Celebrating Life in Recovery

By Beholding We Are Changed

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Sandra Santos, Virna Santos


Series Code: CLR

Program Code: CLR00092B

00:15 Welcome back, so on the first half we were talking with
00:17 Virna and talking about her journey.
00:19 In her journey started from when she was a little girl
00:22 early molest, not really trusting her own body definitely
00:27 had some issues with men as far as the safe thing,
00:31 started fantasies about women and jumped into a same-sex
00:35 lifestyle and relationships.
00:37 When I say jumped in, for people that miss that first
00:41 half, she jumped in, she was an advocate, she was working
00:45 in an AIDS center, she was working in San Francisco and
00:48 was in the gay parades.
00:49 I don't think that you would have wanted to run into her
00:54 and said something dumb, because she would have got you.
00:58 What was really incredible God even with that much
01:03 anger, with that much junk, I love the fact that as He
01:07 was bringing her to a place where she could see His heart
01:11 towards her is that it was so gentle and so good.
01:15 He just wooed her back into a place where
01:18 she could start to heal.
01:20 Somebody says heal from what? They'll think heal from the
01:23 same-sex stuff, if you say that you didn't hear her story.
01:27 This was a molested kid that stopped feeling comfortable in
01:31 her own skin, that didn't even know who she was and started to
01:34 identify with some of the sexual issues, but that wasn't
01:38 her pain or her damage.
01:40 Her damage started really early with the molest and the
01:44 anger and with not feeling that her parents protected her.
01:47 We talked at one point in the series where sometimes the devil
01:52 strategically hits us with all these different things,
01:55 she got hit with a lot of things.
01:57 Sexuality wasn't the only one and God knew that.
02:01 I love the fact that her families here because we have
02:05 the privilege right now of meeting Virna's mom.
02:08 Sandra I just wanted to say thank you so much for
02:10 being on the program.
02:12 - thank you for having us too, its a privilege.
02:13 As Virna is talking about all this acting out, all this
02:20 pain, all this anger what did you see?
02:23 How did you experience it?
02:25 It was tough, even listening to my daughter a while ago
02:30 it was tough. - it's tough to hear it all.
02:32 It's tough to hear, I can relate to her pain.
02:35 - because even from early on, you didn't know she was
02:40 molested for a while?
02:41 Well this is what happened, I was a little Catholic girl
02:45 in the Philippines and when I see Jesus on the cross
02:48 I had questioned why did You have to die that way?
02:51 So I've had that question all my life.
02:54 Then we arrived in America and I was pregnant with my
02:58 middle child, and my half brother lost his job and
03:06 I took him in and one day I found him, I found him doing
03:13 it to my daughter and I had a visitor.
03:17 I could not scream but I was hitting him, lashing out on
03:27 him and he was grinning at me. - Wow!
03:32 I had to take my focus off him and take care of
03:37 my child and clean her up.
03:39 I could not tell my husband. - why?
03:47 Because when we first arrived in America I didn't know
03:51 anyone, we didn't have any relatives.
03:54 I didn't know what job I should get, I was thinking if I
04:02 tell my husband that he would kill him and my husband
04:04 would be behind bars.
04:06 I don't know what I would do. - right.
04:10 I said I'm just going to protect my child from him,
04:15 so I pretended nothing happened and every time we'd have
04:22 to go for groceries I remember my husband would tell me
04:24 just leave them to my brother. I said no and he started
04:30 wondering because I was acting strange.
04:33 Where at one point you would have left them without
04:36 thinking about it because it was your brother and
04:38 it was safe there, now never.
04:41 That was before the incident, but after the incident
04:43 I tried all my power not to leave them to my brother.
04:49 And to make a story short we moved out from the
04:53 apartment and we bought a house.
04:54 And it happened again, and I thought to me that was the
05:04 first time I found, not I found my daughter like Virna
05:14 was in the restroom when she was screaming and
05:18 my brother had just left looking for a job.
05:22 Maybe because I was being overprotective or embarrassed,
05:28 ashamed, I just thought that was the second time.
05:34 You didn't think it was something that was happening
05:38 over and over again? - yes, when Virna told you awhile
05:40 ago that from four years old to six years old it didn't
05:46 dawn on me it was that long.
05:48 So even hearing it now just breaks you, it breaks your
05:55 heart, let me say one thing and I know this is true.
05:58 I know this is true for Virna because I was that kid,
06:02 is God that heals us. -yes I believe, I believe that.
06:08 that. - I'm sorry, I'm sorry that you, I'm sorry for
06:13 your pain. - but this is what I did because I know even
06:17 though I was Catholic, I had not found the faith yet or
06:22 the Bible, God was there for me too. God is always there for us.
06:28 So you were, for what you said is that I was new and I
06:34 didn't know the language and I was so afraid and I knew
06:37 that my family would be broken up and all those things.
06:40 Because people ask all the time why didn't you do anything?
06:43 I know that Virna said that throughout her story here,
06:47 is that I was so angry at my mom for not protecting me
06:50 because all she knew as a little girl is
06:54 that you knew and yet he was still in our home.
06:57 This is what I did, I made a decision that day that my
07:04 daughter was complaining about her body.
07:08 I called my husband from work and said to have come home,
07:13 come home now because something happened.
07:17 After that I called the police. - good for you,
07:21 it must've been the hardest call. - it is.
07:24 A policewoman came, it was a policewoman and she was
07:31 upset with me when she found out that I should have
07:36 reported it the first time, and guilt, really heavy guilt.
07:42 - I bet you had tremendous guilt over the years.
07:44 That I didn't do that for my daughter.
07:47 Has she forgiven you? - yes I know she has.
07:56 But maybe I haven't forgiven myself, even though I know
08:01 God has forgiven me.
08:04 Can we pray about that right now? - yes.
08:07 Dear Father, in Jesus name we have gone through so many
08:13 things in this life and we have so many things we are
08:16 ashamed of and we are angry at ourselves and haven't
08:19 forgiven our self for, but Sandra this pain is overwhelming
08:24 to her this news she heard is overwhelming to her.
08:27 There is people all over the world that have these kind
08:31 of burdens that they carry and You have never meant us to
08:34 carry this shame and this burden.
08:35 You have never meant us even to know this kind of injury
08:38 with our families, our children, our little boys and
08:42 little girls and I just pray Father you hold Sandra's
08:45 heart and let her know she is forgiven, definitely forgiven by
08:49 You. Forgiven by her daughter, she is forgiven by
08:53 everyone and teach her how to forgive herself,
08:56 to surrender that to You.
08:57 Do not let the devil hold her in bondage in this area ever again
09:01 and I pray for the Holy Spirit, I pray You will fill her
09:04 with the Holy Spirit and let her know that she is beyond
09:08 loved and that You have taken the burden of the sin upon
09:12 Yourself and that she is free and I claim that in the
09:16 name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and for
09:18 anybody watching this program that has this sadness and
09:23 has this kind of bondage I pray Father to let them
09:26 know right now that they are free. - Amen - that they
09:30 have the right to forgive themselves in Jesus name, Amen.
09:33 Thank you for that prayer, thank you. - you're welcome.
09:38 So you call the police and they arrested him.
09:42 I called the police after I was investigated by the
09:44 policewoman, he was not a round so I told them, we live in
09:52 San Diego, and I said right now he's in downtown San Diego
09:56 looking for a job. Right away all the police were doing
10:00 surveillance on him and so after maybe like an hour or so
10:05 what they decided was to come back to my property and
10:10 waited for him to get off the bus.
10:13 As soon as he got off of the bus they surrounded him and
10:17 they put handcuffs on him.
10:19 That brother of mine, we grew up in a home with mom
10:24 and grandma, we had lost our father.
10:26 My half brother I never treated him as half because
10:31 we all grew up in the same home, not like other siblings
10:35 when they grow up in different homes,
10:38 we all grew up in one home.
10:39 He was very close to me and he is my husband's favorite
10:45 brother-in-law and I did not know also that he had issues.
10:51 I found out later on that he was also molested.
10:56 And usually that is the way it goes. - yes, he was
10:59 adopted for a while from my mother to an American family.
11:05 He came to America before me.
11:07 So when they were putting handcuffs on him he was just
11:12 screaming and saying he didn't do it, he didn't do it.
11:17 - he was innocent? - yeah, he's denying.
11:21 - he knew what he done - oh yes because I caught him.
11:30 So as Virna starts growing up and she's angry, she is
11:37 distancing herself from you, what did you do as her mom?
11:45 What kinds of things did you do?
11:46 Well I went through some abusive behavior from Virna.
11:52 So what I could not take it anymore I did something again
11:58 that made her more angry at me.
12:02 One day my husband and son and youngest daughter were
12:07 watching television and Virna was just at me
12:10 - the screaming - yeah and then I went out to the
12:17 living room and I told her siblings what had taken
12:23 place in their sister's life, because I was like
12:26 screaming inside of me, why are you just watching
12:30 me being abused by this child? You do not know the
12:35 pain I'm going through?
12:37 She hated me for that, for letting her brother and
12:40 sister know, but they were like teenagers at that time.
12:44 Do you know why your sister is acting this way to me, and
12:49 all along the disrespectfulness and misbehaving and all
12:54 the hardships and abuse I went through, I told myself it
12:59 was because of what she went through.
13:01 When I shared with my husband or some close friends,
13:05 some of them would be in denial and say no that is not
13:10 the reason that's her choice, but to me I knew it is
13:15 because of what she went through.
13:17 My daughter was seduced for three years by a teacher in her
13:22 school, in a Christian school and she started acting out
13:25 and everyone kept saying that it was her and I knew that
13:28 she went through three years of being groomed by
13:33 a perpetrator and I knew that's so messed her up.
13:36 A mother's heart, you just know this is not my child.
13:39 This anger is way over the top.
13:42 And then my mother arrived from America, I mean from the
13:47 Philippines I'm sorry to America, my brother was in jail
13:51 at the time, I did not know how to break the news to her.
13:56 My husband has to go to work that morning and we stayed up
14:00 late because she came, she arrived late.
14:03 We stayed up, we never slept we were trying to catch up
14:06 on times and in the back of my mind I said, dear God help me
14:13 I don't know how to break this news to my mother.
14:16 Then finally she said, can I mention this?
14:22 She said where's Norman and I had to tell her.
14:27 - I can't even imagine how hard that conversation must've been.
14:32 - I became her enemy. - she was angry at you?
14:36 My mother would not believe, would not believe.
14:39 So you know what it feels like even to a molested victim
14:42 because a lot of victim's people do not believe them.
14:44 So I believed also just for the sake of all families
14:49 they're going to listen, that when one is molested
14:53 everyone is victimized, every member.
14:56 Because it changes the whole dynamics of the family.
14:59 Because we love each other it is so painful, but anyway
15:03 God is so good because He gave me this inner strength
15:10 even though maybe I broken outside, the inside God is
15:16 saying, you are not alone.
15:18 So now not only does Virna go through that time where she
15:26 is abusive to you verbally, even physically sometimes aye?
15:30 One-time umhumm. - in school angry and left home and ended
15:35 up in San Francisco, did you know that she ended up in
15:38 San Francisco in the gay lifestyle?
15:40 That is good question Cheri, I found out about her being
15:46 gay from another woman. - how did you find out?
15:49 This woman is also gay, and she had a disagreement with
15:56 Virna, out of spite she called me to break the news to me.
16:01 Ah so she was trying to hurt Virna.
16:03 She was trying to hurt Virna and me, maybe she not
16:06 realizing she is going to hurt me, but because she was
16:09 also adopted by a family but after the adopted mother
16:14 the mother that adopted her passed away, all the siblings
16:19 of the two children of the mother disowned her.
16:22 She was taken it out on Virna because Virna has a good
16:27 family who loves her.
16:29 Out of jealousy, out of spite she calls me and it was on
16:34 the Sabbath day, I came home from church and she break
16:39 the news to me. - what did she say?
16:41 You know she is half Filipino like me, and Filipino
16:48 calls auntie an uncle even though were not related so she
16:50 said auntie, I've known her do you know about Virna, do you
16:56 know anything about Virna? I said what about Virna?
16:59 Do you know that she is gay, she just blurted it out.
17:04 I said, because I was already a Christian, a Bible
17:11 Christian. I'm an Adventist that I know the truth and
17:15 I was praying while she was talking.
17:17 - because you knew, you could tell by her voice and
17:20 you wanted to protect yourself.
17:23 He helped me right away, it always works when you say
17:28 Lord please help me, He's there.
17:30 So what did He have you say to her?
17:32 I said to her and so, what do you want me to say?
17:36 She said do you still love her? I said of course,
17:40 that is my child. She said you don't feel different?
17:45 I said no, I'm not going to disown her just because
17:49 she's chosen to be gay, that is her choice.
17:53 I may not be approving of her lifestyle, it just came out.
17:58 But many because I'm also trying to witness to Maurice,
18:03 she calls herself Marisa and I said I still love her.
18:08 I cannot disown my child.
18:10 And then she cried, she broke down.
18:13 Because she said I wish somebody would still love me.
18:17 She said auntie you really do, I wish you were my mom.
18:21 I said why, she said my mom passed away about a month ago
18:26 and all the siblings I grew up with just disown me.
18:29 For a lot of people with our sexual orientation and that
18:34 kind of thing as soon as you come and start questioning
18:38 any of that people disown you and I'm thinking our sin,
18:42 is our sin, is our sin and our journey, is our journey,
18:46 is our journey and it's like I think sometimes we have to
18:51 respond with love and not with condemnation.
18:53 You know let someone come to the table with their stuff
18:57 and let's just talk but what I love about God is
19:01 He never disowns us.
19:02 We work through some pretty horrendous issues and God says,
19:06 do you know how much I love you? In the midst of our junk
19:10 in the midst of our acting out, there are stories about
19:13 David, King David in the Bible where he is murdering
19:16 people and sleeping with Bathsheba, murdered her husband
19:20 and God says that is a man after my own heart.
19:22 You know what I mean? I'm thinking God Himself says,
19:26 not that He condones any of that, that He says go and do
19:29 what ever, but He just says you know what, come to Me
19:33 With all this stuff.
19:34 As a mom, you know Sandra I love this about you, you just
19:39 immediately started to pray and stayed in prayer for Virna
19:44 her whole life. - yes. - what was your prayers like?
19:48 What kinds of things did you take to God?
19:50 I said to the Lord, God you gave that child to me, You
19:56 give me the strength to teach me how to pray and I found
20:01 the promise in Romans 8:26 were the Holy Spirit will groan
20:06 through me and I said Lord groan through me.
20:09 Groan through me, I don't know what to say sometimes.
20:13 I'm in pain and it is so painful and I am hurting and
20:17 here I am taking care of a disabled husband also.
20:21 In 1999 he had a stroke. - and at times the stroke
20:26 caused him to have some issues, emotional issues himself.
20:30 So on top of that you are dealing with all this stuff at
20:34 home - yes and so I said God I believe You love me so
20:38 much that You love me, You love me because You died for me.
20:41 You know what I love for people that don't know Virna,
20:46 that don't know that concept of God and the Holy Spirit
20:50 saying groan for me and I will explain that concept is really
20:54 incredible about that is that there are times in our
20:58 lives where pain is so great that God says there are going
21:01 to be times when you don't even know what to pray for.
21:04 Your pain is so deep that you don't even know how to take
21:08 that and put it in words and God says my Spirit
21:12 will groan and speak things that are so deep and so
21:16 real that you don't how to do it but I do,
21:19 I will take those to the Father in heaven.
21:22 What you are saying is that there were times when you
21:25 said to God, groan for me, take this to God for me
21:28 because I don't even know what to pray anymore.
21:31 Yeah and the Lord helped me and it is so wonderful to
21:34 study the Bible because I found out there are 3000
21:37 things, I'm not exactly in numbers the promises.
21:40 So I start claiming promises, I start claiming promises.
21:45 And there's one in Jeremiah 32:17, nothing is too hard
21:51 for God, and the last time the last promise I was
21:55 claiming so hard is, Jeremiah 33:3, I will call on You
22:00 and You will answer me and I will show you mighty things
22:05 that you do not know, and the mighty things that
22:07 He showed me was the conversion of my two daughters.
22:12 It's amazing, amazing, okay I'm going to ask Lisa,
22:16 your other daughter some things and that I'm going to
22:20 get back to what did it feel like when the conversion
22:23 of you two daughters happened?
22:25 Because Lisa I know that during this whole time your mom
22:29 is praying and Virna is coming back to God but you had
22:33 jumped into the lifestyle too and I want to know what
22:38 that was like for you, and what did your mom think now
22:42 that she has both of you in the lifestyle, not knowing
22:45 what happened here or any of that stuff.
22:49 So from your position explain to us what happened?
22:54 Well Cheri you know, just like Virna I at an early age
22:59 had felt inclined to women, to the same-sex.
23:02 Seeing Virna had came out and my mom going through so much,
23:10 I felt like I couldn't.
23:12 All that pain you saw in your home. - right, right.
23:18 So I just felt, sorry - that's all right go ahead and
23:23 I know that you did not want to hurt your mom, that was huge.
23:31 Sorry, so I think battling with homosexuality it's more
23:40 than that, there is a lot of shame and guilt involved.
23:46 Also fear, just knowing how that would impact my whole
23:52 family, knowing how much she was going through.
23:55 Besides my dad having a stroke and it was putting a lot on her.
24:02 - so what happened and I know, so during that time
24:09 where Virna is acting out you started to act out more
24:16 online at first. - yes, yes I really kept it internalized
24:22 for a long time, for years actually.
24:26 She was out for 20 some years I was homophobic, really
24:30 gay inside, I was really confused.
24:32 My identity was really shot, and male figures around me
24:37 would shoot little comments here and there and put me
24:42 down, that also didn't help.
24:45 Confidence in a woman, so I felt more comfortable with women.
24:53 - so when you did come out and your mom found out,
25:00 how difficult was that for you?
25:03 That's a crazy question because I can see it
25:05 in your tears right now.
25:07 It was difficult but the Lord was carrying me through
25:12 that moment and He impressed upon my heart and that was
25:17 proof for me that He was healing me from that.
25:21 Because what was really another thing that I would like
25:25 you to talk about really quick is as you came out
25:28 you also had a relationship as Virna was coming back to God.
25:32 a relationship where you are turning back to God
25:35 and coming into a right relationship.
25:38 Right, so when we got re-baptized together, maybe a
25:43 few months after I had felt impressed to tell my mom the
25:47 truth. I know we serve a God that is righteousness and
25:52 truth, He is full of truth.
25:54 He wanted me to be up front from lying all those years to
25:59 everyone, so one day I sat with her after breakfast and
26:05 I waited for her to eat of course and I took her hand and
26:09 told her to do know who I was living with in Florida for
26:13 three years? She said were you living with a man?
26:18 And at that moment I wished, but no I was living with a women.
26:26 At that point I was breaking up and tearing and she
26:34 just looked at me and we both cried.
26:38 She goes oh when did this happen, she had all these
26:42 questions and I just brought her to my room and cradled
26:45 her and she said I'm so sorry, so sorry.
26:48 I said no I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.
26:51 But she said if you told me earlier, when Virna told me
26:56 I think I would've just given up on God altogether.
27:02 We cried together and we just know that was God's mercy
27:07 because He does everything out in His time.
27:11 I wish we had so much time to get into this, we are coming
27:16 at the end of our program, but I know Lisa that as you
27:21 came to a place for you are getting baptized and coming
27:25 back around and being honest with your mom, and your
27:28 prayers are covering your daughters I know that God is
27:31 reconciling this and it is incredibly hard to cover all
27:35 of this in an hour, but what I know is God covers it completely
27:40 He covers a completely. - Amen.
27:41 We are going to take a break and come back and close.
27:45 I would like everyone to just come up during the close,
27:49 not everyone in the café but the whole family to come up
27:52 and we're going to talk a little bit so just stay with us.
27:55 We serve a mighty God, that is all I can say.


Revised 2014-12-17