It was a privilege to return to Uganda in July, 2019 to continue the work God has for me there. I will spend a week in Pader, co-leading another conference for The Women of Pader Uganda as I did in 2017. I also went to Mbale for three days to lead a second conference for a group of women who have never had such an event, at the invitation of my friend Betty who is ministering to women in remote areas of northern and eastern Uganda.
The women of Northern Uganda have experienced unimaginable atrocities, and who were hungry for hope and healing through God’s word. Several shared personal stories of being raped and beaten during the war with Joseph Kony which ravaged northern Uganda for 20 years. Many Ugandan men and women were killed, many were infected with HIV/AIDS, most were traumatized. The war ended around 2008, but the effects remain. Poverty, AIDS, malaria, malnutrition and starvation are constant problems. Naturally, these women have carried the heavy burdens of shame and bitterness for many years, and were grateful to find healing through our conference.
The two-day workshop-style conferences are based on my book Created to Flourish by God’s Design, inspiring over 400 Ugandan women since 2017 to find God’s purpose for their lives and meaning in their work. We first address their heavy burdens of fear, shame and unforgiveness, helping them release to God their past memories and quests for justice as they look toward the future with hope. Through various exercises, prayer and small group time, the women will be able to claim their immense value in Christ, and to see their unique callings in His divine plan. At the end of our time together, the women will have an opportunity to share how they are finding healing and restoration through the conference..
The women are the backbone of their communities. They earn the income for the family, work the fields, and raise the children. A large number of children were orphaned during the war so many of the women are not only raising their own children but also orphaned ones. Lack of education combined with school fees for all schools, makes breaking the cycle of poverty very difficult. But in spite of their lack of material wealth, these women have faith in God that makes them richer than most Americans. They praise Him through song and dance, and lean on Him for all their needs. We can learn much from their examples.
As the wife of one of the pastors said in 2017, ”I am so grateful for the ladies who were amazing and moved us to another level again. We love them for allowing God to use them and above all for Susan to obediently accept God's call to write the book to encourage a big number of women of Pader community church.” Pastor Enoch who leads their church said my book gives people hope. That is the highest compliment anyone can give me.
If you are connected with an international ministry that serves at-risk women, I would love to explore how I might bring God’s message of hope and restoration to them in the near future. Please contact me and we will explore the possibilities together.
I am blessed to be supporting the restoration women in Asia as I partner with Red Oak Hope. Red Oak Hope provides freedom, hope and restoration to women and children trapped in the sex industry, providing immediate aid through counseling, safe shelter and medical care. Created to Flourish, by God's Design is part of the long-term holistic care and support for these women as they leave the past behind and pursue lives filled with confidence and purpose.
Red Oak Hope also supports women locally in Austin, Texas, and it is my privilege to be part of their support team, teaching and encouraging women as they transition to new lives.
“I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.”