Dark Valleys, Light Ways

Mar 29, 2021 | Sports Friends Africa, Sports Friends Nigeria

It was early in the morning as the woman approached Coach Moses’ house. Perhaps her four children were still sleeping at home. She was doing whatever it took to feed them since the pandemic had pushed her husband over the edge and he had run away from home, leaving them to fend for themselves. She had no job, no opportunities, and no resources, but she was a mother frantic to feed her children. This morning she was stopping at Moses’ house in between her trips to the market where she visited men to offer them her own body in exchange for food. Despite every form of injustice that had been heaped upon her, she carried on. Her steel shell covered a heart gripped with agony and shame.

She began to tell Moses and his wife her story, how her husband had left them with nothing… how they had absolutely nothing to eat. Moses is not unaccustomed to such situations; this is a horrific but painfully common position for women to find themselves in. Living in a context of poverty, he is accustomed to sharing with people in need, to encouraging them, to doing what he can, even though his own resources are limited. He began to share Scripture with the woman, to encourage her to turn to God for help and for hope, to trust Him even in her desperation. 

She began to weep as he spoke with her. He asked her why she wept, and she confessed how she had been relying on two men at the market for her provisions. Every day she would go to visit them, and they would pay her with food or money for supplies in exchange for her own honor and dignity. Even as she poured out her confession, her phone rang and she showed Moses the daily expectation of one of her callers. Then, right in the presence of Moses and his wife, she declared her sharp change of heart. 

No, she said. No, I am not going back. If I die of hunger, I die, but I will not go back to this life. I will depend upon the Lord. Even if He kills me from hunger, I will trust Him. 

Moses and his wife began to cry. His wife immediately collected everything they had: rice, onions, oil, guinea corn, everything, and brought it to the woman. Moses looked at his wife wondering where their own meal would come from that evening, but they withheld nothing from this woman who had chosen to obey and trust the Lord and refuse to lean on any other way. She was calling on the Defender of orphans and widows, and He flooded her with grace, hope, and promise right through this sports ministry leader and his wife. 

The pain in Nigeria is intense, and millions are suffering in numerous ways. It often feels overwhelming, the circumstances, and the helplessness to change things. But day by day, Moses and his colleagues are choosing to trust the Lord as well, to provide for, protect, and bring supernatural peace to His children. Their confidence is in Him alone, and they can see Him working through their availability to listen, to hear, and to share what little they have. God is still transforming lives through love and compassion, bringing people out of darkness and into His kingdom of light that will never be shaken. There are indestructible and undefiled treasures waiting for humble servants who choose to hope in the only One who can save forever and who will make all things new. 

Coach Moses summed it up like this:

We thank God for Jesus, and for the ministry we are in. We keep trusting the Lord to lead us, to help us, to lead other people. We can’t lose hope. It is very difficult, but we know that light will always win over darkness. We don’t know how, we don’t know when, but we know it is true.”

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