseful of kids who dream of running an orphanage some day-- not sure what God will do with that desire, but I love how He can stir compassion in children FOR children.

Shelly said...

Thanks for this review and for introducing me to Anne. I am adding it to my list as well.

Jennifer Richardson said...

my imagination sometimes slays me
when I read things like this
but I have to remember to
factor in the grace
....remember the Lord IN,
because His faithfulness
trumps every darkness
and His grace is more than enough
and our prayers are powerful
and His arm is not short
and I'm oh so grateful to those
who serve these little ones
face to face.
Hugs to you
and your beautiful heart,

Esther Joy said...

Child abuse is one of the subjects that grips my heart, too.

Kim M. said...

After reading A Child Called It and some of his subsequent books, my heart on this issue has never been the same. Thanks for the book recommendation.

Debbie said...

I have just discovered your blog this morning in reading comments at mine. What a wonderful treat to come here. I have read some of the previous posts and love what you have to say and share. (Loved the tie that binds post and the one called Door Ajar in particular.

This book sounds like something that needs to go on my list of books to read.

You speak God's mind with a gifted voice. You probably have been told that before, but I'm saying it again.

Just call me your daily dose of Barnabas.

Chatty Crone said...

A subject near and dear to my heart. I am your newest follower. love, sandie

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Dear Pamela,
I am saddened that so many innocents go through such times of terror and loneliness. How it must hurt the Father's heart! I am happy to hear that Anne has survived to bring glory to His name and can use her experiences to minister to others. God is good and He always has a plan. Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day.


Mary said...

Such a difficult thing to write about - but so important! Thank you for sharing these honest words on a difficult subject.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Thank you all for your very encouraging messages. They're really very touching.
If you have any questions about Sunday's Child after you've read it I'd be happy to answer them.

Please don't hesitate to let me know.

Shoregirl said...

Sally's coming here in August and I can hardly wait. I can truthfully say I've never been a missions service that pulled at my heart as hard as her does --- she's definitely has a heart for children and for the work God called her to do!

Goose Hill Farm said...

Good evening~

What a very touching post. I know that this topic can be a very tough subject for people to talk about, but it is so very important, as Mary has said. God is definitely working through Anne.She is such an inspiration!


Andy and Ana said...

Precious in God's sight...praying for the families & resources for the unborn...Luke 2:52 <3 2 <3 mrs. ana