Hannah is a 16 year old Muslim girl. At 12, she received a scholarship to go to school in Kampala. Her father did not realize that it was a Christian high school. A Bible was on the supply list, but because he wasn’t paying for her education, he bought it for her.
In her first year of school, she did not care much about the things of God, or academics for that matter. She was hanging out with friends and not working very hard in school. When she finished, she had to write exams in order to qualify for another scholarship. Knowing she had not done well, she was very worried about losing her scholarship. She even contemplated suicide instead of facing the shame of losing it. She told God that if He was real, could He please get her a scholarship, even if she did not do well in the exam?
While she was home on break, her family went away for the day. She convinced her mom that she needed to stay home for something, but she had made plans to kill herself while they were gone. She had a rope so she could hang herself. That same day, just before she gave in to despair, she learned that her school had decided not to cut anyone from the scholarship program, regardless of how they did on their exam. She knew then that God was real and He had saved her life that day. She decided to serve Him all her life.
Yesterday, Hannah came to Victory Church where we were meeting to do door-to-door ministry. The evening before, she had gathered her siblings to pray with them. While she was praying, her father walked in and found them. Surprisingly, he did not interrupt her prayer but waited until she was finished. Hannah was surprised and relieved that he, being a devout Muslim man, did not beat her for praying in his house. He did tell Hannah that if she prayed in his house again, he would either disown her and kick her out or he would kill her. He would not have the name of Jesus mentioned in his home. The next day, Hannah went to her mother’s workplace to help her. Her father had gone away for the day to attend a funeral. Her mother told her she did not need her and sent her home. Hannah was discouraged at being at home alone for the day, worrying about what might happen when her father came home. On her way home, she met her cousin, Innocent. She shared her story with him, as he also was a believer. Innocent’s father had kicked him out of his house for his faith, so he presently lives with Pastor Joachim. He shared how there was a group doing ministry at the church that afternoon and she should come have them pray for her. Then she knew why God had her mother send her home.
Hannah’s father had once been a very rich man, but they were now extremely poor. When she was born, he had been involved with Satanists. They wanted him to offer her as a sacrifice to Satan, but he refused. They then proceeded to destroy his business and reputation until he had nothing left. He has been an angry and bitter man since then, and regularly abuses his many wives and children. Hannah told me if he would just surrender to Jesus, she knows all of that would change, but he can’t see that he needs Jesus. The enemy has had a plan against Hannah’s life since day one, but God has a greater plan! I shared with her about what great things God is going to do through her and her faith in him.
Hannah shared with me that she does not know what to do, because she cannot live her life without prayer – it is prayer that helps her get through each day. She is awaiting her present test results to find out if she will retain her scholarship. If she does, then she will return to Kampala in February to her Christian high school where she is able to learn more of God and worship Him freely.
As we sat under a tree in the shade, we talked of Gideon, how his situation seemed hopeless and yet God was the victor. I told her that Gideon was afraid, hiding in a wine press, and the angel called him a brave and mighty warrior. He did not feel or look like a mighty warrior, but that was how God saw him. It was so interesting as we read the story together, how so many things in Gideon’s story reminded me of Hannah’s story – a story of hopelessness that turned into a great story of how God was glorified.
Hannah gave me permission to tell her story, so that others would pray for her. She is a young girl of great faith who understands the power of prayer. Please pray for her test results to come back with a scholarship for her to return to school. Pray for her mother, who no longer believes there is a God after living in such a difficult marriage. Pray for Hannah’s father – that he will find Jesus himself. Pray for encouragement and strength and courage for Hannah as she continues to live for her Jesus, no matter the consequences.
Could you be part of someone’s transformational story? Find out what God has for your life, and how you can reach out to others. Learn about the Discipleship Training School.