Women of Hope: Mara's Story - Trans World Radio Canada

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    • Nov16Wed

      Women of Hope: Mara's Story

      November 16, 2011
      Filed Under:
      Africa, TWR Women of Hope

      Women of Hope

      Mara's Story

      TWR Canada has long supported and promoted Project Hannah, a unique advocacy ministry to women. How do you reach women who are hidden, isolated by culture or religion, and - for many very real reasons - are afraid to come out in the open? Project Hannah and the Women of Hope broadcasts are reaching through those barriers and changing women's lives with the Word of God. Mara's story is tragic and all too common, but there is always hope.

      Mara's Story

      I remember I was 13, a young girl in Africa, my mother's little girl. I played with my brothers and listened to stories at my mother's feet. Life was safe and good. But my life changed overnight.

      One day, an older man I had never met came to visit my father. They drank all day, laughed and told stories into the night. I had no idea I was the topic of conversation, or that I was about to become a bride!

      The wedding ceremony was short and simple. The next morning, I said goodbye to my family and everything I had ever known. This strange man, now my husband, took me to his village. My father had paid a lot of money for him to take me away. I was now his property.

      I was very lonely and homesick. Babies came one after another. My husband wanted nothing to do with the children. Before long, he became brutal.
      He staggered home drunk and beat me on the nights he didn't spend with other women. I was tired of the beatings, of being sick, of having babies. I wanted to be free, but there was no escape.

      One day, my husband brought home a man from my old village who was selling radios. Only wealthy villagers had radios. I couldn't believe it when he gave me one for my very own. A gift! The man said people in his village talked about a man named Jesus. He showed me how to hear about Jesus on my radio.

      Every week, I cranked the handle on the radio to listen to the Women of Hope program. I identified with the voices on the radio. People in my village think women are worthless, but these people on the radio were speaking to me! They said I was precious and had value. I learned how to care for my children. The stories of Jesus healed my pain and gave me hope.

      My life did not change, but my fear and sadness left. I sang to my children and told them stories from the Bible. My husband continued to beat me, but instead of crying, I smiled. Then one day, I saw a shadow in the doorway! It was my husband. He just stood there looking at me. He didn't shout. He didn't beat me. After a few minutes, he said, "I'm sorry, Mara..." I was shocked!

      He had been sitting outside the window while I was listening to my radio. He learned about the god who forgives and was asking for my forgiveness. He saw that God had changed me, and knew that God would change him too. God answered my prayers.

      That's the kind of God we serve, and these are the stories we hear from women changed by the Women of Hope broadcasts. Lives are being changed, not just women's lives, but their children and husbands too. What a mighty God! Learn more about TWR Canada's Project Hannah ministry to women here.SaveSave