(IF TWO PICTURES DO NOT APPEAR HERE: CLICK ON THE FILE NAME AND THEY WILL APPEAR) (Example .jpeg)
This is a story of dread and rescue…but even though the media says it’s over it isn’t.
The media means well; but we just have to remember that there are limitations. Even though we’re a predominantly Christian faith based, value based nation; the media too often doesn’t fully represent us. I’ll explain and I’ll try to make it short.
The Elizabeth Shoaf Story (Lugoff, South Carolina September, 2006)
(THIS STORY WAS ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA ON FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2008)
DESPITE THE HELL AND DESPAIR ELIZABETH SHOAF LISTENED TO THE VOICE OF HOPE INSIDE HER…
Let me be clear; the Elizabeth Shoaf story is a powerful story of the courage and fortitude of a fourteen year old and a family’s love that drove her to persevere.
26 year old Vinson Filyaw had been stalking Elizabeth at the Bus stop and finally approached her dressed as a police officer according to reports. He approached her and asked her to follow him. She says they walked quite a ways and when she balked and asked questions; his answers persuaded her to continue following him into an isolated area. He had built an in the ground underground covered up bunker where he would force her to live. During that time he reportedly chained her, assaulted her and violated her …repeatedly on a daily basis.
Her mother had contacted police; who disregarded her concerns by labeling Elizabeth a runaway and refused to issue an Amber Alert for her. The mother and sister went on television and made passionate pleas for Elizabeth’s return.
There was a television in the bunker and Elizabeth was moved and given restored hope when she heard that her family was looking for her. Don’t ask me how or why a television was in a primitive underground bunker. At that point; Elizabeth decided to befriend her kidnapper. Somehow she had a cell phone and she sent a text or two to her mom and one went through. So they knew she was okay. Unfortunately the media told on television that she had sent a text message. She was afraid the kidnapper would be angry which he was; but he was also scared of being caught. He asked for her advice and she told him he should run away.
The next day she came out of the bunker and was found.
It was ten days of hell and Despair for a fourteen year old girl but the story doesn’t stop there.
They announced that Vinson Filyaw had been caught and sentenced to 421 years in prison. (that quick?) and the parents said the sentence wasn’t long enough or severe enough. But here’s where you come in:
Meredith Viera asked them if they could forgive him and they said: “No.” I’m not judging them. We have to sometimes work our way from a “No.” See, the flesh always wants to get mad, fight, get revenge and attack. That’s the way of the flesh. Believers understand this.
It was a horrible ordeal. Terrible it was. Someone asked me; what would you did if it were your daughter? Well, I’d begin to feverishly pray that my husband and son and my brother who it doesn’t take much to get mad wouldn’t harm the man. I would forgive him and it would be very very hard. Then, during that time…I’d be praying for everybody else in my family to do the same. I have done instant forgiveness on many occasions…but truth be told, they weren’t hard cases like this one.
But God’s word is clear:
THESE ARE TEN SCRIPTURES ON FORGIVENESS:
Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:45 – that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Mark 11:25 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Romans 12:20 – On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Luke 6:36 – Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:37 – “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Proverb 20:22 – Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
I need for you all to read these and to stand in the gap for God’s healing mercies to move on the hearts of the Shoaf family so that they can forgive this man.
After the family said they couldn’t forgive him…I expected Meredith Vierra to say: “But you have to. That’s what we do…the bible tells us to do this.” Am I assuming that she’s a believer or that they are…yeah, I guess. If they aren’t then we pray for their salvation in Jesus Name.
Now…there are those who’ll read this and say: “Oh please! It”s not that serious!”
Yes, it is!
***THIS WAS A TERRIBLE ORDEAL ..I AM VERY SYMPATHETIC. I’VE BEEN ASSAULTED BEFORE TOO AT A YOUNG AGE…AND GOD’S WORD IS “STILL” CLEAR…WE HAVE TO FORGIVE,
I will not publish any letter that is not written in decent language; that’s demonic and I will give the devil no place on this site!
HAVE I EVER HAD A HARD TIME WITH FORGIVENESS? YES, WHEN MY FATHER WAS MURDERED…
Yes, I’m glad that you asked. I have. When my father (who was a school principal) was murdered by a neighbor and shot in the back three times by a man who was unrepentant; I had to forgive and it wasn’t easy. Especially after the people went in the house and put on the music: “Wild Wild West!” as loud as they could! However, I’m over it. I gave it to God. It was a terribly long trial. The judge acted like he was going to throw the book at him; he found him guilty. This man had killed before; but on sentencing day…the judge gave him probation. It was crystal clear the judge had been bought off. We didn’t get justice that day. We gave it to God, I could have been bitter. That bitterness would have destroyed me. I forgave him and it was not easy. It took a few years and a lot of people weren’t praying either. God removed the pain. I don’t know who was praying…but somebody was. I can’t tell you what happened to the man; God totally removed him from my thoughts.
It was clear to me that this was a demonic act; what happened to Elizabeth Shoaf. It’s warfare. Not only did Satan set this up; but now he wants to hold the family in bondage by convincing them not to be forgiving. He will not have a victory here!
Satan will not get an advantage!
Prayer changes things…
We pray for this family to be fully restored. We pray that this young girl will not be damaged emotionally by this experience , nor set apart, excluded nor condemned in any way. We pray that she will live a life of favor and they she will pursue and achieve all of the dreams of her heart. We pray that God’s unchanging hand will be upon her and that she will be protected. We plead the Blood of Jesus over her. We pray for her ministering angels to go out before her and prosper her way…in Jesus Name. Amen.