The Philippines: No More Abuse
According to 2017 statistics, in the Philippines, 26 percent of married women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence by their husband or partner. In addition, 17.1 percent of children have experienced sexual violence while growing up.
Haggai leader Sheila Guico is doing everything she can to show these abused women and children that there is deliverance and healing in the loving arms of Christ.
“I want to help abused children and women see their value and beauty in Christ,” says Maria.
In 2017, Maria attended the Haggai Leader Experience where she learned of her calling to help those abused and cast aside.
“During one of the sessions in the ‘Discipline’ class facilitated by Lynette Funk, God showed me in a vision how Jesus rescued me from my abuser from childhood and brought me to a place of freedom and beauty,” Maria says. “Then, I got a revelation that as Jesus delivered me, so is He sending me to help other abused children and women in their journeys to healing and freedom.”
Maria runs Haven and Home, a shelter for abused women and children. There, she is able to share the Gospel of Hope with those who so desperately need it. She has shared the Gospel with 100 children and women, as well as with four people while traveling so far. Additionally, she has trained 15 others to do the same and help her run Haven and Home.
She says the Haggai Leader Experience gave her “a clearer vision and goal of what God wanted [her] to do in [her] field of work.” It was at this experience that she learned valuable skills such as leadership and goal setting, which she has passed on to others around her.
And she’s not slowing down.
She wants to fill all 17 administrative regions in the Philippines with at least eight volunteers per region, four per shelter, to reach out to the average 30-40 abused children and women per shelter.
“Training social workers and house parents and scaling the ministry to abused women and children throughout the whole country are my goals still to be fulfilled,” says Maria. “My dream is to end online sexual exploitation of children in this country, until every child is safe in his or her home and communities to fulfill their God-given destinies and purposes.”
Maria’s passion for this ministry leads her to do whatever she can, whenever, to help the “lost and needy people [who] are hungry and thirsty to experience the reality of God in their lives.”
She explains, “Every time I assist law enforcement in rescue operations, every time I fight for their cases in court and visit them in shelters, I am telling these children and women how they are loved and valued by God.”
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