My name is B____ of Gulu, Uganda, and this is my story.
After being married to my first husband several years, and having three children, he was killed in northern Uganda due to war. We never knew if it was the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) or Uganda military that killed him, but he was gone and I was alone.
Because of the ongoing war of that time, my parents and eldest brother were burned alive when their mud and grass huts were set afire by the rebels with them locked inside. After that, I had no living family.
After some time, I began staying with a new husband. With him I had two more children, but life was very difficult. This man was not good. He did not know God, and took alcohol very very much. One day he told me he was going to do something that was so big it would be told over the radio. I reported it to the police, but when they interviewed him, he denied it, so they did nothing.
Later, I went to the village to get some food and was gone several days. When I returned, I found that my husband had defiled my two daughters several times. The youngest was then 8 years old. I went to the police, but my husband ran away and I have not seen him since. A charitable organization helped pay for my little girls to be tested and treated for disease. Fortunately, they did not have HIV. After some time and medication, they healed from the abuse.
As I was again alone, I moved around trying to find work to get food and shelter for my children and me. I found nothing for many months. We became destitute. I prayed and prayed, and searched and searched, but still found nothing. I told God I did not want to steal and was willing to work for our food. I asked if He would please help me find work, but still I found nothing. I was behind on my rent four months. I went and told my landlord that I had nothing to pay. I said “You can chase me away if you like, and I will understand.” But he said he did not want to chase me away and would pray that I could find work and pay him something small.
After all this time I was at the end. There was no work. We had no food. There was nobody to support me or help me. I had been four days without eating anything. My children had gone daily to the rubbish pit to pick bits of food from the garbage. That is all they had. I took some seeds, these little black ones, and ground them into a very fine powder to make poison. Then I stirred it into water in a jar and set it high on the shelf. I kneeled down and told God I was at the end and could not go any further. I begged Him for help. I said, “This is our last day on earth. If you will please help me find some work, I will press on. But if not, at the end of this day, I will come home and drink this poison and give it to my children so we will not be in pain any longer.” Then I went to look for work.
That evening, after finding no hope for work, I was coming back to my home and I knew it was my last day alive. I was crying and crying because I did not have any other option. A man stopped me and told me of a woman nearby. He said, “First you go knock on that gate. There is a woman there who might need help.” I knocked the gate and the woman said she had some work for me, but I would have to wait one week while she was away from town. The man I had first talked with told me to hold on a little longer. I went home and threw the bottle of poison in the toilet. Then I prayed to God and begged Him to forgive me for losing hope.
The following week I got work from the woman for some small money. I bought food. I paid for our back rent. We survived. We had oh so little, but we did not die.
I have now been with my current husband for one year. He is a good, God fearing man. We met the missionaries just a few weeks ago, and things have begun to change. We are planning to marry next month. Then we can be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We will start paying our tithing and honoring the sabbath day. We will live the Gospel. We will be okay. I am so thankful for the missionaries coming to my home and helping me see the true Gospel. I am doing my level best and will continue forever.
I do not want charity. I only want to work hard along with my husband so we can eat and live and learn to grow in this True Church. Even through all the struggles of life, I have faith we will be blessed if we keep trying and never give up. I’m so glad I did not give up on God. He was there all along and now I know it.