In the time that Tay and I were in America (6 weeks),I received news that 4 more of our teenagers are now expecting babies, in addition to the ones who are already rearing children of their own. The youngest mom will be 13 when she gives birth. The dad- he’s 28. These young girls are not the exception or the shocking rebels. This is normal. This is what happens so much of the time. It’s just life. You are sexually aware from the earliest of ages. You hit puberty. You have sex. You get pregnant. You become a mother before you’ve even had time to realize what it means to be a daughter. You thought it was love, but now you wonder, “Where did it go?” But when you think about it, you assume this was probably your fate all along. After all, isn’t that how you got here, and your mom, and your mom’s mom?

I recently had the opportunity to sit with one of these new moms as she waited to be discharged from the hospital. There we sat, a 15 year old South African girl with fear painted across her face and a 24 year old white American foreigner who’s not yet a mom in a room with cracking white paint and an old dorm bed and this tiny new life breathing quietly beside us. Just the 3 of us not really knowing what will come next. The young girl who has bravely decided to raise this child kept looking at me and asking as though willing it to be true, “It will be fine, right?” I had no other answer but to pray out loud the prayers that were already pouring silently from my heart. We gripped our hands together and I began praying, “Lord cover this sweet baby with your love. Let her grow into a knowledge of your faithfulness. Allow this new mommy to feel your arms around her as she starts this new journey. Give her strength when it gets hard. Give her peace when worry takes over. Give her comfort when she feels so alone and warm her with your embrace. I give them to you, Father.”

This is hard. This does not go away. But can it be redeemed? I believe so. What about the wounds that pushed you toward seeking out that sexual security in a man? What about your understanding of being a mom that you learned from you mother that lives next door but makes you live with grandparents so she can have a little freedom? What about the hormonal teenage boyfriend you believed when he said he would love you forever? What about the sacrifice you will make when you give up your chance at an education?

We serve a God that heals. We serve a God that honors faith if we give it to Him. We serve a God that raises the dead to life and makes all things new every morning. And we serve a God from which darkness cannot hide. A God that redeems. In Jesus' name we are claiming these things.

We are praying for a revival of redemption in this valley we live in. The past month since our return from the States has been covered in stories just like this one. Despair. Darkness. Disease. Defeat.

Evil spirits. Suicide. Wounds left to fester. Violence. Drugs. HIV. Cultural assumptions filled with pain. Rape. Witchcraft. An unwillingness to change. Unwanted children. Death. This is warfare.

Our hearts, however, are fighting to find restoration. The Kingdom reigns and we are called into battle to establish the Lord’s Kingship in the hearts of His people on earth. Please pray with as we desperately try to communicate that God is good and that He desires good things for His people. Pray that cultural differences will stop being excuses for a lack of movement. Pray that band-aids can be ripped off so that real healing can begin. Pray that knowledge will be passed on. Pray that truth will take root in Scripture rather than worldly voices. Pray that victory will be realized. Pray that we will be the aroma of Christ.

"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere." 2 Corinthians 2:14

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.