Their story made headlines in early May: three kidnapped women were found alive after a decade in captivity. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were abducted between 2002 and 2004 in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Their captor, Ariel Castro, now faces a 329 count indictment, including one count of aggravated murder for allegedly causing the termination of a pregnancy. The women escaped after discovering Castor had left a door unlocked, leaving only the bolted outer door to get through. Berry called to neighbors sitting on their front porches for help.
Now, for the first time since their rescue, the women are speaking out. In this video, Berry, DeJesus and Knight thank their families and most importantly, God, for helping them through their ordeal.
Knight, who was abducted at age 21 in August 2002 said, “I don’t want to be consumed by hatred. With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control. We have been hurt by people, but we need to rely on God as being the judge. God has a plan for all of us. The plan he gave me was to help others who have been in the same situation I have been.”
It’s an incredible testimony to God’s goodness and peace that these women are able to so bravely move forward in their lives, especially after all they have endured the past ten years. As ReligionToday.com first reported, this story brought heightened attention to Ohio’s human rights laws. According to the National Right to Life, Ohio is one of 36 states with laws that recognize the intentional killing of an unborn child as homicide. Under Ohio law, anyone (such as Castro) who intentionally kills an unborn child at any stage of prenatal development can be charged with aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular homicide, depending on the circumstances. According to the charges filed against him, Castro impregnated one of his captives five times and forced her to miscarry by starving her and hitting her in the stomach.
Despite all they've been through, it seems as though these women are truly living in peace and trust that judgment will served. As Exodus 14:14 reminds us, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
What do you think about this story, and the resilience of these women? What verses do you cling to when you feel vulnerable or hopeless?
Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.