“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday sun.” Isaiah 58:10

The statistics paint a desperate picture. In one minute in the developing world, one pregnant woman dies of pregnancy related complications, seven newborns die (one day to one month old) and 20 children under the age of five die from preventable illness. Every minute an estimated 2 million children die from diarrhea annually in the third world. The statistics on diarrhea and pneumonia are far more devastating than HIV and malaria combined. There are very real solutions to these problems. Clean water, medicine, prenatal care, proper nutrition, and health education all become tools for showing the lost a God who looks beyond the masses and cares for each one. He asks us to literally be His hands bandaging their wounds and His feet going into the darkest of places.

Olivia is 16 years old and came to Safe Refuge when she was 14. Olivia’s mom, Lei, is a prostitute. Olivia was exposed to a life of repeated sexual abuse, rape, and emotional and physical torment. When she arrived at our door, she was 4 months pregnant and very angry. A smart girl, who dreamed of finishing her education, Olivia hated the baby for keeping her from her dreams.

But Olivia came to know Jesus several weeks into her stay at Safe Refuge. She asked a lot of questions and soaked up the words of the Bible, desperate for truth. Olivia experienced incredible transformations and slowly blossomed into a thriving teenage girl. Her heart and mind completely changed, and much to our surprise, she announced she was going to keep her baby boy. She told us how he used to represent the worst thing that ever happened to her. Through his life however, she was rescued in so many ways. He now represented a new start and the revelation that God had a purpose and plan for her life. God could turn the worst things into the best things. Olivia had a high-risk pregnancy, with many reasons to have possible life threatening complications; but God intervened, and she gave birth to little Andrew at Safe Refuge, a few months after she turned 15 years old. With the birth of her son, Olivia visibly changed into a confident mother. She knows with Christ, all things are possible.

Olivia has since graduated from high school and college! She dreamed to become a teacher and God enabled her to reach that dream! She graduated with her degree in education in 2016 and passed her board exams to become a licensed teacher! We are so proud of Olivia and in awe of the miracles God has done in her life.

Those who have been forced into the worst kinds of bondage, are experiencing the liberty and freedom of Jesus Christ.

*Pseudonyms used for the protection.