Advent: The Weary World Rejoices

God’s Word heals an African woman suffering the pain of childhood abuse

“I had been suffering since my childhood,” says Amina*. Her mother died when she was just a young girl living in West Africa. Shortly afterward, her father remarried.

Amina’s stepmother abused her and her brothers badly. She subjected them to intensive housework, often waking them up with a stick so they could perform their duties. They were given very little food to eat, or food so rotten it wasn’t edible.

“The situation made me grudge against my stepmother. It was so strong in my heart that my blood pressure was constantly high. I had nightmares and my breathing was like choking.”

Amina eventually got married and left. But she continued to suffer silently. Nightmares tormented her sleep. There was no escape from the pain of being abused and neglected for years.

Until God broke through.

Healed from Trauma

Trapped in cycles of despair, Amina decided to attend a Bible-based trauma healing group offered at a local church. Amina was placed in a group of about six people. The group read and listened to others’ stories of pain. A trained facilitator helped them talk through these stories, integrating it with God’s Word.

Then Amina shared her story of pain. And the process of healing began.

In one group exercise, Amina wrote down her deepest wounds on a piece of paper and then burned it at the base of the cross. This would symbolize her desire to give her pain to God.

“I had written sincerely everything that hurt me. I watched the burning paper. And I continued to pray. That night I slept deeply and, in the morning, I felt very strong.”

God healed Amina’s brokenness. But it didn’t end there.

“My total healing came after the session on forgiveness. I decided to forgive her (Amina’s stepmother) and even I made her a phone call during the break.”

Praise God for setting Amina free from despair and unforgiveness! He is the healer. And he wants to emotionally and spiritually heal all those enduring wounds of the soul and spirit. Will you pray for people like Amina to be comforted by God’s love?

Let’s Pray Together

God, your Word says you are near to the broken-hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Today, we pray that you will comfort and be near to those who are suffering.

*Name changed to protect identity.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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