On a recent trip to Guatemala, I heard stories of God’s faithfulness, love and redemption in the least likely of places — a shelter for victims of domestic violence. In this case, the Cross International ministry partner is Casa de Vida and its mission is to provide a safe haven for women who have “walked down the valley of the shadow of death,” but have found the path to healing and a life free from abuse through Jesus Christ. As I heard one heartbreaking story after another, each one ended in a similar way — God answered their cries for help and rescued their broken hearts.
Lesbia Gonzalez, the director of the ministry, was once a victim of domestic violence herself. She knows what it means to be broken and feel like life is coming apart at the seams. She uses her past heartbreak and road to healing to connect with the women who are placed at the shelter.
“I share my story and remind them that God was always in control and always loved me,” she told me. “Many of these women have been abandoned by their families and they have no one but God by their side.
“God has good plans for them and wants them to heal,” she continued. “His plan is for them to fly! We all come with our wings broken — but God can heal us.”
Even though the road is long, Lesbia and the staff at Casa de Vida give women the time they need to heal, and even help victims forgive the people who have abused and wronged them. Through their journey, God rescues them from the pit of despair and showers them with his love and grace.
While I was reflecting on my conversations with the women at the shelter, I realized their stories clearly communicate the message of Easter — God’s redemption of broken people. I come to the cross with my “wings broken,” but God in his infinite mercy has healed my heart and redeemed me. I have been battered by my sin, but when I come to Jesus with a contrite heart — I am forgiven and my heart is made new. The thought of this profound truth is overwhelming and beautiful.
I can’t imagine experiencing what the women at the shelter have gone through in their life, but I do know what it means to be rescued by God. He is the author of new life and beginnings. The cross is a symbol of hope for suffering souls around the world, that what was once lost, can be found again. Easter is for broken people like you and me. Praise the Lord that Jesus rose from the grave and had victory over sin, death, and what was once a lost cause.
Happy Easter from Cross International, our ministry partners like Casa de Vida and the people they serve. May God overwhelm with gratefulness — for he has healed our wings redeemed our broken hearts!