Yesterday morning I received news that absolutely broke my heart. My sons' home in Ghana was attacked by armed men whose intention was to steal as many valuables as they could find in the children's home. These men shattered the sense of safety and security for the children at Eban House. They stole the innocense of some of the children, as they witnessed things that no child should see. They ruined the life of one of the Aunties...and they did it all for some money, a couple computers, and a digital camera.
I am struck by the amazing courage and bravery of the Aunties at the home and of the children who awoke during the attack. In order to protect the children in her care, one of the Aunties took on the brunt of the attack herself. She stayed quiet and refused to give in, even as the men repeatedly raped her. This Auntie is a hero, without a doubt. But this hero will suffer because of what these men did to her. Ghanaian culture dictates that her husband should leave her because she has been violated in this way. She is suffering the pain of the attack as well as the pain of likely losing her husband. This Auntie gave everything for the children at Eban House, even though she could have chosen to give the men everything they wanted in order to protect herself and her two children at home (one that is still nursing).
The older girls (age 7-8) who awoke during the attack showed unbelievable bravery. They could have screamed or run, waking all the other children and the home could have erupted into chaos. But instead these girls prayed. They PRAYED. These girls who have lost everything...who live in a children's home and have no idea what their lives hold for them....they still knew they could go to God in times of need. And that is exactly where they went. They prayed for the safety of the Auntie they love. They prayed for the men to leave Eban House. And they prayed for the attackers. They prayed for their forgiveness. Oh what a different world we would live in if more of us had the bravery and faith of these young girls.
Please keep the children and staff at Eban House in your thoughts and prayers. The staff (both in Ghana and the U.S.) are in crisis mode. Everyone is afraid. The safe refuge the children knew no longer feels safe. Pray for the senior staff at Eban House...and pray for my dear friend Anita as she plans an immediate trip to Ghana to help the staff handle the situation. Pray that they find reliable, responsible staff to work to guard the home for future nights. Pray that the children get the help they need to deal with things. Pray for the adoptive parents who have children living at Eban House waiting for them to bring them home.
And most of all...pray for the Auntie who was so brutally violated in the attack. Pray that she is able to get the help she needs. Pray that she will not have contracted HIV (or anything else) during the course of the attack.
Adoption Advocates International has set up a fund to help replace the items stolen during the attack. They have also set up a fund to help Auntie Esther and her two children. If you are so inclined to donate, CLICK HERE to go to the Adoption Advocates International webpage. Once there, click on the DONATE NOW button on the bottom right, where you can donate funds and designate them for Eban House or for the Fund For Esther.