An unusual prayer, for sure!
This is what Praise prayed when she was 13.
And she meant it!
Oh - how she meant it!
Her life had been so miserable since she was born and she just couldn't stand it any longer.
She had wanted to die already many times during her short time on earth. The relentless hardship and suffering was just too much. But now, dying seemed more appealing than ever.
Somebody had shared the Gospel with her just recently. She was told that God was the father of the fatherless and cared about her. He loved her. That was really good to hear. But honestly, the main reason why Praise pricked interest in God was because she learned that all the suffering on this earth was going to end one day when she was going to die and live in heaven forever. She was told that heaven was a beautiful place without any suffering.
That was the best news ever and she wanted to get to heaven as quickly as possible!
When she heard about a certain 'Prayer Mountain' where people went to meet with God, she didn't waste any time. She wanted to get there - pronto - and ask God to kill her there, so that she could die - in his presence.
Nice plan. She was pleased with herself.
So she took off, not telling anybody, just leaving a note saying that she went to the Prayer Mountain and that they shouldn't come looking for her.
With just her clothes on her back (her school uniform so that she could be identified, even in death), she walked and walked until she came to the mountain.
All by herself. No water, no food, no blanket, nothing.
As she trudged up the mountain, she thought to herself that even if a wild animal was to kill her on the way up, she'd be just fine with that. The quicker she could get to that magical place called heaven, the better.
Once she reached the top, she fell on her knees and implored God to please kill her now.
As you may guess already, He didn't.
Instead, he gave her a vision
that was filled with feelings of hope.
In that vision, she was going from place to place
from emergency to emergency
and she was rescuing children
left and right
from the most horrific situations.
Her mother came looking for her after a week and told her to come home immediately. But 3 days later, Praise went back. She ended up spending 3 months on the Prayer Mountain, encountering the life-changing love of God! Other people were there, too, seeking God about a variety of issues. (She was the only child there.)
God started giving Praise words of encouragement for some of the other seekers. Words directly from Him for them. The very answers they were looking for. The people were so blessed that they gave Praise their food, water and/or blankets as they left to go home, since they had received their answers. And that's how she survived.
It was an INCREDIBLE and UNFORGETTABLE TIME!
She's gone back there many times since then and always encountered God in a special way.
Here are a few photos of her there in 2011, shortly before I met her. As you can see, by that time, there were tents up the mountain. When she went the first time, there was absolutely nothing but nature - and the beautiful presence of God.
Today, when she called me just before dozing off to sleep, she told me that this vision came back to her today as she was on yet another rescue mission and she knew that her vision was being fulfilled RIGHT NOW.
A REAL rescue mission, she feels, this time.
Yes, she's been rescuing children for almost 20 years now.
But now it's going to another level.
Almost daily, God brings her to children who need rescuing from the most dire of circumstances.
It's a bit of a tricky mission - she is driving through police roadblocks daily
with people getting stopped in front of her and behind her
as private vehicles aren't allowed on the streets due to the covid-19 lockdown.
Her pregnant friend who she takes with her on most of her missions
(as private cars are allowed to transport pregnant women)
laughed today as she noticed that they just drove through all the roadblocks without being stopped.
They both realised that angels must be with them...
...somehow making them invisible to the police and soldiers.
When they reached the children they had been notified about in the ghetto on the other side of town and heard their story, Praise's heart broke - once again.
She is going back there in the morning for a meeting with the local authorities in the ghetto so that they can together figure out what to do with these 7 children who have been completely on their own for the past 6 weeks, since their mother was arrested and thrown into jail at the beginning of the lockdown
(for 6 months - no option to get out early!).
Being out on the street a few minutes past the curfew at 7pm.
She was on her way back to the children after selling oranges and mangoes at the market.
The children's father is in Northern Uganda, where the family is from. After an accident left him a complete invalid, the mother decided to move to the big city with the children in hope of finding work, to raise them. They have no relatives in the area; nobody to help them. The 15-year old you see in the photo talking with Praise has been taking care of her siblings. Three of them were out looking for food when Praise visited.
The situation is desperate. The children are not safe (especially the 15-yr-old!).
The landlord wants to throw them out, since rent hasn't been paid since July.
They need help!
Please pray for continued protection, strength, health, wisdom and provision as Praise continues the rescue mission.
In spite of the heart-breaking situations she faces pretty much daily at the moment, she feels excited and energized, knowing that she is fulfilling the vision God gave her on the Prayer Mountain 20 years ago. There's nothing better than being in the center of God's will, and being able to bring love, hope and practical relief to the suffering - especially to children!
Aren't you glad God didn't answer her prayer?
He has prepared her for such a time as this - and connected her with me and YOU.
Yes, if you are reading this, God has obviously also brought you on our team, in some way.
It takes a team to make the dream (vision) work - it really does!