A woman raped at the age of 15 opens up about releasing forgiveness and receiving hope through Christ.
Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza’s testimony
Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza is among the four children of Dr. Peter Tan-Chi, the founder and senior pastor of a megachurch in the Philippines. Joy’s entire life changed when she was robbed of her innocence when she was 15-years-old.
In February 1992, Joy invited two of her friends, Irene and Lana, over their house to spend the Friday night. Her parents were out teaching a Bible Study in a nearby city.
At around 6:00 that evening, her dad’s cousin came to deliver rice which he usually did every month. But no one knew that someone else with hideous plans crept in through the open door.
“He had no idea that a band of robbers had slipped in through the gate behind him. They were heavily armed with guns and knives and forced their way in through the front door,” Joy remembered.
Raped by seven men
Within a few minutes, all 10 people inside the Tan-Chi’s residence were tied up by the trespassers. They searched every room looking for things to steal. In addition to robbing the residence, the armed men had a more horrific plan that has impacted Joy’s life.
The armed men took turns in assaulting the 15-years-old girl. Similarly, she later discovered that her friends had arrived during the attack and were also assaulted.
“I was raped and sexually abused on my very own bed, in my bathroom, in my brother’s room by a total of seven men,” she shared.
After the armed men were done looting the residence and raping three young innocent girls, they fled the area.
“One of them said: ‘Let’s kill them now!’ And they all started waving their guns. Admittedly, my selfish thought was, I hope they shoot me first. I don’t know what stopped them from acting on their threat, but suddenly, the men decided to take hostages instead and leave immediately,” she added.
Rescuers came soon after the terrible incident. Miraculously, Joy found the courage to open up to her parents about what had just happened. It was the most devastating news that any parent could hear from their daughter. It broke their hearts.
Above all, “Having to say the word “rape” made me feel so spoiled and ruined”, she remembered.
Healing after the trauma
Joy turned to Jesus to find light and hope amidst the darkness that she experienced. Along with the support of her family, Church, and friends the trauma slowly began to heal. As a result, she was eventually able to forgive to her attackers and find hope in Jesus Christ.
“His love brought me through the valley. His love also gave me the capacity to forgive and the boldness to declare what He has done. I want to borrow once more the words of Joseph in Genesis 50:20, where he said: ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good,’” Joy said.
Joy now has a family. Her and her husband have five children. Joy continues to share her testimony throughout the Philippines to bring the hope of Christ to those who have had a similar experience.
Reference: Salt & Light