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A Crushed Widow Finds Healing in Community

Sananda lived a contented life with her husband Oha and their four children. Though they were not rich by any means, they both worked enough to make ends meet for their family. Their children were almost fully grown, and Sananda looked forward to the next phase of her life.

But tragedy shattered Sananda’s contentedness when Oha died in a terrible accident. Sananda was left with the responsibility of carrying her family through this hardship, both emotionally and financially. Without Oha’s income, they slowly slipped into poverty.

The hardships kept coming. First one money lender, then another, and then another, showed up on Sananda’s doorstep demanding payment for Oha’s debts.

Debts? Sananda was shocked. She had no idea her husband had taken out any loans, let alone several!

Soon the police began visiting Sananda’s home. The lenders had proof of the loans, and the police said Sananda must repay them within three months or her home would be seized.

Devastated and alone, she wept. When the pandemic hit, Sananda, who worked as a door-to-door maid, was without work for some time. If the outlook was bleak before, now it was certainly impossible to repay the debts in time.

Unsure how to move forward, Sananda finally turned to a friend, named Misha, and shared what she was going through. Misha was being trained as a Church Planter, and she got right to work helping Sananda! Misha empathized with Sananda, prayed with her, and shared encouragement from the Bible. Sananda learned and found hope in Proverbs 1:33, which says, “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

Next, Misha mobilized her friend group to help meet Sananda’s needs. They met with her regularly, both in groups and on their own. They prayed with Sananda and shared the hope of the Gospel with her. Sananda felt immensely comforted by the fellowship she now experienced with these godly women.

Then Sananda’s new friends each began gifting her whatever money they could spare. Sananda was undone. She had never experienced such generosity. Though she was still unsure about the Jesus her friends served, she truly felt His love through them. Sananda was able to make a much higher loan payment than she had been previously, which kept the lenders from getting the police to seize her home.

Gradually, Sananda completely repaid her debts. She also came to believe that just as her friends helped her repay physical debts, Jesus had paid for her debt of sin. Sananda and all of her children received Jesus as their Savior, and they now serve Him joyfully. Praise God!