It was discouraging to us when Dao ran back to her abusers. At times like that it’s tempting to give up. It’s hard to understand why women go back to abusive situations but we all know it happens. Dao’s addiction to the drug Ice was too strong to allow her freedom. All we could do was pray.
When women have had a taste of freedom and then run back to the place of bondage, it feels more unbearable than before. Dao had tasted freedom and it wasn’t long before she realized what she risked losing. Before, all she had was the desire to be free of abuse; now she had hope of something more. Once again, Dao ran away from the abuser and came begging for help to break free of the drugs, the abuse, her fears, and her past.
There are very few good drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Thailand. There are a few government ones and some luxurious ones for the wealthy but neither was a good fit for Dao. There are no Christian rehab centers for women in Bangkok and the only one that we knew of was in northern Thailand and it was predominantly Chinese. We contacted Operation Dawn and asked if they would accept Dao into their program. They agreed and we accompanied Dao to the center to check her in.
Dao grew up in a city of 12 million and as we made our way up and around the rural mountainous region Dao’s hope grew. She was far away from those who had abused and exploited her. But then Dao began to act strange and was losing control of her body as evil spirits began to manifest. Dao became frightened. We rushed to the center where she trembled through the interview process.
We were told that they did not accept anyone who had need of deliverance. They were not equipped to deal with that. Dao was so afraid they would reject her and she knew she could not go back to live in Bangkok near this man or even her aunt who was toxic for her. We asked for a little time to pray with her and they took us to a room off to the side. As we prayed, what surfaced was a spirit that was sent by a relative. It was resisting her steps to freedom. A few prayers of rejection and renunciation and the spirit lifted off of her. We took Dao back to the leaders and they agreed to give her a try.
Rehabilitation is never easy. It wasn’t easy for Dao, especially when the posttraumatic symptoms appeared and she began to see her abuser in the face of the men around her. Terrified she began to have meltdowns. They sent her to a hospital for some treatment until she could find some relief. We weren’t sure if Dao was going to make it. The leaders there were not sure they could keep her. It was a few tense months for Dao and then she began to thrive. Dao loved being surrounded by nature. She got used to the simple living and working in the fields. Eager to heal and to learn, she loved the daily Bible study and discipleship classes. Dao was baptized at the center along with other recovering addicts and her phone calls to us were joyful and full of hope for her future. When the year came to an end Dao felt strongly called to serve God in ministry. She had also begun to fall in love.
To be continued….