Grace. Faith. Christ.

I am free

I am changed

                                                                  Averil’s Story

“I grew up with a mother and a father. When I got married I came to my husband’s  home and began meeting with a lot of problems beginning with the funeral of my mother-in-law.  She was burnt in the hut by the rebels. After about a month, rebels came back and tied me to a tree. They took my husband and killed him in front of me. After they shot him they ran away leaving me tied to the tree. After some time, other people came to see what was going on and untied me.  My husband had been shot in the head and there was a lot of blood. I brought him into the hut and I ran away. Now we had a lot of pigs.  When I ran away, the pigs entered the hut and ate the husband. So when I came from hiding in the bush, we buried my husband.

After the burial of my husband the rebels came and were firing into the air and everyone was running. I ran away and hid when they were firing but the rebels tracked us by the foot trail and they took one of my 9 children.  They killed my child. When I tried to follow them there were many corpses and they were all undressed and I couldn’t find which one was mine so I just carried one and buried it. 

After the burial is when people started going to the camps (IDP -Internally Displaced Camp). That is when I also went to the camps. I suffered with the orphans at the camp.

Before we went to camp, you have to understand that Acholi would dig (farm). Now the women were raped. This leg got broken because the rebels liked sleeping with me so I wouldn’t reject them and run away. Give money. Give goat. Give money. Give goat. Give until it is all finished. Most of them they have guns and they have knife. You should not see their face. You cannot recognize them. They will chop off your head.

So I went to the camp. You could get food from IDP camp but there was a famine that was killing the kids. So we stayed in the camp for 7 years. So after that you understand camp life. Most kids didn’t go to school. I have 8 children who did not go to school. One has been recently murdered and left 3 kids. There is no more running hiding in the bush and at least we are sleeping. In process of going back home at least now I am digging at home. Now yes I have small hope. I have children that left. One daughter died last year. So in 2 months 2 have died. If you leave them they become thieves.

At least according to what I have gone through I am now interacting with other women that Thomas Charities has formed. They give advice and the conference that I went through has brought some hope. I have come to realize that being with other women is one advantage to give courage, and strengthen me spiritually. Every two weeks we get together. Thomas Charities has brought great change. I can even show you - I used be like this (slumped over lethargic, unmotivated) but now I can move like this and can go and sell at market and play with women. And can forget – I have come to Christ because of the conference. I am happy since the conference. I have joined a church and am praying. When they preach scripture I feel like I am in the Word now and I am free. I am changed you can see how I have changed as you can see, even physically.

I encourage others to join Thomas Charities because we have organized a group not based on just one thing. Farming is there and piggery is there. What little we get we share and then we advise each other. For me I never knew that I could be transformed to this level. So whenever someone comes with same problem I advise where necessary. You understand when you are in the group each one has different kind of advice. You will change somehow. Things can happen in different ways than what you can expect. Prayer is the answer. The advice is to trust God.”