the God of Restoration
by Maribeth Hynnes Stevens, TWR Women of HOpe volunteer
It’s almost too painful to contemplate: Could you survive being repeatedly raped over a period of years and then ultimately forgive your attackers? Put yourself in the place of Aya,* who suffered continual sexual abuse from age 11 to 13.
Much later, the Côte d’Ivoire woman listened to the Women of Hope broadcast about sexual abuse and restoration and then got in touch with the response team to discuss the ordeal she experienced.
“It had completely destroyed me. … It led to hatred anger and disgust,” Aya said. “I had questions about God and why he didn’t keep me from being raped.”
The broadcast helped changed Aya’s outlook and her life. She realized God had protected her from getting pregnant. Aya also made the difficult but important decision to forgive her attackers, realizing that “to forgive those who have violated me will set me free.”
“I must obey God who has forgiven me, so I also forgive those who have offended me,” she said
God brought restoration to Aya’s life. She is now a happy wife and mother of four children.
Another listener of the Women of Hope radio broadcast in Tanzania shared with the team about how the programmes brought change in what had been an abusive marriage.
She related, “There is a custom here that husbands must beat their wives to prove that they love them.”
She said her husband would beat her for any reason, large or small. Aliyah* started listening to the Women of Hope programmes and began praying about her marriage and the beatings she received.
She was able to report, “The habit of beating me has stopped. My husband respects me more than he has ever done before.”
With praise, Aliyah thanks God for the change he has brought about in her marriage.
* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the listeners.