For Christians in West African countries like Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Ghana, forgiveness is hard and many have strained relationships in their homes, towns, and workplaces. The Jesus Film Project team in this region ministers to the believers in the police and military by using small group Bible studies related to the video series, “Walking With Jesus.” The five-episode series, written and produced by African Jesus Film Project staff and African theologians, is designed to help African new believers grow in their faith.
In a West African nation, there was a “Walking With Jesus” event that 300 of the top female military leaders attended. “I will never forgive my husband,” Ekua* yelled as she jumped out of her seat, startling the women sitting around her.
Ekua was successful in her job but faced problems at home. Her husband, Kayode*, another military officer, had abandoned her and their children. Without emotional or financial support from her husband, the burden of being the sole caregiver for their children and household weighed heavily on her.
The next day Ekua and the rest of the women viewed the second episode of “Walking With Jesus.” In the film, the village chief realises he wronged many people and decides to make his relationships right – not only because God has forgiven the chief of all his sins, but also because Jesus calls His followers to do the same.
The Bible study leader challenged the women to fix any disunity in their lives. “Whoever has sinned against you, forgive them,” he said. Ekua began to cry. After praying, she ran out of the large conference room to phone Kayode. “I’ve just called you to let you know I have forgiven you, and I want you to know I love you,” she said.
JOY AFTER FORGIVING
Kayode shouted cheerfully! Within minutes, Kayode’s heart softened, and he transferred money for the first time to help his family. When Ekua returned to the conference, she was a thankful woman dancing for joy.
Forgiveness is significant to the gospel message and to a believer’s everyday life. Jesus said to His followers, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV). We experience God’s love and forgiveness at a deeper level by stepping out in faith, as Ekua did, and forgiving others as we have been forgiven.
Source: Jesus Film project