Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Janine's Story

My father married two wives besides my mom so life became difficult. We were left to stay with our grandfather who was not bothering so much about us. I went away and followed my mother to her new love but my mom's husband, a drunkard, would beat my mother every day and throw us out of the house and hated me so much. He even sold all the household items for buying drinks. I left school in 1999. I never lived a free life. The government soldiers would come out of the bush and rape young girls. It happened to my sister. My uncle tried to stop them and they beat him to death.

Laurent Kabila (the president) and Bemba, the rebel, were fighting so the government started recruiting children into the army by force. That day the army troops came to our school and forced us to carry guns and start training to fight the rebels. I was 18 years old. Many children were killed because the training was short time and the rebel armies were well trained men who killed most of the children recruited with no experience. We escaped from gov't recruits. We came to surrender under care of the rebels because they were not killing those who come to them. But the gov't troops were killing people because the president gave orders that the area should be cleared of people, anybody found is to be shot.

In 2001 in the rebels camp I met a ugandan soldier who had come to support the rebels fighting against the gov't. My fear was if I remained in Congo I would be raped and killed like all the others, so I thought I would get security if I came to Uganda.

We got together and came to Uganda and went to the parents of the man but at that time it was under attack of the Karamajong, so we spend our nights in the bush. In 2003 the man started beating me every day. He cut my lip with a razor blade trying to spoil my face. He would bite me. I have scars all over my body. He said he would spoil my shape. He said he was going to kill me and he brought home a large stick, but a fellow soldier warned me and helped me escape. I ran away and got married to another army officer who had many wives. I feared they would kill me. Then later the man chased me away.
I started going to nightclubs, drinking, smoking, practicing witchcraft and selling myself to win the favor of the man. I would steal money from men and neighbors. I was in a group of girls and I would steal their money and beat them up. When they refused to give money sometimes men would beat me.

One time a man took me to his house but said he did not have any money to pay me, but I was almost killed. From that day I wanted to leave this life.

My painful experience was that Kabira's army would come to families and force the fathers to have sex with their daughters and ask them how it tasted. Then they came to my mother and grandmother and 6 of them raped her and then after she collapsed and died.

My home in Congo is in the rebel's hands. They are restricted from moving. I cannot go back.

On 17th of March 2009 I met Jesus who convicted me and I came to confess with my mouth that He is my savior. We met mama miriam at a funeral in the barracks where 4 children were burned to death. I found that life can be short. I received christ and came to stay in this house the next day. Glory to God, I am now saved. I left that life and I never want to go back. Now I don't have to worry every day about where to get food or how I might suffer at the hands of men. I feel like a baby seeing the world for the first time.

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