Last night Dan and Besweri (aka B-Dubs) found the home where Auma has been staying. I rejoice in telling you she is safe and being cared for by this household. When first arriving at the home they started by saying they did not really know Auma, but that she helped by occasionally fetching water for them. Having been told by another that Auma was definitely staying there Dan pressed a little. He explained they weren’t there to get Auma in trouble or take her back to the Auntie. But, that we want her to know we desire to help her in whatever way we can and that, even if she is not staying with that Auntie anymore, school is still available for her.
It was after this initial conversation that the woman opened up. She explained that Auma is scared. She ran in fear of the Auntie she had been living with for the past 18+ months. She did not want anyone to know where she was in fear of it getting back to the Auntie and what she might do. Almost two years ago Auma ended up in Kampala alone. She came to meet this Auntie who offered her work as a “house-girl”, but the Auntie never paid her for the work. The Auntie told her she would get her on this program to pay school fees and that would count as her pay. Auma has been verbally, emotionally and physically abused over the past year. The Auntie has sends her to sell “pancakes” (small fried pancakes made from something like a plantain) at night in Kabalagala, which is Kampala’s red light district, and encouraged her to “get a man”. Punishments for not doing as the Auntie said involved everything from old-fashioned beatings to being cut with a dull razor blade.
I am overjoyed that we were able to find Auma…that she is safe and being cared for. I am heartbroken over what this sweet young girl has been through. I am so angry with this Auntie. She is truly evil. I want justice, but sadly there is not a thing the local police or government can or would do. If it were America this lady would be put away. Sadly, here it is just another tragedy that goes unnoticed.
Yet still, I find peace in knowing that our God is Just and there is not a single evil act that will go unpunished. There will come a day, but for now I must remember…I am not the judge, I am not to judge.
As time moves on I see more and more clearly why God has brought different children and families into relationship with Sojourn Church through Plant:Uganda. Praise God, Auma doesn’t just have a random lady she’d done chores for to run to. She has a church family and community who is here to come around her, eager to envelop her with Jesus, His love, His gospel.
A thousand thank you’s to all of you who have been praying with us over the past week. I ask that you would continue to pray. Pray for Auma Lukia. In all that she is been through, pray that God would give her a resilient spirit, that with love, care and encouragement she would press on, continuing to find joy in life and have success in her studies. Pray she would come to know, love and serve Jesus – the one true God. Pray for wisdom and discernment for those of us at Sojourn – that we would honor Jesus, and his church, in how we continue to deal with this situation. Pray that this Auntie’s heart could be crushed by the redemptive power of Jesus and the gospel, that she might be forever changed, turning from her evil ways.