Gabi from Guatemala

Gabi’s Journey to Safety and Joy by Alexa, Kids Alive Guatemala Art Therapist 

I began working with Gabi* (13) this past March. Gabi’s psychologist referred her case to me in hopes of providing her with another source of support, expression, and space to process. For the first three months Gabi wouldn’t even look at me. She would always have her face covered with her hands or hidden in her arms. She never wanted to share her artwork with me and struggled to engage in activities or even in light conversation, because of her deep pain and shame over her past experiences. But little by little, Gabi began to open up. She would brave a glance in my direction one week, then another week look at me while talking with me.  

Then finally after six months of consistent work, her body language is much more open and when she shares what she is struggling with she can look me in the eye. This may not seem like a huge change, but the fact that Gabi feels safe enough to share hard things and isn’t as hindered by shame as before when telling pieces of her story is quite remarkable. She is still shy and guarded about some things but is making progress and practicing bravery. It’s this kind of consistency and patience that makes the healing journey “the long game.”  

Gabi shared with me,  

“Before coming to Oasis, I didn’t believe in God. I drank, smoked, and didn’t live right. There were bad things happening in my house. Even though living in a girls’ home now has been difficult and my story is hard, I know that God brought me here for a purpose. I can see the change.”  

She still has a long journey of healing ahead of her, and we still have a lot to work through together with her psychologist, but she is on her way to a vibrant, life-changing relationship with God! Immediate results or quantifiable outcomes in sessions are not always what are expected. But opening the space for the Holy Spirit to work is necessary to continue taking steps toward victory and healing — no matter how long it takes.

 *Name changed to protect privacy  

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life...” John 8:12 NIV

Loading... Updating page...