Life for Fena was difficult to say the least. In a recent report by the World Health Organization, researchers found that 35 percent of women around the world have been subjected to violence at the hands of an intimate partner, either physically and/or sexually. Fena fell among that 35 percent.
Fena often suffered at the hands of her drunken husband, Bir, enduring beatings when he wasn’t sober. Not only did her husband drink, but all three of her sons followed in his footsteps. Their drinking led them to sell many of the family belongings in order to purchase more alcohol. There was no peace in their home. Even the townspeople despised the men for their behavior.
Enough Is Enough
Something had to change in Fena’s family. She could not take the abuse or the strife in her home anymore. Fena decided to flee from her husband and sons and went to live in her mother’s house—an option many women do not have.
For 11 months, Fena pleaded with her gods for restoration and peace in her family. However, it was another God who heard her cries.
An Important Introduction
Meanwhile, a lady in the town introduced the local GFA-supported pastor Saee to her brother, who happened to be Bir. After they met, Pastor Saee visited Bir and his sons regularly. As they grew in their relationship with the pastor, Bir and his sons learned more about Jesus.
The more the men learned about Jesus, the more they could see the negative consequences of their addiction to alcohol. Their behavior and attitudes began to change. Even their neighbors noticed the difference and began to welcome their presence in the community.
But Bir had one more very important relationship to mend. Bir began to show his love for his wife by taking care of her instead of abusing her—he even began praying to Jesus on her behalf. Fena gratefully received her husband’s change of heart. She moved back home, and the whole family now enjoys a relationship with Jesus.
Bir and Fena’s home is now filled with peace, and Fena’s life, which once resembled the stories of far too many abused women, has entered a bright, new chapter. She and her husband often share their story of restoration, love and peace with others.
“In my family, it was my husband who had hurt me and tortured me the most and never loved me before the transformation,” Fena says. “But now I get his love and care through Christ Jesus.”
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is November 25. To learn more about the violence and abuse women face today, please take some time to read this special report.