“I understand. I can follow Jesus now,” said Mercy.*
Mercy, a single mother of three living in a village along Lake Tanganyika, has not had an easy life. At one point, her mother took Mercy to the Muslim community to get financial help, which is how she became a Muslim.
Still struggling financially, Mercy was introduced to a Self Help Group (SHG) in a nearby village. The facilitator of the group was Purity*, a local lady from the community. She had a similar background to Mercy—a single mother with three children to raise. However, Purity had found hope in Jesus that took her out of the vulnerable situation. She knew that Jesus was who Mercy needed too.
During the six weeks of SHG training, participants learn how to connect with God and people, as well as how to address political and economic issues through God’s eyes. In the beginning, Mercy was unsure how to pray and do the Bible study sections; she was not familiar with how to speak to God.
Throughout the weeks, God opened Mercy’s eyes. One thing in particular that she noticed was that the Christians around her sincerely cared for her and wanted to help. Having discovered who Jesus is during Bible study, Mercy decided to follow Him.
Mercy was afraid to leave the Muslim community, but the members of the SHG supported her. They helped her find a flat to rent in a different area and start a business to sustain herself, as well as connected her with a church. Now Mercy is sharing her story with others and is looking forward to the day when she can share her faith with her former community. She is still part of the SHG where she continues to grow.
Purity was very happy to see how God once again touched a fellow woman though the SHG. Since being trained in 2016, Purity has been the most dedicated and faithful facilitator. She might not have the most education or strong family background, but she has a heart full of compassion and love. God has been using this ordinary lady to transform dozens of vulnerable families and the stories will continue.
Praise God for what He has done through SHGs along the lakeshore. Pray that more vulnerable women will join SHGs and their lives will be transformed by God. Pray that the facilitators will have wisdom, strength and patience from God to know how to bring the participants to follow God.