My husband drove thirty kilometers to a remote village in the Kaputa District of Northern Zambia to start a Bible study. Bana Suse (mother of Suse) came to the Bible study. Her husband is the headman, the village leader appointed by the chief. Bana Suse has a club foot, so it’s difficult for her to get around. She’s also illiterate. Her husband drinks too much and she sees how he wastes their money on alcohol.
Bana Susa now follows Jesus and is hungry for the Lord. She won’t let her difficulties set her back, and she doesn’t try to place blame on God. She even came to study at the Bible school in Kaputa.
When you’re born into a village with no conveniences, life from the beginning is tough. Water is not available inside your house. Firewood is your cooking source, so you need to have plenty on hand. The food you eat, you have to grow. So the whole family has a job to do, every day. You have to learn at a young age to carry water, firewood, and food great distances. There is very little time for playing or being a child. The family depends on every member to contribute. So if you’re born with a deformity, then you are immediately seen as a burden. How can someone born into a life like that feel loved?
How can someone born into a life like that feel loved?
Sometimes I wonder when the Spirit first nudged Bana Suse’s heart to submit to Christ? When she first heard the gospel, I wonder what went through her mind. Jesus took the lowliest and most downcast and turned their lives upside down, showing them love and healing. Was this perhaps the story she was waiting to hear?
Bana Suse began studying the Bible as her sons read it to her out loud. She came to every Bible study. On Sunday, she helped lead the service, just by organizing the seats under the tree and being the first one there. The commitment she displayed was inspiring.
When she came to the Bible school, she was the only woman. She sat on the back of a bicycle all the way into the Boma (town), to stay at the church for a week. She put her life on hold to learn. Thankfully, she is comfortable enough with the students to speak up and answer questions, even give her opinion. It is not an easy thing, but because she is the wife of a headman, she is given respect. She had to have her exams read to her since she’s illiterate. She answered all the exam questions very well.
I love to think of the Lord seeing Bana Suse and being filled with compassion toward her. His love has made her whole. While she hasn’t experienced physical healing this side of heaven, I know it will come for her when she is face to face with Jesus. Her perseverance has been an inspiration. She encourages her children to study and learn. She prays for her husband and loves him because the Lord loves her. Her desire to learn the Word and to encourage the other women in the village is a testimony to the Spirit’s presence in her life. Her heart is amazing, and she inspires me to be the best I can be.