Joy Tanchi: Pastor’s teen daughter raped by seven men
Joy Tanchi was an unassuming 15-years old teen in 1992. She saw the world as a peaceful place. Joy and her siblings were trained in propriety and were blessed with a comfortable life. Her parents shielded them from a corrupt society, tucked away on the hills of Antipolo. It was their little paradise protected by love and prayers, yet evil knocked at their door.
It was Friday, Joy was supposed to be with her friends elsewhere but her parents suggested a sleepover at their house. It felt safer for them to be home for the weekends with friends. Joy’s parents were leading a Bible Study in Makati that night. What could possibly go wrong?.
Evil at the doorstep
It was about six in the evening when Joy’s uncle, her dad’s cousin arrived to deliver their monthly rice supply. Lurking outside were a band of thieves. They monitored the family’s moves and waited for the delivery. As the gate opened for the truck, the robbers went behind it and sneaked inside the premises. They dashed through the front door armed with guns and knives and made their way inside the house.
It was a carefully thought plan. They rounded up Joy’s two younger sisters, younger brother, two helpers, driver, her dad’s cousin, his wife and child, and a missionary family who rented an apartment below the main house. The ten robbers managed to subdue everyone with little resistance. Then the doorbell rang at 7 PM. Joy’s friends Irene and Lana were at the gate. To avoid any suspicion, they were invited in and like spoils of war, the robbers claimed their booty.
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Raped and abused on her own bed
Numb in horror, “I was raped and sexually abused on my very own bed, in my bathroom, in my brother’s room by a total of seven men,” Joy said in her blog. The men said nasty things and made her do unimaginable things. Joy had never been kissed nor had a boyfriend at that time. Her friends Irene and Lana weren’t spared either. What followed next was equally intense.
Let’s kill everyone!
After the frenzy, the robbers realized things were getting out of hand. Then the doorbell rang again. Consequently, they panicked and asked Joy to go to the gate and pretend everything was fine. Then one of the men said, “let’s kill them now!” Joy immediately went outside. She met Lana’s parents at the gate who dropped by for a quick visit.
Quick thinking, Joy told the parents there are robbers inside the house. They got the picture and everyone pretended and said goodbye. Joy could have tried to escape, but she felt she had to go back and face whatever fate was waiting for her and her siblings. Meantime, Lana’s parents sent word to others and many began to pray.
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A sudden change of heart
The vile men rounded everyone and were aiming for the kill. Joy hoped she could go first, then a miracle happened. As everyone prayed silently on their own, the men suddenly changed their mind and decided to leave instead. They took Joy’s Uncle, his wife, and their son as hostage. They drove off using their truck.
The robbers asked to be dropped elsewhere and unexpectedly, they let go of their hostage. Indeed, what God told the prophet Jeremiah has come to them, “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 1:19)
Telling a difficult story
Soon, family friends arrived at the house. If they came much earlier, things would have ended differently. The girls were immediately taken to a New Tribes’ Missionary facility. When Joy’s parents arrived at the boarding home, she said, “Mom, Dad, I was raped.” It was the most difficult words she had to tell her parents. Although it took time for Joy to move on, it became easier when she forgave the men who raped her.
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Why would a loving God allow such evil?
Joy Tanchi was made whole again and no longer fears men. Her shame turned to God’s glory. She met Edric Mendoza which is a unique love story to tell. They have six wonderful kids and are serving the Lord through various Christian ministries. The Tanchi family could have been bitter, yet what happened strengthened their faith.
As to why God allowed this to happen, the reason is evident to how her family stood to a grave test any child or parent can bear. Joy Tanchi’s testimony gives us comfort that we too can overcome. We can indeed be strong through Christ who alone can strengthen us. (Philippians 4:13)
Let your biggest trial be your greatest testimony!
God will test us and although it may be less tragic for the most part, the reasons are all the same. It’s for us to encourage others, to shine for God’s glory, and to share in the sufferings of Christ (Romans 8:17). Joy’s tragedy became her greatest testimony.
→ Read Joy’s full story in her book, “When a Good God Allows Rape“
Joy Tanchi’s tragedy became her greatest testimony