Talia | bringing hope to prisons and shelters
My name is Talia*. My ministry is with girls or, as some people call it, “sisters’ meetings.” This is something that has started a long time ago. I used to go to my church and also attend (girls’) meetings at other churches. Also in my ministry, I visit the women’s prison. They are in desperate need for care and encouragement. Even the Lord in the Bible says, “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” It means a lot for them when you visit them. So through this prison ministry we pray with them and try to encourage them. We hope that they may know the Lord through their difficult circumstances but even if they don’t, the visits still mean a lot to them. We hear good testimonies about some of them after their release.
I also met someone who told me about the women’s shelter and we found that no sufficient care was provided for the girls at the shelter. There are some government-provided services but there is no care for the girls themselves. So we started to go visit with them, although it’s hard to preach the Gospel directly. But we started to go and just hang out with them and have fun and it meant a lot to them. That shelter is for girls whom the police find in their begging-control campaigns. This also includes girls who have run away from home and the police find them in the streets at night so they’re brought to this shelter where the people in charge care for them and see what problems they have. Some of the girls, after receiving rehabilitation, they go back to their families but most of these girls have willingly left their homes, maybe due to domestic violence, family circumstances, or desires of the flesh; some of them just want to live on the streets.
I’m from this area and I studied sociology at university then I worked as a kindergarten teacher and I also volunteered at the Anglican school until 2008 when I moved into full-time ministry. I was involved in ministry before that but not full-time. I want to see Sudanese women doing ministry, preaching the Gospel, building Christian families. Sometimes when I go to conferences and see women preaching I think to myself, When will I see a local woman preaching outside her country, living for the Lord, applying what she learnt into practice, and serving the Lord, efficiently through her testimony?” It’s not enough to know the Lord and do nothing. Many have come to know the Lord or even studied theology but then did nothing but it’s important to do what the Lord has assigned for you.
My prayer is always that the people who really have a zeal inside them be known and to continue in the young women’s ministry. I’m really thankful for this work. It’s a God-given family – I really feel like it is a family and this encourages me to work with them I even shared this with the team when I was attending their weekly meeting one Monday and told them, “I feel like I’m among my family.” They encourage me spiritually and emotionally as I attended many training programs; and this is a privilege.
We praise the Lord for the girls and women’s ministry in this region and for the fruit it brings forth. Please lift me up in prayer along with the team of volunteers working with me and the women and girls to whom we minister.
*Names of people and places have been changed or removed to protect those in this story from persecution.