After the dump, the streets of downtown Maputo are one of my favorite places to pray with people. When I met Helena she was a prostitute, a maimed, malnourished twelve-year-old child forced by poverty to sell her body on the streets. Years before, the reed hut she shared with her grandmother and brothers caught fire and burned down. She was so badly burned that one leg was actually burned off. I could see her scarred knee where her leg ended. Helena survived the fire, but because she was disabled her grandmother decided she was of no use. She had become a burden to her family and decision was made to kill her. Helena's brothers were instructed to take her out to a field and stone her.
They dragged her to the field and threw rocks at her until she passed out. Assuming she was dead, they left her. A man passing through the field discovered her, severely injured and unconscious, but alive. He picked her up and took her to the hospital. In such cases the government hospital is free. Helena spent six months there recovering, and during her entire stay she didn't have one visitor.
I found Helena one night during our street outreach. I told her of my Father God's love and forgiveness. I told her what Jesus did for her. She fell apart in my arms and wept. She asked me over and over, "Jesus would do that for me? Jesus would die, for me? That is so beautiful. That is so lovely. I want to know Him and follow Him." That night on the street Helena came home to live with us.
God began to do a deep healing in her heart. She went through a lot of deliverance. Her family was deeply into witchcraft. Once she was set free from demonic influence she was completely transformed. This young girl who had endured so much hardship, trauma, ridicule and abuse was now consumed by the great love of God. She was indebted to Him. Her immediate reaction was, "He has forgiven me for so much. He has set me free. I forgive my grandmother and my brothers. I want to go and tell them about the love of God."
Helena risked her life to go back to the family who had tried to murder her so she could share God's love with them. She has returned to her home three times. She was not received well, but she refuses to give up. Her grandmother is still very strongly involved with the occult and hasn't responded. One of her brothers has disappeared, but the other one is listening. Helena continues to pray for her family every day.
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