Out of the Wilderness: Escaping My Father's Prison and My Journey to Forgiveness (Paperback)
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An Incredible Story of Courage and Overcoming.
Elishaba Doerksen was the oldest of fifteen children born to ex-hippies Robert and Kurina Hale—also known as Papa Pilgrim and Country Rose. Elishaba grew up in a dilapidated 340-square-foot log cabin in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of New Mexico, isolated from civilization by a fundamentalist father intent on keeping his large family cloistered from a godless world. When she was nineteen, Papa Pilgrim began taking liberties with Elishaba in unimaginable ways and beating her—and her siblings—when he judged them to be “rebellious.”
The horrific sexual and physical abuse continued after the family moved to a remote valley in the Alaska wilderness. After ten years of terrifying mistreatment, Elishaba gathered her courage to make a run for it on a snowmobile. What happens next is the basis for a powerful, dramatic story about perseverance, faith, and redemption, as well as forgiveness.
This is the first time that Elishaba has told her side of a story that garnered national attention with major articles in the Washington Post, NPR, and Outside magazine as well as a significant buzz on social media. She needed time to heal, but now she’s ready to tell the world what it was like living with Papa Pilgrim—and how she overcame some of the worst trauma a daughter can experience at the hands of a father.
About the Author
Elishaba Doerksen is the oldest of fifteen children born to ex-hippies Robert and Kurina Hale, otherwise known as Papa Pilgrim and Country Rose. She grew up in a dilapidated 341-square-foot log cabin in the mountains of New Mexico, isolated from civilization by a fundamentalist father intent on keeping his large family isolated from a godless world. When she was nineteen, her father began molesting her in unimaginable ways as well as hitting, beating, and whipping her--and her siblings--when they were judged by him to be "rebellious." The horrific sexual and physical abuse continued after the family moved to an isolated valley in the Alaska wilderness. Ever the dutiful daughter, but confused between what she read in the Bible and the reality of her abusive relationship with her father, it wasn't until Elishaba attempted a daring escape on a snowmobile that she was able to free herself from her ruthless and controlling father. Today, her faith in God and love for Jesus sustains her. She has been married to Matt Doerksen for nearly fifteen years, and together they are raising two children, Esther and Michael. The Doerksens make their home outside of Palmer, Alaska. Her website is elishaba.com.
"Every good memoir takes us on a journey toward understanding, but rarely has a writer led us through a wilderness as dark as Hillbilly Heaven. Hold onto your saddle. She delivers us, at long last, into the light."
author of Pilgrim's Wilderness and Cold Mountain Path