DAY 5: HE IS WITH US - 6 September 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

In light of this week’s news reports I did a radio interview with Peter Kotze. Peter did his doctoral thesis in Theology on human trafficking, whereafter he worked for four years with Save Them and National Freedom Network to help find abducted children and free those trapped in human trafficking. One of his testimonies touched me deeply:

It was a rainy night when Peter and his team first met the 11-year-old Joyce (not her real name) for the first time. She escaped from the house she was held in hours prior.

When Joyce was 4 years old, the kidnappers kidnapped her where she was playing in her family’s yard. For the next 7 years, she was held captive as a sex slave in a windowless room where men came and went and at times did the most inhuman things to her. 

Although Joyce had to use a bucket for a toilet in her room, she the team afterwards that on the day of her escape, she felt a prompting in her heart to ask the men to use the toilet in the house. They allowed her. In the toilet, another prompting came to look at the window. It was open and there were no burglar bars. She jumped out and started running. Some distance away, she ran into a security guard. She told him what was going on and he immediately knew what to do. Two hours later, Joyce was in the Safe House. 

That night it started to rain. Seeing rain for the first time in 7 years Joyce saw rain walked outside. With hands lifted, she started singing: "How great is our God ... How great is our God ..." When asked how she knew God, she replied: “In that dark room, I cried a lot. I was desperate. A man appeared to me who comforted me and made me feel safe. His name is Jesus.”

Time and time again, Peter and his team heard the same story when they rescued children from captivity – Jesus was there to protect them. In Mark 10, we read Jesus' reaction when his disciples tried to prevent parents’ bringing their children to Jesus: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”Also in Psalm 147:3 we read:“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Does God’s heart break when He sees what is happening to the children in our country? Was it the prompting of the Holy Spirit that helped Joyce escape? Did He put the right security guard at the right place? I am sure of it.

God is able to restore and to bring hope. After intense rehabilitation, Joyce was permanently reunited with her family. Today she runs her own small business from her mother's house. And still today, Joyce testifies to God's goodness. He is also actively working in each of our lives to demonstrate His goodness.  May we trust Him to heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds. God bless.

Father God, thank you for every child who was able to escape from captivity. I specifically pray that You will strengthen each one who has not been so happy yet. Please also help me to know that You are present in every situation in my own life. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

• See a photo of Peter Kotze on the Stories van Hoop page on Facebook or at

• Feedback: For feedback on the series or if you would like to share your testimony about something God has done in your life, please send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It's always nice to hear from readers. Benescke

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