UPDATE on "We are in the fight for their lives."
Many of you have asked about our post written in August about two girls we have moved into the Arise Homes because of the abuse they were enduring. We are in a lengthy court battle for their full time custody and here is the most recent update:
On September 27th, we were back in court with the anticipation that the doctor who examined them would testify.
When we arrived for court, the prosecutor assigned to our case (by the Zambian government) was in a workshop put on by the government, and he didn't tell the judge this. He was not present and did not tell our own attorneys we have hired or anyone else. It was a mandatory workshop for all prosecutors sooo how does the rest of the government not know?!? I mean come on, like a whiteboard at the court house could help! The lack of communication is incredible.
This then made the judge so angry she decided to kick the prosecutor off our case. We were told we would have a new prosecutor which made us nervous. Court was ajdourned for the day. We have our own attorneys but legally they cannot try the case and the government has to. This new prosecutor could call old witnesses up (meaning the girls could have to testify again) and we could have to start all over. This new prosecutor will have to read the entire file and be caught up on everything. We were so glad to have our own private attorneys to help them through this process and we have all our notes and files to show and it isn't only up to the fired prosecutor to hand over the files. This new one could be worse than our last one! Or they could be better! We just don't know anything.
We are supposed to be in court again on Friday October 26th. We learned that since we met in September the Judge handled the issue “internally” with the prosecutor and he is able to stay on the case now. We don’t know if this is a win or a loss because he isn’t great but it could be worse.
This Friday the case will continue and the doctor will testify supposedly. Obviously anything could happen.
Here are Exact Prayer Requests:
That everyone who needs to be present shows up and there are no delays. Specifically the prosecutor and doctor.
That the doctor testifies clearly and is not thrown by the defense
We are trying to have the mother to one of the under age girls testify that she is under the age of 18. However the mother refuses to help because her own brother, the uncle, is the one being accused. She would rather protect her brother than her child. We are praying the judge will request a test to be done at the hospital to get the her age without the mom.
We have no idea what will happen after the doctor testifies because that is the last witness that we know of. We wouldn’t be surprised if the defense calls witnesses up to try to confuse the story, and that is OK. We like the judge, and she will make the overall decision. Please pray for next steps and for the justice system to work. Pray for the girls and their hearts. They do not know the day to day steps and drama of it all, and we are thankful that they are thriving in the home. We are so proud of them and are blessed to have them as long as possible.
Thank you prayer warriors! This is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Lord is next to us all the time!
- Alissa Rosebrough