I have some very difficult news to share and I really can’t begin to share everything. But let me just say that we really need prayer support.
On Monday morning an NBI rescue team (like our FBI) came onto our Sankey compound. They came based on a complaint filed with the US Embassy of evidence of sexual abuse and sex trafficking here at Sankey. Within a couple of hours all the children were gathered and taken away in vans. The empty vans returned and they loaded up Tom, Toto Luchavez, and his son, Jake Luchavez. They took them to the NBI Headquarters in Manila where the children were questioned individually and then taken to another location. Tom, Toto and Jake were kept in an office for around 24 hours and then taken this afternoon to the DOJ (Dept. of Justice) where they were told they would be held over for at least 15 more days while a case is being prepared against them. They are being charged with sex trafficking and sex abuse.
This is a very complicated situation and you will have to trust me when I say I know in my heart that none of the charges are true. The problem with some of these allegations is that sometimes something sticks even when the people are innocent. We have hired a very good law firm and the lawyers have been with the guys every step of the way. They have kept me informed of every decision and every change in the situation.
I can hardly believe it has only been 48 hours. It seems like minutes and it seems like years. We have been so encouraged by those who have been informed of our situation, the tremendous prayer partners we have all over the world, fighting on the front lines for Tom, Toto, and Jake. Our church family here in the Philippines has been very supportive and we have had texts and phone calls from far and near in this country from friends, pastors, and loved ones. It was all over the local news last night as well as on the internet and newspapers. Each one that has contacted us has been shocked and very supportive of all of us. Shocked meaning they don’t believe the reports.
We believe we know who made the complaint but we can’t figure out why. Maybe I will be able to share more on that later. But for now I’d rather not just speculate.
I have had quite a few contact me with verses that they feel would help encourage me. Let me encourage you now by saying that I am doing well so far. I know that the Lord is with me and with Tom and with the Luchavez men. We know that the Lord is in the midst of us working ahead of us in all areas.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
I saw the phrase that the Lord is personally going ahead of us and I was encouraged. I want to picture the Lord walking just ahead of me wherever I go, wherever Tom goes, and wherever Toto and Jake go. I know He is also comforting the kids wherever they are going.
Some specific things to be praying for are:
- That Tom’s health would not deteriorate any more than it has. He has a bad cold and is having some other issues. He has actually been detained in the infirmary for now at the detention center.
- Pray that the truth would be very clear.
- Pray that the lawyers would stay attentive to the situation and have wisdom on the correct way to tackle this situation.
- Pray that Bebs (Toto’s wife and Jake’s mom), Queen (Jake’s girlfriend and employee of Sankey Samaritan) would stay strong and that I can also be strong in our testimonies of God’s goodness and His care.
- Pray that as the three of us travel to the detention center tomorrow (around 3 hours by car) we would have God’s favor in our time with the men, that we would pack their bags with the things that are needed for them, and that we can encourage and hold each other up.
- Lastly, pray for the 31 kids of Sankey Samaritan Mission. We don’t have any contact with them anymore, we aren’t sure where they are being held, and we don’t know what the future will hold for them.
I will try and update you the best that I can when I can. I chose to write this now because so many of you have contacted me personally and I love that but I am just not able to respond to each one right now. Just know how grateful I am for each one of you!!