When I was two the terror began. My mother’s partner at the time was an alcoholic who was prone to violent outbursts and rage. After eleven years of violence my life only seemed to get worse when my mother reunited with my father and moved us to homestead in Alaska. I found myself living in a campground under a tarp with an abusive father and mother who refused to acknowledge the sexual abuse that had been going on for years. It took me several more years to get the courage to ask for help. However, just because I was removed and put into a safe home did not mean the terror of my life was finished. I was extremely depressed and found myself on the floor one night of my foster home crying out to God “Just let me die, just let me die!” I had been afraid all my life and I was angry because I was too afraid to kill myself. After several unsuccessful moves to foster homes I was interviewed for placement at Alaska Baptist Family Services. I remember the person asking me if I wanted to come live there. After being moved from place to place, eleven times in four years, I was shocked that somebody cared about what I wanted. I felt love, warmth and acceptance at ABFS. My two years there were filled with fun activities, bonding with others like me, and encouragement from the staff. The most important to me was the teaching of the Word of God; both through Spiritual Life opportunities and by the actions of staff. ABFS was the place I dedicated my life to God through serving his children in need. The healing experience I received at ABFS was one that prepared me to graduate from college with a social work degree and work in a group home in Oregon for troubled teens. It is the reason that I have had a healthy marriage for eleven years and it prepared me to love my son with the patience and faith that God provides.
It is never too late to prevent the cycle of poverty and abuse.