Your Gift Reclaims Shattered Lives


“What I suffered hurt God’s heart”

“I was repeatedly sexually and physically abused as I grew up,” Patricia told her Breaking Barriers group. In her hands she held a beautiful picture she had carefully decorated as a gift for a loved one. Moments before she spoke, her group leader passed through the group, indiscriminately cutting each person’s creation until they lay wilted and torn.

Suddenly, Patricia saw how God’s wonderful design for her had been so terribly broken in her childhood, leaving her in shame, feeling worthless. “For the first time, I understood how much what I suffered hurt God’s heart, how valuable He had made me, how much He loved me.” With tears freely flowing, she began to release pain she had carefully guarded for years.

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“You just need to grow up . . .”

“Andres” was about 5 years old when his mother’s abusive boyfriend moved in. The boyfriend beat her mercilessly on a regular basis, yet as a little boy, he could do nothing to stop the violence. He agonized helplessly as the beatings continued, yet there was no one to soothe the trauma that seethed inside him.

As a teenager, Andres began to hurt himself when he felt out of control, overwhelmed, even considering suicide. He sought help from his mom. “You just need to grow up. You’re being childish,” she said.

When a friend brought him to meet Timoteo, one of our counselors-in-training, Andres found the help he had always wanted.

Timoteo helped Andres understand the roots of his helplessness and see he had greater options than self harm. Today, Andres is able to soothe the reactions he learned as a child, no longer trapped by his past.