Redemption stories

“How can I help children who have experienced trauma, when I myself experienced trauma as a child?” People might ask this question, feeling ill-equipped to reach out to vulnerable children.
One of the highlights of the Global Forum in March 2024 were the many different stories of those who are involved in national without orphans networks around the world. Some of them talked about specific aspects of how to build a network and the importance of collaboration. Perhaps the most touching were the kind of stories I would call redemption stories.  
There was Sara from Brazil, who shared her own painful journey of longing to have a child, only to lose it during pregnancy, to now becoming an adoption advocate, and one of the leaders of WWO Brazil.  
Then there was Maria, better known as Pachi, a young Argentinian woman, who experienced separation from her birth mother and was later adopted. Now she helps teenage girls and is one of the leaders in WWO South America.  
Elizabeth, a businesswoman and leader in the anti-trafficking movement, shared about her own abuse experience in church and the healing she has experienced.
Many others shared how the Lord had redeemed them and their painful pasts, how He healed and equipped them to move forward and become advocates for children; children who are experiencing the same hurts and traumas as they had when they were young. Today, they lead children and teens towards their own redemption and healing.  
Like the Japanese Kintsugi Pottery technique, which repairs broken pottery with gold, God heals what is broken in people, and gives beauty instead of ashes. Maybe at a future Global Forum, the children being reached today will be the ones on stage sharing their stories of redemption and healing.

By Barbara Rüegger