Guatemala

Oasis and La Arquilla

Oasis and La Arquilla are havens of safety for young victims of sexual violence, arriving at our door by court-ordered protection. Our girls live in family-style homes and receive comprehensive care involving proven neuroscientific approaches and spiritual support. We have a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, psychologists, social workers, and teachers, and our programs exceed all government standards.

Many of the victims are girls as young as 10-14 years old who find themselves pregnant due to rape and abuse. La Arquilla (basket in Spanish) serves these precious girls and their babies. Just as God remained faithful and protected Moses when his mother placed him in La Arquilla in love, we endeavour to provide a safe haven for these girls and their children - to help them heal, provide them with a loving home, an education and parenting skills and to protect them from the evils of oppressive poverty and abuse.

We provide all of the girls with trauma care, life skills, and legal assistance during our time of temporary custody. We train and encourage the girls who desire to keep their babies as they learn how to be mothers, and we also support those who decide to place their babies for adoption.

Another key part of our work is to ensure that the abusers are brought to justice. We work closely with authorities and lawyers, and in some cases with our Christian friends at The International Justice Mission. Above all, we work closely with the girls as they go through what can be quite a traumatic legal process.

Most of the girls stay with us for about 12-18 months, during which time we work hard to reintegrate them back into a local community, quite often with families of local churches (who we have excellent relationships with).

This is some of the most difficult and rewarding work we do, so we drench our work in prayer and continually ask the Lord for His guidance in all we do.

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Oasis and La Arquilla: A story of hope

Briselda and Amalia *

Our work in Guatemala brings us face to face with stories of terrible trauma and pain, and sisters Briselda and Amalia were no exception. When they were young, their mother left them unattended while she worked, and several local men took notice and began abusing them.

Eventually they were taken to a children’s home, but the trauma of their experiences led them to act out through tantrums and manipulative behaviours. The home knew about our work and asked for help. A transfer was arranged and a judge ordered that they be moved to Oasis for specialized care.

We knew the road ahead would be hard, but we committed to giving them the acceptance and tools they needed to begin to heal.

What a difference in their lives today! They have both successfully advanced in their schooling, learned to tackle hardships, and put their faith in Jesus. It’s also a joy for us to see a change in their mother, as she accepted Christ and realized the devastation done in their family. Our staff worked with her to rebuild her life and then build a healthy home environment.

Seeing Briselda and Amalia finally reunited with their mother was a beautiful gift. God is at work here, even in seemingly impossible situations!

* name changed to protect privacy

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