Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)
By Phyllis Nissila
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She began life in a home riddled with abuse, her view of the world colored in fear. But when “Pam” was five she decided she’d had enough. One day, she sneaked out of the house and ran down the street to the gas station. An attendant there listened when Pam said she wanted another family (did he know about hers?). Her family was mean, she said. She wanted a new name, too, so she wouldn’t tell him her real one. The attendant told Pam she could pick any name she wanted, and he said he would help her get a new family.
The only other thing Pam remembers about that day fifty-two years ago was the ride in the police car. And she remembers when she and her brothers and sisters finally got a new, safe home.
I never know what to expect when I get the “reading response” handouts back from my adult education students, some of whom have faced extraordinary challenges. Their task is to read an article, story, or poem I assign or one of their own choosing, and answer questions listed on the handout. The article that prompted Pam’s memory was about overcoming “victimhood”.
If only everyone experiencing abuse had the courage Pam showed at such a fragile age. If only there were always caring people to hear their stories, believe them, and help. If only mean people didn’t exist to begin with. But the world is steeped in evil—and it’s not only children who suffer.
Fortunately, there is One Who hears our cries (Psalm 34:17), Who is touched with our circumstances (Hebrews 4:15), and Who is able to do “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NASB). And He is available here, now.
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