War and genocide came to Eve’s village when she was just a teenager. Her world as she knew it was turned upside down. Eve and her family were forced to flee. Like so many women in our world, Eve never had the opportunity to attend school (women make up 2/3 of the population of illiterate people in our world according to the UN). Eve married at a young age and had two beautiful daughters named Lily and Jenny. She dreamed that one day her daughters would have the opportunity to attend school.
Eve moved to Uganda three years ago as a refugee and enrolled in English classes at our refugee community center. Unfortunately, Eve was continually verbally and physically abused by her husband. In the spring of 2013, Eve’s husband called her to inform her that he was divorcing her and no longer supporting her, Lily, or Jenny. Dismayed and desperate, Eve made a twenty-four-hour bus ride to attempt to reconcile with her husband. For the next eight months, her husband continually abused her. Then war started again in her area. Eve described hearing gunshots for several days. Some of these shots were right outside of her door. During this time, she was afraid for the her life and for the life of her daughters. She would lay on top of them to protect them and pray to Jesus who she had learned was the prince of peace and a God who loved and gave grace.
Through God’s provision, Eve found a way back to Uganda in January of this year. She was severely traumatized and discouraged. We met regularly to pray together and talk about things. In May, Eve was invited to participate in our women’s empowerment program. She had the opportunity to receive individual and group counseling, discipleship through nightly Bible study, English, life skills, and vocational and business training. Eve went through a significant period of healing and transformation. She loved learning about the Bible and excelled in her business and vocational training classes. Still, she continued to struggle with not being able to fully afford paying for her daughter’s school fees. She shared with a women’s ministry staff, “ I regret not being with my husband. I wish I endured the beatings. At least my girls would be able to be in school. I cannot support them.” Eve sold all of the jewelry that she had in order to enroll her girls in school. She is a mother who is determined to give her girls the opportunity for an education that she never had.
In the last month and a half, after transitioning from the program, Eve has successfully found ,a job and is now in safe housing. Still, her monthly wages are only enough to be able to afford transportation, food and rent for her family. At the end of July, a group of children from a church in Gainesville, Georgia, raised money during their VBS to help pay for Lily and Jenny’s school fees. Thanks to their hard work and generosity, Lily and Jenny will be able attend school during the upcoming term. I had the privilege of sharing this news with Eve one day last week. As I shared, tears came to my eyes as I saw this heavy burden being lifted off of Eve’s shoulders. A huge smile came across her face. She immediately wrapped her arms around me and said “Oh thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!! I am so happy!!!!
I am deeply grateful to those who have made it possible for Eve to attend the Women’s Empowerment program where she gained a deeper understanding of God’s love, hope, grace, and purpose for her life. I am also deeply grateful for the group of children from across the world who have now made it possible for Lily and Jenny to attend school, an opportunity not afforded to so many girls in our world.
God has provided through this group of children. Thanks to God’s provision, Eve’s dreams for her daughters has now come true.
Missy Ward Angalla serves in Uganda as a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel. She is the refugee women’s advocacy coordinator with Refuge and Hope International. This post first appeared on her blog, Missy in Uganda.