In our series on God’s lockdown we have covered stories of children who have stood strong in times of lockdown for Jesus.
Seven years ago, Susan at the age of 13, made a life changing decision to follow Jesus. Her story was made public and Christians worldwide prayed for her.
Now at the age of 20 she talks about that decision she made 7 years ago.
When Susan Ithungu placed her trust in Christ at age 13, her father was so furious that he beat her and locked her in a room for six months. If her brother hadn’t secretly given her food and water, she would have died.
Eventually, neighbors became concerned and told police, who rescued her from the home.
“Her hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked very slim, less than 45 pounds,”a local pastor who visited her in the hospital after her rescue
Susan was unable to walk or talk and required extensive medical care and repeated surgeries. She began to attend school at one of the few institutions equipped for her special needs, and necessary adaptations were made to her room.
The six months Susan spent locked away left her with long-term medical needs. According to her doctor, Susan will have her last surgery when she turns 21.
Now 20 years old, Susan places her hope firmly in Christ and is grateful for the help she has received from the global body of Christ:
“My life has been a challenge to me since I accepted Christ in my life. It has given me so many lessons about Christianity.
With all I have gone through, nothing can take me away from Christ. Through pain and moments in hospital, I have seen the love of God through the caring people like you who have prayed for me, supported me financially and offered time to be with me.”
Stories like Susan’s challenge us in our lockdown experience. She experienced the worst of what the anger of her earthly father could do to her, and the long term pain and suffering that would follow it.
At the same time she experienced the amazing love and grace of her Heavenly Father that enabled her to remain faithful through her lockdown experience.
“I have seen the love of God through the caring people like you who have prayed for me, supported me financially and offered time to be with me.”
How can we show the love of God during our lockdown?
- Susan was helped because people prayed for her.
- Susan was healed because people sacrificed to pay for her medical expenses.
- Susan was encouraged because people visited her.
God’s lockdown is not something to be endured till it is all over, no it is a time for us to rise up, shine and show God’s love to those around us.
The very last words of teaching from the lips of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel brings a challenge to the church with the parable of the sheep and the goats. We are given many opportunities in lockdown to minister to the body of Jesus…. We must not miss them.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’Matthew 25:37-40