It was so surreal to stand in front of young women in Uganda and teach them the same lessons and same material that I have been teaching for years to young women in the U.S.
I have to admit that I was very anxious about it because I did not know if the messages would translate from culture to culture. I didn’t know if the girls in Mbale would really connect with the teachings or that the lessons would have any sort of impact on them.
However, as I listened to these young women share their struggles and the lies that they struggle with believing about themselves, it was so interesting to see how many were the exact same lies that the young women in America struggle with. The sources of those lies differ from culture to culture, but it doesn’t matter if you are in the United States or in East Africa – young women struggle with believing they are worthless, ugly, not valuable, not pursued, unseen…the list could go on. Our lives may look very different externally, but at the end of the day, we truly are all cut from the same cloth. We believe the same lies, meaning it is the same truth that sets us free.
I loved hearing the girls point out specific Scriptures we had handed them that fight the lies they are struggling with. I loved hearing them encourage and spur one another on. I was encouraged to see in the voices and the eyes of many young women that there was a desire and a hope for things to be different. You could tell that they wanted to break free from some of the lies and chains that hold them captive. And seeing these girls filled my heart with so much joy and hope. I pray that the Lord would use the teachings from this event to infuse a renewed fire in them and that God would continue to water each and every seed that was planted during our time together!
The author, Melanie, works as the Executive Assistant to the Founder and President of Mercy Ministries (Nancy Alcorn), which is a spiritually-based residential counseling facility for young women.