People who have been abused have long memories of what they have suffered at the hands of their abusers; their pain stays with them impacting their self-perceptions and relationships.
Then when they come face-to-face with Jesus the pain rises to the surface and they are able to resolve the hurt and feelings of guilt that the abuse is somehow their fault.
“During church visits our volunteer teams talk with many people who have been abused, not always as children, and who have buried their feelings deep within themselves” says international coordinator Tassie Ghata.
As an example she shares the story of a 57 year old woman who remembers clearly what happened to her when she was seven. Tassie’s message that Sunday morning brought everything back to her. She realised the hurt and guilt were affecting her relationship with her husband.
Grace & Light counselling after the service helped her come to terms with what happened and forgive her abuser. She learnt the abuse was not her fault and she has let go of the guilt she felt.
“Another attitude change we are seeing is church congregations more willing to test for HIV/ AIDS and to share their status with those close to themselves. They are ready to live God-centred lives and accept encouragement from others in their churches.
“We are seeing this especially in North East Nigeria because congregations are hearing our message of social righteousness over and over again as we visit their churches multiple times.
“They are making up their minds to live differently, to be good stewards of their time and to behave in ways that honour God at work and in their communities.”
Nine volunteer teams have been active during April to September. Between them the Jos, Yola, Gombe, Obudu, Lafia, Mangu, Jalingo, Hong and Abuja teams visited 54 local churches.
In total these teams shared the gospel of social righteousness with 15,589 people and tested 1,580 for HIV/ AIDS. Ten people tested positive and are now receiving ongoing support.
Out of those who tested 1,530 people (97%) chose to be open about their HIV status with family and close friends.
Many stepped into deeper relationships with God. Two thousand six hundred and eighty people rededicated their lives to Christ and another 284 made first commitments.
The volunteer teams also set up new Voluntary Savings and Accountability Groups (VSAG) groups in these churches.
Please pray for:
- Adults and children who have been abused; that they can turn to God and give their hurt, guilt and desire for revenge to him. To let go of the hurt and step into his loving arms.