WARNING: Graphic Images
Most parents want a good life for their children.
Good parents want their children to grow up in peace and security; want them to express their personalities, and develop their talents; want them to become fine young men and women, capable of loving others and contributing to the world.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was not such a parent. Authorities in New Mexico have found eleven malnourished children in rags, at a derelict compound in the desert .
The makeshift compound, surrounded by tires, had no electricity or running water. Wahhaj though was heavily armed. Evidence suggests that he and another man, Lucas Morten, were training the children to conduct school shootings .
There were, also, three women present at the compound. Preliminary indications were that the women had been brainwashed.
The children, themselves, range in age from one to fifteen. What are thought to be the remains of Wahhaj’s four year old son were found buried nearby. Evidently, Wahhaj had believed the boy (who was physically and mentally handicapped) possessed by demons.
It is difficult to process evil on this scale. Tragically, the situation is not unique. Over a decade ago, a California man, Marcus Wesson was convicted of killing seven children and two adults, their bodies casually piled in a back room . Wesson had convinced 20 family members that he was god, controlling them in a cult-like manner and conceiving several children by incest.
As the victims of childhood abuse, our hearts bleed for these children. We have had to fight and struggle for our own chance at a good life. We know firsthand the enormous challenges involved.
But we know, too, that such a life is possible.
“Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1: 9).
 The Guardian, “New Mexico compound taught children to commit school shootings, lawyers say”, 8/8/18, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/08/new-mexico-compound-taught-children-to-commit-school-shootings-lawyers-say.
 ABC News, “11 children rescued from filthy compound with little food or water” by Mark Osborne, 8/6/18, https://abc7chicago.com/11-children-rescued-from-filthy-compound-with-little-food-or-water/3886080/.
 Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), “DA: Georgia man, others trained kids to do school shootings in desert” by Joshua Sharpe, 8/8/18, https://www.ajc.com/news/local/georgia-dad-due-court-new-mexico-officials-try-boy-body/tkuab0XLsqToGu0Ws8i2YK/.
 ABC News, “Family Brainwashed by Dad Struggles to Heal” by Jay Schadler, Harry Phillips, and Elissa Stohler, 7/6/10, https://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/marcus-wesson-mass-murder-surviving-family-speaks-abuse/story?id=11089648.
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