Week 1 - Serving the Most Vulnerable
Sexual abuse is rife in the poorest communities. In Zambia, minors are forced into the sex trade due to poverty and vulnerability. In Nigeria, many women have no choice but to become prostitutes, often working in their homes and sending their children into the streets. Pray for women, men, and children who are forced, or feel they have no choice, but to put themselves in danger in order to survive. Ask God to perform a miracle in their lives so they can be free.
Blessings Sambo, a member of our Regional Support Team for Zambia (and Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi), knows the stories of girls whose lives are shattered by sexual abuse in Zambia.
In the community of Chisamba, a family had three sick girls and looked to a respected man for help. He was often asked to visit the homes of the sick and pray for healing. At this home, he asked for each of the sick girls to be brought to him one by one so he could pray with them alone. During these times, he sexually abused the girls, and took advantage of their vulnerability, telling them their medicine would not work if they told others. The three girls also have an older sister who later asked the man for help. He also attempted to sexually abuse her, but she was able to escape. She confided in her sisters about what he had done, and because of her honesty and vulnerability, they felt safe to reveal that he had abused them. Today, the three younger sisters have each borne a child from this man. But one ray of hope in this story is the courage the older sister had to refuse this man, and how her boldness gave her sisters courage to speak out about their own trauma.
Blessings and his team are committed to bringing transformation to the community of Chisamba where abuse is rife. They are encouraging our local volunteer Care Workers to be an example of Jesus – to be vessels of God’s protection for the most vulnerable children: “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise," says the Lord. "I will protect them from those who malign them.” – Psalm 12:5 (NIV)