June 25, 2012 by eric echols
For the past couple of days I’ve been traveling around to different villages in Jinja, Uganda with a ministry called “God is Grace”. God is Grace is a ministry of compassion where women are supported for one year while they learn a trade to provide sustainable income for their families.
Most of the women we have met have been widowed or abandoned by their husbands with no income to care for their children.
We met a woman that recently opened up her own store to sell second-hand clothing and provide for her family. Prior to receiving the compassion from God is Grace, she was lost…both spiritually and physically. Now she is providing an income through her store and she has recently surrendered her life to Jesus Christ.
But that’s just the beginning of her story…
She knew that we were coming to visit her home this past Friday and she wanted her friends to meet us. So she invited five women to be at her house when we arrived. As we started talking to them, we found out that in their desperation they were selling their bodies to provide food for their children.
As we talked about the Gospel, the reality of their hopelessness hit home as one of the ladies spoke up and said that she wanted to follow Jesus but knew that she would have to give up prostitution…which meant she would have no way to provide for her family.
But that’s not the end of the story…
On Sunday morning, the five women, along with the friend that invited them, arrived at the church where God is Grace is headquartered. As is the custom in Uganda, they stood up before the church to tell their story. Each of the women said that they were in darkness until Friday but God opened their eyes to see Jesus. They didn’t know how God would provide but they were repenting of their sin and surrendering their lives to Jesus.
The church met with them afterwards and they are setting up a cell group in their community for discipleship and accountability. They provided them with bags of food to sustain them for now. And they are looking to help the women get sponsorship to start their own businesses.
It has been amazing to see how one invitation to hear the Gospel has impacted the lives of a handful of women and their families…and my life as well. Never underestimate the power of an invitation!