“. . . Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21 NIV).

For generations, Cusco Quechua men in southern Peru have considered it their right to sexually abuse women and young girls. The practice has been tolerated in the culture for so long, that most men minimize the depravity of their behaviour and its impact on the wives, daughters and granddaughters of their remote mountain communities. Furthermore, Quechua women have felt powerless to confront such deeply-entrenched attitudes and actions.

In recent years, a Wycliffe Canada partner organization in Peru has been hard at work, actively distributing the Cusco Quechua Bible and promoting the use of mother-tongue Scriptures. The indigenous organization has also produced a powerful, Scripture-based video to confront the pervasive immorality within the culture—that extends even to the Church.

At one gathering where the video was shown to church denominational leaders, initially the men denied that sexual abuse was a cultural problem until one man finally stood and said, “Let’s be sincere and honest about this: who hasn’t sexually assaulted someone?”

All was quiet. Not one leader could say they were innocent. Then one brave man stood up.

“I need help,” he admitted. He then went to the front, where the group prayed for him and for one another. As a first step in facing their past sins and the physical and emotional wounds they had inflicted on others, the men asked for forgiveness from Jesus, the One who was waiting to heal their brokenness.

Like the Quechua church leaders, every Christian can be tempted to hide their sins, or justify ungodly actions because “everyone does it.” But if we are sincere about following Jesus and obeying His Word, we must face the darkness within us and the consequences of our immorality. As God’s Word is planted in our hearts, it frees us from sin’s deadly grip and empowers us to walk in His light and truth.

Lord, thank you for the light of your Holy Word. Help me to accept the truth it reveals, even when it means facing up to the pain and shame of my past actions. Thank you that forgiveness, healing and restoration are available to me through Christ, along with grace to seek forgiveness from those I’ve wounded.