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Safely home; the story of Veronique

240820151597 small“Would we arrive home safely today?” I can’t help but wonder as I’m spending the last few hours with some colleagues stuck in traffic. We are returning from a prayer meeting at another mission clinic in the far suburbs of Dakar. We had a great time encouraging our colleagues and spending time in prayer, but our ride home is a nightmare caused by heavy rainfalls and bad roads.

Veronique is sitting next to me. She is a dental assistant and a faithful prayer warrior. She gazes out the window with a concerned look on her face. She still has to prepare food for her sick father when she arrives home. Her father had a caesurae three years ago and has been dependent ever since. Since Veronique is the only one amongst her siblings who has a job, the financial responsibility fell on her. Her sisters took her father to the village and Veronique would send them money every month. After a little while she found out that the money was not used to care for her father, in fact he was neglected. She confesses that the sad situation didn’t surprise her, as she explains that “there never was any love in our home.”

After the death of her father’s first wife, his second wife became responsible for the care of the family. But her children and the children of the first wife would always fight. Her family was catholic and Veronique would always pray. Despite her faithful prayers, she never has the impression God was ever listening to what she was saying to him. One day an evangelist started to visit their family. Every time he would read about Jesus Veronique would be annoyed. Until one day he read a verse that got stuck in her mind: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23,24)

050920151613 smallVeronique realized that she carried a lot of hatred in her heart. She was simply not able to love. This verse from the Bible made her realize that this was sin, and a desire for grace grew in her heart. When she surrendered her heart to Jesus everything changed. She suddenly felt love in her heart even for her hating sisters. Although her sisters rejected her and what they considered religious extremism, she kept loving them.

As she shares her story time passed fast, and we are safely approaching home. Veronique’s story continues; she is now caring for her father by herself. “I’ve found a safe home with our heavenly father, and my earthly father is welcome in my own house” she states. “The love I receive from God is more than enough to share with my family in need.” She hasn’t committed herself to something easy. Every morning she helps her father to wash and het dressed. She cooks his meals and feeds him. This is not an easy task, especially in view of the demanding job she has at the clinic. Nobody sees the love she has for her father. That doesn’t worry her at all. She is just thankful that her father has a safe home as well.


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