Last night Beth and I went to a fundraiser dinner for Kupendwa ministries. The word “kupendwa” is a Swahili word meaning “to be loved.” You can find out more about Kupendwa ministries at their website, but the short version is they work with pregnant young women in Uganda to save lives … two at a time.
I could recount some of the things that were said last night, the stories told, the lives touched, but instead I just want to share this video with you. It’s an example of what is called a “cardboard testimony.” The idea is that a person writes something about him or his life before he encountered Jesus on one side, then flips it over to show how Jesus has changed his life. If you were on Fall Retreat, think about the two leaves that each Backbone shared as opposite sides of the piece of cardboard.
Honestly, the beginning of the video is tough to watch. Some of the things these young ladies write on one side are just so, so wrong. No one should have to deal with the things that these young ladies have had done and said to them.
But as heart-breaking as the things on one side of the cardboard are, the things written on the other side as just as soul-lifting. I was struck by a common thread that ran through many of them: forgiveness.
Many of the young ladies mentioned the idea of forgiveness is some way. Here are some examples:
I will forgive because He forgives me.
I can never heal until I forgive.
I forgive you.
“Father, forgive them.”
I am learning to forgive.
It’s that last one that I really want to focus on. As we talked about a couple weeks ago at Dinner and a Message, forgiveness is a process. All of us took an index card and wrote on it the name of someone that we are having a hard time forgiving. The idea is to put this card somewhere that we will encounter it multiple times a day – bathroom mirror, car dashboard, pocket – and every time we do so to pray for that person. Praying for them can help us in the process of forgiving.
Again, forgiveness is a process. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s been two weeks almost since we wrote those names down, and maybe you don’t feel any closer to forgiving them, but stay the course. It’s a process, and at the end of the day like the young ladies from Uganda we are all learning to forgive.