written by Becky Lyus
Today was one of the most emotional joyful days I have ever experienced. I still cannot grasp how God deems us worthy to be with these beautiful, surrendered, hurt, yet fiercely in love with Jesus women.
Our days have started with exchanging smiles, hugs, and handshakes – and many laughs with the women. It’s crazy that our only communication with these women is nonverbal, or through interpreters when we teach, or holding their precious babies. Following our sessions, the women break out in song and dance with JOY and honest praise towards our Savior for all He has done, and for His faithfulness.
Britt led the day by sharing her experience with grief and trauma and how she found healing in Christ. She encouraged the women to write about a suffering they have experienced – one they now see how the Lord has redeemed. Julie followed with a powerful talk on forgiveness, which Betsy followed with amazing personal testimony about conflict resolution and forgiveness.
In the afternoon, we led an exercise to “take it to the cross.” In short, we urged the women to write one of their deepest pains/hurts, done to them or by them, and someone they needed to forgive or seek forgiveness from. They broke out in smalls groups and shared if they felt led to. We then gathered in a large circle around a fire pit in the room. We all prayed over our specific paper – that we would leave this pain at the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to heal our wounds and recognize He bore the pain and hurt we experienced. We were asked to repent before we went to the fire.
The women were singing through their tears in pain, kneeling before the Father, calling out to Abba Father to heal and forgive. The Spirit of the Lord was overwhelmingly present in the room. I was overwhelmed by the Lord’s grace and forgiveness towards me, and overwhelmed that he would allow me to be a part of these women experiencing chains breaking and freedom from bondage. I too found healing in an area of my life I held tightly to.
God is alive and is in the business of healing, and boy did he move mountains today. We closed in worship, praising God. Women then shared some of their deepest hurts, and it was overwhelming to hear such hurt but also see their hope and trust in Jesus. I wish I could share more but we will just have to save the rest for in-person!
I am eternally grateful for the honor and privilege to come to Burundi. My word for the trip is “free.” May we all live as free in Christ as these women do. Amen.