"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you in with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt...and go out to dance with the joyful." - Jeremiah 31: 3-4

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The God of all comfort...

I'm continually amazed by the sufferings of these people. The things that they have become used to are things that would completely disgust us in America. For example, after a boy is circumcised here which is usually around the young adolescent years, they believe that they have to "cleanse" themselves and in order to do that they must have sex with a young girl. More times than not, the boy will rape a child because he thinks he has to. Another thing that they believe here is that if you have sex with a virgin you can rid yourself of HIV. Just imagine how many young innocent girls are being forced into having sex because the boys and men believe these ridiculous things!

We were at the Shimo school on Friday hanging out with the kids for a while. I was speaking to a group of girls around the ages of 14, 15 and 16. I wear a purity ring on my left ring finger where my wedding ring will someday go. It's not uncommon for the girls to ask me if I am married because of it so I wasn't surprised to have my ring pointed at by one of the girls. "What do you wear that for? Are you married?" I looked up at the girl. She looked young and had kind eyes and was very beautiful. "No, I'm not married. This is a purity ring. It means that since I've gotten this ring I won't have sex until I get married." It was the first time I had explained my ring in the nature. Usually I just told the girls that it was a symbol of Jesus protecting my heart as I showed them the small silver cross covering an outline of a heart. But I felt compelled to share the truth this time. The response from the girl caught me slightly off guard. "What if you are raped?" My mouth opened to speak but I realized that I had no response to her question. I muttered something about it being a terrible thing that is out of our control but I knew that wasn't what I wanted to say. All of this was as we were getting ready to leave and walk back home so I looked her in the eye and told her that I would be back on Monday and I wanted to talk to her more when I came back. She nodded and walked away with her friends.

I often used to ask God why I had to go through all the things that I went through. Why didn't He reach down and lift me out of my suffering and pain? He's God, right? He's supposed to be able to do anything. Then I came across 2 Corinthians 1:3-5...
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have
received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our
lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
Because of my suffering, I can come alongside of these girls and help them through their pain. Maybe I haven't experienced the ultimate weight of their despair but I have definitely felt used, worthless and hopeless. I'll be the first to tell you that my life has not always been full of sunshine and happiness. But thanks to Jesus, I can now boldly say that my life is full of light! That is something that I pray for these girls... for them to experience the joy of Jesus Christ and the miraculous changes He can bring!

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