A Visit from Rebecca’s Mom by Stacie Larsen

Today I had a visit from Mary, Rebecca’s mom. She had been to the compound on Sunday and talked with Sabet for a while. I was sick so I missed seeing her. Fortunately, she came back today. She has been walking from the village to Tonj a few times a week to bring food to Rebecca in prison since the food there had been making her sick. Mary has a garden in the village where she has grown ground nuts. Once she harvests them next week, she’ll come back to Tonj to be closer to Rebecca.

Mary was very discouraged today. Life has been hard on her since Rebecca’s involvement in the scandal. Mary’s husband blames Rebecca and took away Mary’s bike so she has to walk two hours each way to come to Tonj. He is also refusing to help Mary find a home here. So right now, when Mary comes to Tonj, she doesn’t have a place to stay. People are still upset about the scandal and don’t want to help her. I see her as just a mom, trying to help her daughter out.

So Mary is worried about a home, worried about food for Rebecca, worried about so many things. She asked me to read her something from the Bible to encourage her. I said I would be glad to and as I walked to my room to get my Bible, I asked the Holy Spirit to give me the verses to share with her. I began with Philippians 4:6,7 which talks about worrying about nothing, praying about everything, thanking God for what he has done and experiencing his peace. Then we looked at Matthew 6:25-34 which tells us not to worry. Just as God provides for the birds and flowers, how much more does he love us? Of course he will provide for us too. Then out of my Bible fell out a small card telling the “Footprints in the Sand” story. I intended to give it to Rebecca on Wednesday, but forgot. God must have known Mary needed it more. So, I showed her my tattoo of footprints and told her the story. Although she doesn’t read English, I gave her the card and told her whenever she looks at that card to remember that God carries us through the storms. Then we prayed. She rested her hands on her legs and buried her head in her lap. After we finished praying, I saw that she was crying. Whenever I see someone from here cry, it breaks my heart. This culture is so strong and tough, that when someone cries, you know they are deeply hurting.

Margaret had joined us by then and we invited Mary to come next Wednesday when we see Rebecca again. She said she would. She also said she was leaving feeling more encouraged than when she came. When she was alone in the village, she would cry all the time and bad thoughts would fill her heart and her mind. Now she has good things to fill her heart and mind with. Thank you God for the peace that comes from your word.