When Grace woke up that cold February morning, her first thought was preparing for the day. She needed to get water from the river. There was a fire to light so that her husband and children could have something to eat. Like any mother in rural Ghana, she knew there was much to do before the sun rose above the horizon.
But then she noticed that her husband was gone.
Grace fed her 3-month-old daughter and wondered why he had left. They had so little; it had been difficult for him to support her and their five kids. But how could he just abandon them?
Where could he have gone? She had never traveled far from her village in Ghana, so she didn’t even know which road he might have taken to escape their dire situation.
Without her husband, Grace had no money and few options for feeding her children. She found work carrying water to a construction site, earning about $1 a day. On the days she worked, she bought something for the children and herself to eat. If she couldn’t work, they didn’t eat that day.
When one of her children were sick, she couldn’t afford medicine. Grace would gather herbs and try to treat them with traditional remedies. Worse yet, her children could no longer attend school, having no money for school fees.
After two years of living on the edge of starvation and ruin, Grace could not bear to continue. She needed a way out, and the only escape she could imagine was to take her own life. Saving up just enough, she bought some medicine to overdose with.
When the night came, she put her children to bed. Then, when their little hut was quiet, she turned to get some water to help swallow the pills. But there was no water. They had already drunk all the water they had carried from the river that day. She would have to wait until the morning.
Early the next morning, Grace arose, got her bucket and medicine, and opened the door to start toward the river. To her shock, a man was standing outside.
She recognized Pastor Evan. He greeted her warmly and explained that he had some food for her and her children. He went on to share about the love of God and asked if he could come again to help them.
In the months that followed, Pastor Evan faithfully visited Grace and her children. He brought Food Paks and shared the hope of the gospel. Thanks to the gifts of food, Grace was able to consistently feed her children. She could also pay school fees with the money that otherwise would have gone for food.
But most significant of all, she and her children began to attend Pastor Evan’s church. After several months of listening to Pastor Evan teach from the Bible, Grace put her faith in Jesus.
Last year, five years after Grace’s husband abandoned them, another man appeared at their door. Her youngest daughter didn’t recognize him. But Grace did. Her husband had returned.
He had heard how God had provided for his wife and children and, feeling deeply moved and ashamed of what he had done, returned home. He told her that he was committed to providing for her and their children. Grace could recognize that her husband was a new man, but would he stay? Was he ready to put his faith in Jesus?
Pastor Evan heard Grace’s husband had returned and came alongside them, encouraging and counseling them. He shared the life-changing message of the gospel with Grace’s husband and, over a few months’ time, led him to place his faith in Jesus, the source of true forgiveness and reconciliation.
Now, the family that Grace’s husband had abandoned and that Grace almost destroyed out of despair, God has rebuild and established on a solid footing.
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