It’s my 27th Birthday!

by | Jun 28, 2022 | God-confidence with Demi, Ministry, Passion & Purpose, Uncategorised | 0 comments

Today is my 27th birthday! I love celebrating birthdays as it’s a reason to celebrate milestones, achievements and wisdom learned along the way. And who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate life?! But, today, on my birthday, I want to celebrate someone else, a girl named Elly.

“Rescue me. Help me. Monsters are chasing me, can’t you see? Monsters are whispering, can’t you hear?” 

That’s a quote from a poem Elly wrote about her life before being rescued. In her case, the monsters were members of her own family – her mother and aunt. Elly’s own family members were the ones who stole her innocence. They used this precious little girl, sexually exploited her to get money and unfortunately, it’s a rampant problem, especially in the Philippines right now. 

I heard stories and read letters from some of the kids who live at the Compassionate Hope – Tebow Village of Hope, but until this past May, I’d never been able to visit. A couple months ago I had the incredible honor of visiting the campus and meeting Elly face to face. We’d been praying for her for months, but being able to meet her in person, to hug her and talk to her face to face was so, so meaningful. 

Elly’s one of the reason’s I wanted my birthday fundraiser to go to the expansion of the Tebow Village of Hope because if we can make room there for even one more child, one more girl or boy like Elly, then it would all be worth it. Here’s a little bit of Elly’s story, and how meeting her impacted my life forever…

Elly was just 9 years old when she was first exploited by her family. Only 9. At 9, you should be kicking a soccer ball, playing dress up, and reading adventure books. Instead, she was being forced into traumatizing situations that a 9-year-old should never have to face. One night at 2 am, Elly’s aunt shook her awake and said, “Elly, I have a friend, he wants to say hi to you. He wants you to do a show for him.” Elly was half asleep and didn’t understand what was happening, but she tried to obey anyway. Afterwards, she was shaking and sick to her stomach. She had been sexually exploited and told to go back to bed. But she couldn’t. Who could? Instead, she buried her head in the pillow crying. That night would change her forever.

From that point on, Elly became what she refers to as “Two-faced Elly.” She wore her dark mask at night and put on her happy mask at school in front of her peers. She hid her darkened soul with a pretend smile to try to survive another day. She felt alone in this darkness. Elly said, “My own family was out to destroy me. They stole my innocence; they stole my life.”

What would you do? As a young girl coerced into unimaginable situations, just trying to stay strong and looking for a glimpse of hope. It seemed inescapable and as a result, Elly lost herself. She was empty, just going through the motions each day. The darkness filled her empty soul and she wanted to die.

After six years of sexual exploitation, Elly was rescued from her nightmare and brought to Compassionate Hope, a Tim Tebow Foundation ministry partner. When Elly first came to the village, the staff members noticed all of her smiles were fake. They weren’t genuine or coming from her heart. She was still masking her past trauma, trying to be strong for her sisters. But she could only be strong for so long. Soon after going to her new home, once she trusted the staff and felt loved and safe, she broke down. She cried for hours. It was at that point that she truly began to heal from the trauma. Now, fast-forward to living at the campus for just under two years, she’s a joyful girl filled with hope and dreams of becoming a lawyer one day so she can fight for others too. Now she writes poems about the hope she’s found, and how Jesus healed her from her pain, her shame. 

“Heart of man shaped by the love of God, heart of mine, filled with His word, my broken heart scattered, but the love of my life picked its pieces. And even though He got wounded, He willingly fixed me.”

For my 27th birthday fundraiserour goal is to raise $200,000 in hopes of building 4 safe homes, which will provide holistic healing to 80 children at a time. The expansion of the village will bring peace to these survivors and enable these kids to live out the childhood they deserve, where they can dream, play and grow. 

Today on my birthday, I’m asking YOU to join me in helping even one more Elly get rescued. We’re over halfway there to reaching our goal of $200,000 to make room for 80 more kids! I truly believe God can use you wherever you are with whatever you’ve got to make a real impact in this world. These kids need someone to stand up and fight for them, so I’m hoping you will join too! Click below to join in the fight alongside me.

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