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ScoviaMany times I just cry out to God for all those I don’t even know. Those in situations that seems so dire, so intense that makes life for a “normal” Christian in the USA seem like a bed of roses. Being back from Uganda takes time to adjust IF you really can ever change back to a life that is foreign to most of the world. I was standing in the back of a Dollar Tree deciding on some foolish thing and I thought of those Christians running for their life in part of the world. We just go on with what is daily for us. It was an eerie feeling and yes, in the back of that store I did beseech God for our brothers and sisters.

Actually I want to introduce you to a remarkable woman I met this year in Uganda. Her name is Scovia and her story, history is maybe not unique for this African country, but she has survived and I want you to see her and know a bit about her. She is 36 years old and she grew up in the northern part of Uganda called Gulu which was the territory terrorized for years by “the lord’s resistance army”, led by Joseph Kony now 52 years old and still reported to be alive but in Central Africa Republic. This man took the gospel and warped it becoming a horrific agent of the enemy. He captured 66,000 children to become soldiers and sex slaves. In fear of him and the army he amassed close to 2 million Ugandans were displaced starting from 1987 when his reign begun, using the Bible and the Ten Commandments as “guides”.

Scovia, lost two of her brothers and one sister, twenty years ago to this madman. She told me how they would dig holes and hide at night and some how she managed to not be taken. To this day the family has no idea what happened to their loved ones. Were they killed, are they still living but in such shame for what they did that they would not reunited with their family?? Her stories of Kony and his “army” were very chilling to me and I will not graphically lay them out to spare you.

Scovia married young and had a daughter , Chammy, now18 years old, tall and strong, getting an education. The family moved down to Kampala area and what they could afford is in an area called Soweto by the locals and I will say, I did go in there. No cars can enter, they are only paths, twists and turns, mud and open sewage, but many people live there in huts, some small structures of concrete. I’ve read actually 20,000 people are there and many did come from the northern parts to escape the horrors of Kony. Scovia’s “house” which she lives in with her three children only measures 8 feet by 9 feet. They have been there 10 years. The children have triple bunk beds, there is one chair. They cook outside and have some privacy in a shower stall outside, but I did not ask if they had access to a pit latrine.

Look in her face and I want you to know she has HIV, her two youngest children, Sula and Naina, have HIV The three of them are on medication and miraculously have lived this long. Her husband died when she was pregnant with their son ten years ago. When he died his family blamed her, took everything they had together and even threw urine on her at the funeral as they publicly screamed at her.

Scovia’s mother is still living. I had the pleasure to meet her also, her hut is just around a corner and you pass by to get to Scovia’s place, down a very narrow dirt corridor, all live on top of each other, compacted one after another. Scovia’s mother was one of 11 children and she is the only one living. ALL and I repeat ALL of her siblings died from AIDS. Can you just try to imagine that for a moment?

Scovia has a strong faith and really a lovely personality despite all she has gone through, her hope and her future are held in the hand of God. Think of her, the family story when you are feeling God has forsaken you OR that your problems are SO BIG. I pray that I will see her again when I return in God’s timing, her health is frail but she has presses on certainly for her children and with the strength God grants her day by day.

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