Esther and Bernard (pictured) travelled to a village near Serenje to run a Dignity training event. When they arrived, nobody was there to meet them. Rose* came to introduce herself and welcomed them into her home. She was a member of the church where the training was to be held.
Rose attended the training and after a while came to speak to Esther. She said, “I don’t normally welcome visitors. My husband John* was very surprised that I welcomed you into our house. It was very strange and surprising, even to me. Maybe it’s because of the teachings that you have come with.” She went on to explain that having heard the teams teaching about unity she felt challenged to reach out to her cousin from who she had been estranged for 2 years. Following encouragement from Esther, Rose decided to take action. She stood up at the front of the church to tell her story and said that her heart was being softened. As she spoke a lady stood up in the room and introduced herself as Rose’s cousin. Esther explains, “I became concerned as I hadn’t realised the cousin was there and I didn’t know what she was about to say. But the cousin said that the Lord has spoken into her life and that she wanted to put things right. We were all surprised. We never expected that to happen. We also stood up and
we danced to the Lord. Everyone rejoiced!”
When it was time to leave, John offered the team a lift back to the town. Bernard was surprised. On their first visit John had been very standoffish and distant. As they were in the car John said, “God has come and helped my family to reconcile through this training. I am humbled.” He then began to share his own story confessing that he mistreats his wife Rose. He said that he sends her to work in the fields like a slave and doesn’t help her. If she makes any mistakes he beats her. John said, “From this point onwards I’m promising to change, I need God to help me.” Bernard and Esther prayed with him and have promised to return soon to encourage the family as they begin to heal the wounds that have been so entrenched.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.