It is good to get reminders of the stresses and difficulties some of our Grace Brethren people in other parts of the world are experiencing. Martine Yougouda (pictured), the wife of Dr. Pierre Yougouda, who for many years led the Grace Brethren churches in the Central African Republic, this week was in the capital city of Bangui and visited with GBIM board member Miriam Pacheco, who is on an extended visit to the C.A.R. Here is a portion of Miriam’s report on her visit with Martine:
“I had a delightful time this morning with Martine Yougouda. We talked a lot about the Hand in Hand school in her church. She’s not the teacher, but she’s the mover & shaker for that school.
“And we also talked about her time during the most recent war. There were soldiers brought down to C.A.R. from the Chad and they became disenchanted very quickly because they didn’t get the pay they had been promised, so they took out their vengeance on the people in the North.
“Martine lives in the northern village of Bougila. Her husband was in Bangui at the time and couldn’t get home, so she fled with 11 children that she was caring for and they lived in the bush for four months. They walked at least 100 miles, and she said they often didn’t eat for a couple days at a time.
“The soldiers came into their home and took everything they had, but they did not touch the house itself. Martine said when she did come home, she was angry with God for allowing them to take all her stuff. Then she had a change of heart and repented, and is now thanking God for caring for them and helping her realize that she really needs only Jesus.
“She said she would get up in the morning and pray, ‘Lord, we need food to eat today,’ and He would supply something for them to eat. This statement was striking ~ ‘we have nothing, but we are happy.’
“I was in tears as she talked. What a sweet spirit flowed from her, and the expression on her face was one of peace and happiness.”