This week I have been painfully captivated by the recent events going on in West Texas concerning a governmental raid of a Polygamist sect. Strangely enough I have been crudely aware of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints for a couple of years now; by no means any sort of an expert of their beliefs etc, but occasionally checking the news to see where they have popped up again. My heart is squeezed every time I read an article, watch a news clip, or think about the lifestyle and rituals that are forced upon any who are born into this group.
The situation outside Eldorado has caught my heart in a particular way, due to the magnitude; 410 children have been removed from the ranch and taken into protective custody by the state, along with over 100 women who have gone voluntarily to care for the children. Authorities are still searching the estate, believing that it is highly possible for more children to be in hiding.
The Washington Post says, “for all their lives, the boys and girls of the FLDS have been told the outside world was hostile and immoral. Venturing beyond the brilliant white limestone walls of their compound would consign them to eternal damnation” making the removal and relocation of the children and these women an extremely difficult and confusing situation. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/12/AR2008041200438.html
What pains me is the treatment and brainwashing of the children. The group forces girls to marry as soon as they hit puberty, some as young as 13. The marriages are arranged with men MUCH their senior, some 40 years old, and these children are forced to themselves bear children as soon as possible. According to an extended article from Newsweek, officials, “found numerous underage girls either pregnant or already with infant children. They determined that all the children were being “indoctrinated and groomed” to participate in underage marriages, even the boys, so all were in danger of being abused.” http://www.newsweek.com/id/131379/page/1
Jesus heart is pained. Of course He has known what was going on long before officials did, Matthew 6 makes it clear that our God sees what is done in secret, but as I’ve prayed for these people throughout the week I feel such pain in my soul.
This past week was the Global Bridegroom Fast here at IHOP, and as I’ve spoken of before that means that as a staff for three days we shut down as much as possible and spend the majority of our time in prayer. This GBF I joined a handful of friends in attempting to read the entire new testament in those 3 days. I didn’t make it :), too prone to stop and focus on a passage I guess. But did get a good portion through and, possibly due to my thoughts being in Texas, was struck with the tender heart of our Saviour, and how much He speaks about & concerning children. He loves the little ones! Matthew 18 caused my heart to tremble and pray for the repentance of the men leading this group.
In prayer for these children I have LONGED for the return of the Messiah. Whenever the headaches are really bad I turn my thoughts to Jesus and remember that He is coming with judgement, and He will judge the sickness in my body, set me free from the chains of death, and judge the one who attacks me. This week I longed for His judgements on behalf of these children. My prayer was Ephesians 1:17-19, wisdom and revelation of the Lord’s heart to be given to those burdened with the responsibility of making the decisions regarding the future of these children and how to go about with their mental and emotional healing, and understanding of our Father’s true heart for the children themselves – that the Holy Spirit would reveal Jesus in truth to them and drive back all lies and wrong thoughts about Him. He is a good Father, full of tender mercies and compassion. Papa let them see You as You really are.