Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza is the daughter of Pastor Tan-Chi, a senior pastor of Christ Commission Fellowship in the Philippines. She grew up in a Christian Family full of love and compassion but something heartbreaking happened in her life that tested her faith to the core.
In 1995, Joy experienced something terrible. While her parents were away at a Bible study, a group of armed men broke into their house. Joy, together with her younger siblings and two friends were terrified. The armed men tied them up, stole their parent’s belongings and the worst part, they raped Joy and her two friends.
“As I was being violated, I remember praying ‘Lord they can touch my body, but they can’t touch my soul. Because it belongs to You. And so whatever happens to me, If I die tonight, I know where I am going… and that is what got me through the whole ordeal,’” she confided.
Joy found it difficult to tell her parents. She admits the word “rape” is an ugly word. As a woman, getting through sexual violation, it is extremely painful. Her innocence was stolen from her and her identity was damaged because of what happened.
But despite this heartbreak, God’s grace remained sufficient in her life. Joy and her family experienced much pain together but God healed their hearts and as a family, they made some tough choices.
The first choice they made was to choose to follow God despite the crisis they were going through. Joy and her family made the decision to trust God over everything.
God has a plan and purpose despite what happened
The second choice Joy made is forgiveness. She chose to forgive the person who raped her and focus on what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. Jesus gave His life for everyone and obtained forgiveness for all of us. Because of this, Joy realized that she is no better than those who sexually abused her. Just like them, she is a sinner who needs God’s grace and forgiveness.
Joy became an inspiration to many people and God completely restored her. She is now the passionate wife to her husband, Edric Mendoza and the happy mother of five kids. She has also published an inspirational book entitled, “When A Good God Allows Rape” and it has become a lifeline to many people.
Credits: Karen Young
This article was written by Kriza Jo L. Tanduyan.