Faith, Hope, and charity… but the greatest of these is charity!
Mary was ready to give up on life until Charity entered her life. Charity renewed her faith and offered hope in Christ.
Mary is from Nigeria. She came to America with her abusive husband and son. In Nigeria, women have no rights. Mary shared with us that in her culture husbands can, and sometimes do, terribly mistreat their spouse and the woman is expected to put up with it.
Mary experienced verbal, emotional, financial, physical, and sexual abuse for seven years! During these abusive years, she got pregnant with her 2nd son. Life was unbearable and when she found out that her husband had gone to Nigeria to marry another woman and had informed her family that she was died she confronted him. He began beating her and beating her but by the grace of God she broke free and ran for her life while being chased. She called the police and was taken with her children to a Domestic Violence Shelter and then transferred to Hope Gardens Family Center in Sylmar, the Union Rescue Mission’s women and children’s facility.
Mary was on the brink of giving up when she was virtually introduced by another person living in Canada to a Nigerian lady living nearby Mary. Her name is Charity. As they developed a friendship Mary told Charity she couldn’t do life anymore, and asked her to take her children to raise them.
Charity, being a strong believer in Jesus Christ, said, “No I won’t. God gave you these children to raise not me… and by His grace you can do it.”
That friendship helped strengthen Mary’s trust in the Lord. She had been raised a Christian and never lost her faith but she was faltering in discouragement. Charity brought her the loving friendship she needed to strengthen her faith, spark hope for the future, and reassured her of God’s love for her.
Mary has a job as a registered nurse, is attending church regularly, is working diligently to raise her boys in the way of the Lord, and has renewed confidence that God has a purpose for her. She is committed to never return to her abuser or ever let anyone hurt her children or herself.
This month a Deed and Truth, House2Home team from All Nations Church, transformed her empty apartment into a place to call home for her and her two young boys. Mary had no sooner walked through the door when she burst into tears of gratitude for how God has continued to bring people into her life to let her know how much she is loved.
As she tried to tell us her story, she again burst into tears of joy, fell to her knees, and turned the room into a worship service by not speaking but singing out! Charity was right by her side lifting her up in prayer. Everyone present witnessed the power of God who was powerfully moving in the room.
A lack of loving relationships creates a painful and unbearable life. It all but did Mary in… but God came to her rescue through Hope Gardens, Deed and Truth, and her dearest friend in the Lord, Charity.
We are grateful to have played a small part in her journey out of abuse and homelessness. We view helping her as our service to Jesus and He used that practical act of charity to speak “love” into Mary’s heart. We feel so privileged to serve Him in this capacity… and thanks to all of our volunteers and donors for partnering with us to make Mary’s heart so happy.
Here is Mary’s text she sent us the next day…
“Good evening Ma Betty, I can’t stop talking and telling people about how God used all of you in my life. My ex-husband kept reminding me how lowlife I was and didn’t deserve anything because he brought me to the United States. I remembered the week I was to deliver my son, Chabiki, I was washing the dishes and I took a chair to sit on because of back pain. He was mad I used his chair to sit down on and ordered me to neer sit down on any chair in his house again. Now, you all have given me 2 chairs to sit on in my own home. Let God reward you and keep you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Bless your children and keep you all well. Please my heart is overwhelmed and my children don’t want to go out anymore. They simply want to enjoy this home. They’re so happy. Thank you and remain blessed.”