But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that bought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
She was 18 years old, painfully thin, with downcast eyes and shoulders that drooped. Sores were already breaking out on her dark brown skin, and her ragged and faded dress hung on her fragile frame. She'd run away earlier this year to live with a boyfriend, an older man who promised to love and cherish and care for her, but who likely abused her and gave her AIDS before moving on to another young victim. It is a scenario that is repeated countless times here in Sub-Saharan Africa, and one with which we've become all too familiar.
I met her because she'd returned home ( a tiny two-room concrete structure) to her mother and seven siblings with nowhere else to go, and no hope. Time will tell if she is pregnant. Her mother was hosting our regular Bible study in front of her house, and was running late from her job as a housekeeper, so the daughter was obediently there to greet me, which gave me some precious time to engage in small talk with her in an effort to help her to relax in my presence.
Praise God she decided to stay for our Bible study. Afterward, with no altar call, no soft music, no prompting, she asked to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Her mom and I joined together in leading her in a simple sinner's prayer, and then praying over the new creation that she now is. She still has a hard road ahead, but now she has eternal hope.