Thursday, 10 April 2008

Praying for the forgotten

I wake every morning to the Today programme on Radio 4 and whilst I read my daily Bible reading before getting up, try to pray for the needs of the world as they are reported.

This morning there was an update about a mother from Eastern Congo, whose story was first told one year ago. I remember her because her story was so appalling. But although I had been shocked and deeply moved by what was and is happening in that part of the world I forgot again as Iraq, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Madeleine McCann filled the headlines.

I don't mean to forget but I do. It is impossible to remember everyone every da. That is why it was good to be reminded again this morning and to be inspired by the trust this brave woman has in the ultimate justice of God.

Zawadi in about 30 years old. Last year Hutu Militia came to her village and bayonetted her husband, all her relatives, including two of her children whilst she watched. She was then raped repeatedly the men, who then forced her to hang her own baby. Her only surviving relative is her eldest daughter who was visiting another village that day. When asked what she wants done to the people who did this to her, she says she only wants them stopped. She does not want revenge, judgement is in the hands of God.

A year on and Zawadi is no longer in the hospital and is living in temporary accommodation with her daughter, provided by the church. The funding for this runs out soon and she does not know where she will go or how she will manage. She is too frightened to go back to her village in case the militia come back and rape her daugther. In any case, she has no family there now.

I may forget again tomorrow because there will be other stories and other issues that fill my eyes and ears but for today I remember her and pray with passion and hope for her. And for all those other victims in her part of the world whose stories never make the headlines, Father God, may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

God Bless


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