It was a regular night just like any other. I lay in my bed trying to figure out the medical mystery on House faster than the doctors, some clue in the first few minutes must give me some insight....BRIIIIIIIING I jolted out of my focus as my phone rang. To be honest I'm terrible about answering my phone, especially when I'm trying to relax, but I felt urged to answer this time. I wouldn't say I felt an overwhelming sense of God's spirit pushing me to answer, but looking back He was definitely already moving.
"Katie, some of your girls (from the kids program) are crying down the street saying their cousin sexually molested them."
I sat up abruptly swung my leg out in one swift motion and jumped off my bunkbed before she finished the sentence. I was down the street in a matter of minutes, nothing could stop me not even Victor yelling after me that I shouldn't be walking alone.
Two cop cars. One boy already inside. "What's going on?" I asked the first person that I knew. Crowds had already formed, it seemed like everyone on Ohai street was on their porches or on the street watching the nothingness that followed the action. After gaining information on who the girls were I charged down the street. I'd barely known one of the girls two weeks but when she saw me she ran to me and my arms were ready to embrace her. "What's going on?" I asked her and through tears and whimpers she began to tell me the story of being cornered and touched against her will behind some parked cars right here in the neighborhood. Then she told me the names of the two boys. My heart sank faster than an anchor at sea. I knew them both. The older I had known well for years and he and some friends had watched a movie at my house just earlier that day. The younger big, his cousin had immigrated from the Marshall Islands just nine months earlier and I learned he was the boy in custody.
After further talks with the girls and their mothers and as many hugs and reassuring words as I could think of, I headed back down to the boys house. I walked inside the families home to a grim scene. Heads down held in hands, somber faces. I talked to the dad who's son was currently in custody and he told me the police had told him he was not allowed outside as a fight had broken out earlier when the angry uncle of the young girl came after him. I told him I'd go to the police station and find out what I could and that if the older boy came home they must bring him to the station, it would look worse if he ran.
As I walked to the police station my colleague and friend Aquila and Mitchell picked me up. We drove the rest of the way and received no information other than the father would be called when he could pick up his boy. We decided to begin to search town for the older boy, the one we knew so well, the one we had loved and mentored for years. I was determined to find him before the police did or before her made a run for it. We searched the park, the grocery and were headed somewhere else, we didn't even know where yet when I got a text from my roommate "He is at our house" Keep him there, I told her and the moment came when I was going to have to make one of the hardest phone calls of my life.
"Wahiawa Police Department, how can I help you?"
I explained to them what was going on and that the boy they were looking for was at my home. "Will he run?" They asked me. I didn't think so. "Bring him outside and we will be there in a moment." I've never wanted so desperately to stay away from my house. Yet I had to walk in. There he was sitting on our couch, no idea of what was about to happen. "What happened tonight?" I asked him. He tried to deny, tried to ignore, never making eye contact. I told him the police were on their way, an anger sparked in him and he jumped up and I thought he might run. "You must be brave" I told him "and above all you must tell them the truth!" We walked outside as the police exited his vehicle. They immediately cuffed him and sat him on the ground. He tried his best to act tough, act like he didn't care. I had to write a statement and after two cops cruised by with bright lights shining in his face in order to identify him he was formally arrested and placed in the back of the car. "Please, can I speak with him?" I asked the police. They agreed and opened the car door for me. I saw that anger spark for a moment again as I leaned in toward him. "I love you buddy, we all love you. Nothing you could do would make us stop loving you. I know you're mad and don't understand why I had to do this. But please trust me. Please be brave and tell the truth! We love you" his eye twinkled with tears he would not let fall.
As the car drive away I walked in the other direction towards the boys' house to update the dad and other boys step mom. I feared they would be angry with me but they understood.
The next day we went to visit the boys. Again I feared he would be angry at me for calling the police. But I didn't mind his anger because I knew he'd see that I cared. But there was no anger when we arrived just a mask of fear and a genuine lack of understanding. We talked it through with him what court might be like, that he needed some nice clothes and that the reality was he might go to Juvi. We talked through the events although it took us about an hour to get to the truth. He had done what the girls claimed he had. We told him he had to be brave and tell the court and the judge the truth.
As I walked away I waited for tears to come. I thought I would cry at some point. But through it all I felt God's peace above all. I was so thankful to be placed in such a special role in this boys painful life. It. Doesn't mean I wasn't sad and broken but those emotions were held at bay, cradled by the peace of God that told me I would make it through. He said Katie I have equipped you with the love you need to conquer this battle and stand by this guilty boy in love. Without God I would be nothing a mess amongst a messy situation, lost in grief. He is victorious.
Please pray for the youth of our country. Sexual assault amongst peers is most often started when a youth is sexually assaulted themselves by an adult. Pray for the boys and girls that I work with and pray for overwhelming wisdom as I live life in and amongst these desperate people.