This is a picture of Cecile* and her then 3-year-old daughter Abigail*. Cecile* recently entered our program in Myanmar. Hers is a story like many others, and a story she'd like us to share with you. Cecile* was trafficked into a neighboring country from Myanmar and purchased to be the bride for a man we will call James*.
James* suffered from severe mental illness; and because of this, his parents could not find a wife for him. They desperately wanted someone who could help bear the burden of their sons care, and possibly even give them a grandson to carry on the family tradition of caring for the elders. So James'* parents went to traffickers and purchased Cecile*. After marrying, they forced Cecile* to be with their son and she became pregnant.
As if life could get any worse for Cecile*, she gave birth to a daughter instead of a son. Her in-laws were very unhappy with this and their cruelty only grew as time went on. Her husband’s mental health seemed to be deteriorating even more at this time as well. Cecile* was enduring greater abuse and growing more and more afraid of her husband.
One day when Cecile* was at the market a woman gave her the number for the Myanmar anti-trafficking police force. Unable to take anymore abuse, Cecile* contacted this force to tell them her story. To her surprise, when the local police came to “rescue” her, they arrested her like a criminal and handcuffed her in front of Abigail*. Cecile* spent the next 4 months in jail because of paperwork issues.
During this time, she begged to see her daughter. She was informed rather cruelly that she had no rights to her, and would actually never see her again. She was told that she chose her freedom over her child and would have to face the consequences of that. Racked with guilt and shame, she tried to kill herself.
Cecile* was eventually transferred to our Myanmar branch. Here, she has been working through her pain. It’s hard to imagine having to leave a child behind; and through no fault of your own, be faced with the terrible choice of your freedom or your child. Yet so many of the women we minister to have children left behind.
Cecile* is asking for our help and our prayers. So we are asking you to join us in this battle. Please pray for justice in the systems that governs these cases. Please pray for comfort in her life and that our team will be able to help her heal. Please pray for the wisdom that we can help her to have communication with her daughter, and that one day, by a miracle- they will be reunited.
*names have been changed to protect identity