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TW: Sexual assault

Scripture references:
2 Samuel 11 and 12
Genesis 19:30-38
Matthew 18:9

The brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana happened while I was in South Africa and that shifted the entire atmosphere of my stay.

The air was uncomfortably thick, fear ran rampant in the streets, and for the first time in my life, I was deeply scared to be a woman.

This beautiful young woman did not deserve to die like that. No one deserves to die like that.

I joined the #AmINext protest alongside the women of South Africa without hesitation. But while our picket signs raised high, our prayers raised even higher.

Jesus believes in women. He believes in guarding and protecting them. Jesus believes in men. He believes in guarding and protecting them. Jesus believes in children. He believes in guarding and protecting them.

Sometimes it seems like we’re progressing as human beings, until something as horrible as Uyinene’s death makes headlines, and then it feels like we’ve taken a million steps back.

It can be incredibly discouraging to have faith.

But man, I have to have faith that I will see humanity value one another’s personhood in my lifetime. I have to. Otherwise, I will succumb to fear. And to succumb to fear is to forsake the faith.

So until valuing, honoring and respecting one another becomes second nature (and not second to sin nature), we will continue to pray and we will continue to protest.

This is for Uyinene and all the men, women and children who’ve been a victim of sexual violence, as well as those who no longer have voices to speak for themselves.