Feature

A Safe Place in the Kingdom

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We met Amela* several years ago when one of her relatives begged us to visit the girl’s family. What we saw broke our hearts. Often without food, Amela, her younger siblings and their mentally ill mother lived in a small cottage near Novi Sad, Serbia. This teen girl was spending what should have been the best part of her childhood caring for her siblings in a house with no electricity or bathroom.

Amela’s life very early had become what we sometimes call “hell on earth.” She was always quiet and looked down when we tried to encourage her or praise her. Sometimes we felt helpless, aware that a food parcel or some warm clothes and nice words were not enough.

To make matters worse, Amela’s stepfather was an alcoholic who drank each day, not caring at all for his family. He would even spend the welfare money meant for Amela’s mother on alcohol.

Months went by with no change in the situation, but we kept praying and visiting. Then we learned the brutal truth: Amela’s stepfather had been sexually abusing her for years. The police finally arrested him and brought him to trial. Unfortunately, he was sentenced to just three months in jail.

When she found out what happened, Amela’s aunt was glad to take the girl in, even though she and her young son are poor. As soon as she moved to her aunt’s little home, Amela started going to church and making friends with the teens there. She accepted Christ as her Savior and experienced His love.

Next year, Amela will go to high school. She is able to communicate with her peers and look them straight in the eyes. Also, she can talk with men, which was almost impossible for her until now. And she goes across town by herself, even after dark, to volunteer at the Alpha course. A few years ago she would run, much like Forrest Gump, to get to her destination as soon as possible.

Looking at her now, we can see how God did a great thing in her young life. From a kingdom of darkness He transferred her to the Kingdom of light. There is a smile on her face, something we had never seen before. She is surrounded by people who love and respect her and value her gifts. Amela’s life is still not easy; she faces great poverty, since her aunt cannot afford even the bare necessities. Nevertheless, God was merciful to Amela in the midst of unhappiness and misery.

*Name changed

Past Alliance Life Issues

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