Rescued from captivity...

Category: Stories Published on 28 April 2014

A news headline at the end of 2013 reported how a man who exploited the children of one Moldavian family for more than 10 years was detained at last by the police. This story developed a direct link to the BOL ministry when Maria, one of the minor victims of this person, came along to BOL’s rehabilitation center with her little son in July 2013. The horrific case of exploitation shocked the local community as well as entire Moldovan society.

This man appeared in our village more than 10 years ago,” testified Olga, the oldest daughter. “He met our father, who invited him into our home. Something happened and in the morning, when we woke up, parents were burning down all icons in the house. Father told us that this man, Nikolai, is a holy Messenger from God and we will serve him…"

Apocalyptic revelations about the end of the world were skillfully used by this individual to intimidate and subordinate that poorly educated, religious family for the next 11 years. All family members were obliged to follow strictly the orders of the ‘prophet’. All five children were forced to work hard, and along with parents had to give all earned money to this man.

The father periodically forced his wife to have sexual relations with the ‘prophet.’ “Nikolai forced me and my mother to go abroad to earn money,” recalls Olga. “We were obliged to send all money to him… My siblings tried to run away from home captivity, but every time they were caught and beaten up. Nobody knew about these horrors and the authorities didn't pay attention to “strangenesses” happening in our family.”

Later, the ‘prophet’ began to force younger girls, and especially Maria, to have sex with him. The father spoke: "It is my children, and therefore they are your slaves, do with them what you want.” He was buying contraceptives for the girls. Sexual exploitation and forced labor continued for a long time. At 16 years of age, when Maria unexpectedly became pregnant, she was subjected to powerful psychological pressure and manipulation from the abuser. The man convinced the girl of her messianic role, so she believed that her child would be the Messiah.

When the older sister returned from Italy and saw what was happening in the family, she reported to the police The ‘Prophet’ ran away, together with the parents. Soon an investigation discovered that several other families were similarly exposed to manipulation and that 12 other children were exploited in a neighboring village.

Psychologists concluded that Maria has no chance of recovery from the psychological violations. In their opinion, the depth of trauma and mental disorder was so deep that there will be no possibility of returning this girl to a normal life. Authorities liaised with BOL and asked for some kind of help for Maria. We accepted this girl with her child into rehabilitation at ‘House of Change.’ Then began the real spiritual battle for the life and soul of this girl. Within 7 months the team at House of Changes, together with the psychologist and the pastor, were helping Maria to overcome consequences of her bad experience. It was a very strained period, as we felt that evil powers had counteracted to take out this young girl.

Only half a year later we started seeing small, but real changes. Maria began to see how the things she endured in her family involved violence, manipulation and exploitation. Understanding this was a really great step towards restoration. She became more open and it was so pleasing that Maria started to look for way out of her trauma. 

It is still hard for Maria to live a different life. There are still many questions that remain unanswered. The fact that Maria has agreed to oppose her abuser in court, and so bring the possibility of punishment for the criminal, says much about Maria’s inner strength and change.

Please pray for Maria and her son. Ask God to make the impossible possible: to free this girl from the bonds of evil, and to give her true restoration and new life of hope.

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