Her Story to Freedom After Kidnapping
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“I felt like the worst has already happened to me. I was angry at the world.” It was eight-year-old Midsi Sanchez’s birthday. She was hurrying home from school to attend her party when a stranger asked her for help. “He asked me to pick up a piece of duct tape that was on the floorboard of his car because he said he broke his hip in a bike accident and that he couldn't bend over. And my parents always taught me to be kind, to be generous, to be helpful.”
When Midsi reached for it, the stranger forced her into his car. “I tried to open the door and it was like it was jammed. I couldn't open the door from the inside. He told me that if I tried to get away, that he was going to shoot me. And I believed him.”
Midsi’s kidnapper chained her to the gear shift of the car and drove away. For the next two days he kept her there, forced her to drink alcohol and sexually abused her.
“It like crushed my little heart because I realized that nobody was coming to save me. I remember feeling so dirty and feeling so tired.”
On day three, Midsi recalled a conversation she’d had with her uncle, weeks before. “He said, ‘If you don't ask for forgiveness, you're gonna go to hell.’ I knew that I was gonna die. And that caused me to pray. I said, 'Lord, forgive me for bugging my big sister and let my family know that I love them.' And I said, ‘Amen.’”
Soon after, her kidnapper left her alone in the car with his keys. Midsi escaped and flagged down a truck driver who called the police. They returned Midsi to her family and arrested her kidnapper, who confessed to killing ten other girls. He was convicted and later died in prison.
Even though Midsi was safe, her innocence was gone forever.
“I just wanted to hide. I didn't wanna talk about what happened to me because I felt like nobody knew or understood. I felt like I was the only one in the world. I could no longer look at myself as a kid because I was introduced to these adult things, and it really broke my spirit. I was always sad, depressed, worried.”
By middle school, Midsi’s depression turned inward. She began drinking and using drugs regularly to numb the pain. By 14, she was a full-blown alcoholic.
“I never wanted to let anybody get close enough to me to hurt me again. For many years, my life revolved around alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy, gang fights, being arrested and just hating the world because I really believed that there was no good in this world. I had so much rage and anger inside of me that I didn't even need a reason to fight. I just fought.”
Then, at 16, Midsi heard about another missing 8-year-old girl. Midsi felt compelled to help, so she sobered up long enough to get involved, organizing searches and even sharing her own story to raise awareness. When the girl’s body was found a few days later, the tragedy only added to Midsi’s pain. “I didn't understand why I got to come home, and why she didn't, and that's when I started to feel guilty.”
Midsi went right back to her destructive lifestyle. Even the birth of her daughter the following year didn’t change her heart. “That hate that I was holding onto was causing me to stay drunk because I still had this ugliness in my heart that I wasn't willing to let go.”
Then, her best friend’s mom invited her to church. “I didn't know what to expect, but I was drawn to go. I felt led to go up to the altar because I wanted to give my life to God. And I felt the presence of God overwhelm me. And in that moment, I knew that God's power was real.”
Midsi dedicated her life to Christ. However, something was still missing. “I was so angry and just full of stress and torment. I was doing things that I didn't wanna do. I just couldn't stop doing them.”
Midsi spent time reading her Bible and was discipled by her pastors, who stressed the importance of forgiveness. “They taught me that my healing depended on how well I forgive and ask for forgiveness. It changed my life because I was holding on to so much bitterness and unforgiveness for the people that hurt me. My whole life, I was told by multiple people that I did not have to forgive the man that kidnapped and raped me.”
Soon after, Midsi met with her pastors over a Zoom call for a time of deliverance and prayer. “They called things out of me by name. And when they called out the anger, the abuse, the trauma, I felt a demon come out of my body. I felt the fire of God come over my body, and it was like a refreshing fire that started at my feet and came up my body. I repented and asked God to forgive me for all of the wicked things that I did out of my anger and bitterness. I forgave the man that kidnapped me for what he did to me, and when I said, ‘I forgive Curtis Dean Anderson,’ the bitterness and the unforgiveness left me. I was literally standing taller, and I had instant joy and peace and all of a sudden, just didn't wanna drink anymore. It shifted my life. I've never been the same.”
Midsi says now she is free to confidently fulfill God’s purpose in her life. She started a non-profit, The Midsi Sanchez Foundation, to help missing and exploited children.
“My identity before was the kidnapped girl. My identity now is in Christ. It was only through Jesus Christ that I was able to get all of that ugliness removed out of my body, and my mind, and my heart. I gave God all of my anger and He gave me peace. He gave me freedom.”
To learn more about Midsi's foundation, please visit www.MidsiSanchez.org.
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