Hope came looking…
When we first met Zamu, she was a friendly Muslim mother of six who reluctantly let us share the word with her but remained firm in her religion.
“…I liked what he [Jesus] stood for; what’s wrong with someone saying don’t steal, don’t kill? So I always attended the Every Life discipleship groups in my neighbourhood whenever I was able to. I formed a friendship with the Every Life team who would regularly visit me, little did I know they would be a source of God’s blessing in my life.”
Her living situation was not good but went from bad to worse in a very short time. She lost her job, was thrown out of her house, had to pull her children out of school and was often unable to feed them. The situation hit her so hard that she fell into severe depression and as a result her extended family decided to take her to a traditional healer or witch doctor.
While there though, her mental state deteriorated further, her children were split between relatives while she remained with her 16 year old daughter who became her sole carer. She began to have terrifying hallucinations, leaving everyone around thinking she was insane.
“I could hear all kinds of terrifying voices and in dreams, I saw different animals chasing after me. I had no peace and I had lost hope that I would live.”
When we heard of her situation, we sent a team to see Zamu and found that her physical health was almost as bad as her mental state. We checked her into Butabiika hospital where she stayed for three weeks on medication after being diagnosed with psychosis and severe depression.
Although we try to deal with most issues at home in communities, sometimes a family needs more intensive support for full restoration. In these cases we have just the solution… intervention in the form of emergency housing and a safe space to heal at our Family Centre. This serene, countryside space, was the perfect place for Zamu and her family to recuperate for three months. She was supported spiritually, financially and emotionally; this not only relieved the pressure on her, but gave her enough space to focus on building relationship with her children. She learnt more about Jesus from our team and to occupy her time, Zamu would also regularly read the bible, finding it a great encouragement. We ran a children’s camp at the centre near the conclusion of their stay and at the end of the weekend asked if anyone wanted to give their lives to Jesus and be baptised. Zamu and her two eldest daughters were the first forward.
Zamu still takes the medication, but has managed to go back to her former workplace and got her job back as a cook. She also has a small business of making liquid soap and five of her children are back in school.
“Hope came looking for me, though at first I did not recognise it… When I reflect on the time I spent at the Every Life Family Centre I’m filled with gratitude. The only reason I am still alive is because of Jesus.”