Hedwig is from Paraguay, and she married Colin, a minister from Bermuda. Together they followed a call to serve the people of East Africa. While crossing the border of Sudan and Uganda a couple of years ago, their car was ambushed by child soldiers of the LRA. The soldiers barely spared her life and the life of the child she carried in her womb, but they mercilessly murdered Colin while she watched. As she held him, wearing his blood all over her body, she looked into the faces of the soldiers and noticed one was a girl.
In that moment Hedwig decided to forgive these soldiers. Two years later she and her daughter moved to that very region of Uganda so that she could be with and love the young girls who were abducted as LRA soldiers. She wanted them to feel the healing she received from forgiveness. So she lives in a home with and shares her life with a handful of young women—former child soldiers--and their children. Everyone affectionately calls her “Mama Shekinah” after the beautiful little girl in her womb when Colin died. She and Colin had already decided to name her Shekinah, which means “the settling presence of God” in Hebrew. Amen.
So I was thrilled this morning to receive an e-mail from Sarita, a young woman from the U.S. who lives and works with Mama Shekinah in a ministry called Zion Project. Her house and Mama Shekinah’s house work together to move towards healing. After our Pray With Africa visit to Mama Shekinah’s house, Serita decided to start asking the ladies for their prayer requests. They now have a sheet of paper on their wall to list their prayer requests and their answered prayers. They created a prayer schedule, also, for one of them to spend 30 minutes to one hour in prayer each day for their home and for each other.
Here is part of the message she sent to me today:
- Janet and Stella both got offered jobs at the best hotel in town. Stella got offered a position as a head cook, even though she's only been working there about a month and a half. :) Praise God for favor!
- Janet stood up to her ex boyfriend and has not been tempted to go back to him. She is spiritually hungry and growing every day.
- Two of my girls got to go to a counseling retreat for a week, this week. One for free. It will be hugely transformative for them.
- All my girls will be going to vocational school for free starting this month. Huge answer to prayer.
- Our house: More relationship with God and being filled with the holy spirit. More kingdom living. Expecting miracles. More peace unity and love between us....an end to ridiculous conflicts.
- Janet: that her ex-boyfriend will stop harassing her at work, for a bible, for her to perform well at her job.
- Florence Ayet--that she can finish her vocational studies well
- Stella---pray against anger and for more spiritual growth
- Florence--peace and love in the house as well as her studies
- Pauline--Patience, money for her classes and that she will study well
- Pamela--that her baby Maria will recover quickly from the illness she has had for two months
- Irene--patience, and her studies
- Josephine---for health for her and her baby so she can study well
- Sarita--more time with God, wisdom on how to handle house issues, patience and more abounding love of God; God's strategy for the future
And for Gulu: We long to see more miracles here and to see the pastors come together in love and unity and in relationship.
Also pray for the safety of the innocent abductees in the bush who are being targeted through the military offensive Operation Lightning Thunder which is supposed to force Kony to surrender but thus far has claimed the lives of over half a million people since December 14th. Read more.
Today I'm praying with these amazing women in Gulu. Pray with me.
When I met Pamela, one of the women with Sarita and Mama Shekinah, she asked me to pray that she might forgive the LRA soldier who raped her. Her daughter Maria is a real example of beauty from ashes; her "father" is the rapist.