Abel* sprang out of his bed and looked outside the window. With guns at the ready, men in military uniforms were running through his family’s compound in South Sudan. Several of Abel’s extended family members had already been killed.
Trying to decide what to do, Abel turned toward his family—but it was too late. The military men forced their way into his home. They stole their possessions and abused Abel’s 12-year-old daughter.
Abel is one of the two billion people in the world whose lives have been shattered by war and violent conflict. Resonate Global Mission is helping them heal through the Healing Hearts, Transforming Nations ministry.
Because Abel was a respected local ministry leader, he and his family’s lives were spared that morning, but they would never be the same.
“Since that day, I have not been able to sleep through the night,” Abel said.
“The tragedy cast a long shadow over (Abel’s) once-bright spirit,” added Patience Mutie, who works with HHTN. “This left a deep wound and chipped away at the mosaic of his self-worth.”
Abel was invited to attend HHTN’s East Africa School of Reconciliation in Kenya, hosted by Way of Peace Kenya and run jointly by Resonate, World Renew, HHTN Global, Rabagirana Ministries, and Le Rucher Ministries.
“The school (brings) together Christian leaders and influential community members from diverse backgrounds and cultures in pursuit of a common goal: reconciliation and transformation,” Mutie said.
Before being able to pursue peace and reconciliation in his community, Abel needed to experience peace in his own life and heal from his pain. At EASOR, ministry leaders walked Abel through a process of confronting his trauma and bringing his wounds to Jesus.
It was difficult for Abel to think about the night men killed his family members and abused his daughter, but bit by bit, he was able to find healing and forgive those who had harmed him.
“(Abel) took the opportunity to put his faith into practice by symbolically nailing his pain to a cross and giving it all to Jesus. He realized Jesus had always wanted to redeem the things that had been robbed from him and his family on that fateful night,” Mutie said.
For the first time in a long time, Abel could sleep through the night.
Through Resonate’s work with HHTN, God healed Abel and gave him a new beginning. Now Abel is one of 39 new HHTN leaders helping more people in their communities to heal and seek reconciliation.
“Each of these new HHTN facilitators has the potential to reshape the narrative of conflict and division that plague our world,” Mutie said. “Nations can be healed and transformed when individuals confront their prejudices, embrace the beauty of diversity, acknowledge the centrality of the work of the cross, and build lasting relationships based on forgiveness and reconciliation.”
Learn more about Healing Hearts, Transforming Nations at resonateglobalmission.org/hhtn.
*Name has been changed for security