A one room home with one oversize bed, a small, unlevel table with a small rusty charcoal cooking appliance, uneven dirt floors…value to most citizens of Somaliland $ -0-. But value to my new friend cannot be determined. It is home and the best she could ever hope for.

A baby lives here. She has no CHOICE. Her name is Raham and her life will be a struggle…at best. Badra, Raham’s mother, also lives here. She has no CHOICE. She was raped by a gang of teenagers when she was a young teenager. The rapists then burned her body to dare her to pursue justice. Her life is severely limited by a badly burned body and the trauma with which she lives. Zahar, the mother/grandmother lives here. She has no CHOICE. She must find a way to provide shelter and a little food for her daughter and her granddaughter. She has no skill. There are no jobs. She resorts to her only possible resource. She becomes a prostitute. It is her only hope.

Unfortunately, this is the story of many families who live in the Dami area of Hargeisa, Somaliland. The need is great and the number of those who will help are few. Tekleab, project coordinator for Innovative Humanitarian Solutions-Somaliland, was right when he said, “we must do something!”

Innovative Humanitarian Solutions (IHS) partnered with Somaliland Girl’s Hub to provide a six-month program of skill-training for abused mothers. Twelve mothers were trained in tailoring. Six mothers were trained in cosmetology. Unfortunately, the grandmother in this story was not able to be trained and we have temporarily lost contact with her. This was a lesson for me and maybe others who read this blog. We do what we can, as much as we can, with the love of Jesus making all things possible. Zahar experienced the love of Jesus and knows her physical and spiritual needs. But the final decision she makes to become a follower of Jesus is hers alone.

For those who travel to these far away, difficult, dirty, poverty-stricken places, it is a lesson we all must learn. As the apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 3:5-6: “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

For this family of three we planted a small seed. As Acts 1:8 teaches us, we went. We visited. We reflected the love of God through our actions. We told about the love of Jesus. We pray that the love of Jesus was communicated. I doubt I will ever see this family of three again. But when I see the picture of them and their house, I will remember them.

What else can I do? I can share with the readers of this blog and ask for prayer. This story touches my heart than most I will share. I find myself with eyes full of tears for their physical needs but more important for their eternal needs.

They deserve the right to hear about the love of Jesus and choose peace, comfort, and eternal life in Him!