Facing Death, Finding Life
In 2019, I met Sarah (not her real name), one of the most radiant people I have ever met. She shared her story with me.
“When I was 15, I was engaged to Daniel, but that year, my mother died. When I was 17, my father died and I went to live with an aunt. One day, a man came to my aunt and offered her $300USD to buy me as a “second wife.” My aunt agreed and sold me to the man. He took me to his home and handcuffed me to a chain. Then he broke both my feet and took all my clothes.
“I suffered greatly over that time. The man and his wife would often torture me, rape me, starve me, and force me to work. After seven years, the man told me that I had to become a Muslim or he would kill me. I refused.
“While the man and his wife were away, his brother came to me and said, ‘You must become a Muslim. He is returning tomorrow to kill you if you will not convert.’ I still refused and so he said, ‘If you’re not going to become a Muslim then you had better run.’
“The man unlocked my chains and I fled. I could barely walk, but I made it to the next village and then the one beyond. It was a miracle, but I found Daniel. It had been over seven years since we last saw each other, but he had not married anyone else. In fact, he had been looking for me. I was so thankful! We got married, but the man who held me captive was still seeking to kill me, so we fled the country.”
When Sarah and Daniel arrived in the new country, they went through the asylum-seeking process, but were denied.
“For the last six years, I have struggled with anger, pain, rage, grief and bitterness. But then earlier this year, I was given a copy of one of your books in Urdu. As I was reading it, the love of God became so real for me! His love has healed me and washed away my pain! This is the first time I’ve been able to talk about my past without crying. In fact, when I think of my time in slavery, I can’t feel any pain in the memory! I no longer have any resentment towards the man who enslaved and tortured me for all those years. All I can feel is love and joy! In fact, I can see how my time in slavery led me to this place of love, and so I would go through it all again just to have this love in my life!”
Sarah now beams with an uncontainable joy. There are many other women like Sarah in Pakistan, especially in the kilns. So we are increasing our investment in a trauma recovery programme to help others experience the same level of healing love and joy in their lives.