Susan Ithungu. Photo courtesty of Compass Direct News.
*If you’d like to read the first post in the Modern Witnesses series, click here.
This week, our Sunday School teacher taught us about what life is like for Christians in Uganda. That made me think about the story Noelle and I learned about last year. Do you remember the story of Susan Ithungu?
Susan was 14 years old when she learned how Jesus loves her and died on the cross so that we can be forgiven. Susan said, “I heard the message of Christ’s great love of him dying for us to get everlasting peace, and there and then I decided to believe in Christ…After a month, news reached my father that I had converted to Christianity, and that was the beginning of my troubles with him…”
Susan’s father didn’t believe in Jesus. He ordered Susan not to go to church or listen to the Gospel message. And, to make sure she didn’t, he locked her in a room—for 6 months! He didn’t give her any food or water. He didn’t let her out to see the sunshine. It was terrible!
But, two people knew where Susan was—Jesus knew, and so did her younger brother, Mbusa. Mbusa’s father had told him to never tell anyone where Susan was. But, whenever their father would go away, Mbusa would roast bananas and sneak them to his sister. He also dug a hole under the door so he could slip her some water to drink.
Finally, after months had gone by, Susan’s neighbors got worried because they hadn’t seen her for so long. When they asked Mbusa about it, he was brave and told them what his father had done. The neighbors told the police, and the police came and broke down the locked door. They took Susan to the hospital.
I can’t imagine being locked up like that because I love Jesus! Susan must have been so hungry and thirsty. And bored—what would you do if you were locked up for six months and not allowed to see anyone or go anywhere? I imagine she prayed a lot. And, she knew she was not really alone. Jesus promises to stay with us, wherever we are. Have you ever been in a place where you felt alone but you knew Jesus was with you?
Well, after Susan went to the hospital, she had a very long way to go before she felt good and healthy again. She had to stay in the hospital for over a year! Many other Christians came to help take care of her. Susan said she has forgiven her father, but her father still insists that he will not allow her to be a Christian. She now lives in a house where she is safe from her father.
Susan still can’t stand up straight because of how sick she had become, but she is starting to be able to walk with help. And, she said, “I am now able to handle a pen and write…I am able to sit down for at least one hour, and I hope by next year it will be much better, enough to enable me go to school.”
We can praise and thank God for taking care of Susan, for helping her be strong enough to walk again, and for keeping her safe from her father. We can also pray that her father will learn about Jesus’ love for him and also choose to believe in Him.
“Dear God, thank you for helping Susan to grow strong again. And thank you for taking care of her when her father locked her in a room. Please help Susan, Mbusa, and their father. Help them all to love You and live for You. Please help all the Christians in Uganda to be strong and live for You. Please help us remember to pray for them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
The facts of this story are based on World Watch Monitor news articles published on August 11, 2011, and January 17, 2012. For more information, please see my Parents and Educators page.
If you’d like a printable version of today’s story, click here.