It was 3 AM in the morning. Theresa’s uncle, the man of the house, was traveling for his work. The whole household – her aunt and 5 cousins ranging from 2 –  13 years old – were sleeping soundly in the mud and plaster home in Monrovia, Liberia.

But Theresa was woken up by the Holy Spirit and given a sense of “Be careful! Stay alert! Something bad is going to happen!”

She tried to wake her cousin, sleeping next to her. But Esther just muttered something sleepily and rolled over.

But Theresa knew she needed to keep watch.

Within seconds, two large, strong dark hands reached into her bedroom window, dropping broken glass and rusty iron nails onto her bedroom floor. These were intended to be weapons for later. The intruder had cut open the wire protecting the window from mosquitoes and invaders. And was ready to reach in and open the iron-barred window. . . .

The girls' bedroom window

Theresa and her cousins’ bedroom window, Monrovia, Liberia

* * *

There had been a wave of attacks and robberies in Theresa’s community over the past several weeks. Vicious men had been breaking into neighbors’ homes, raping the women in the houses and plundering everything they had. Anyone who tried to fight them would be threatened or killed with sharp glass, iron nails, and other makeshift weapons. The community had been in a state of fear and panic, unable to subdue or stop these violent crimes.

But Theresa had something special.

She had the Holy Spirit in her and the confidence and strength that comes from the Lord alone.

She had learned about the Lord through CIC and had matured into a strong young woman of God who knows her Heavenly Father and trusts in Him through the good and bad times.

Though the majority of children are often marginalized in Africa and women are culturally considered inferior, CIC teaches the value of each and every child.

We teach what God’s Word says about them – that their Heavenly Father made them and loves them and values them. And that they have a future and a hope. We teach the value of girls and women, and provide them leadership training and opportunities equal to those of boys – because the Lord calls both boys and girls to be strong in Him, to lead others to Him, and disciple others in His Truth. While girls and boys have different roles in African society, the Lord has valuable roles for both of them in His Kingdom in the places He puts them.

Theresa had attended CIC’s Child Leadership Trainings over the course of many years. In these 5-day trainings, we teach leadership, life skills, self esteem and value in the Lord, how to teach and lead others in the Word, and how to personally set aside time for the Word and prayer, so they can grow in Him.

Theresa had been a Child Leader in CIC Clubs. In this role, she had stood up and taught children and peers the Word of God and led them in prayer and worship, under the mentorship and coaching of adult CIC Club mentors.

Through all these experiences, and by God’s grace, Theresa knew who her Shield and Strength was!

* * *

The dark hands reached in to open the window. Without hesitation, Theresa courageously ran to the window and grabbed the large hands and held them firmly in her grasp. No matter how much he wrestled to break free, her hands clasped his tenaciously. He was held captive.

She yelled aloud, “Come quick everyone. I have caught him! Quick, quick!”

Her booming voice resonated not just through the house but also spilled out to the neighbor’s surrounding homes.

The invader was wrestled to the ground by community members wakened by her voice alarm.

The household, including the toddler girl of 3, were safe and sound. The women in her house, including Theresa, were spared from being violently raped. All their belongings were protected.

When the community rallied around Theresa to thank her and hear the details of her story, Theresa shared all the details but the most important one was this –

“The Lord is my strength and my deliverer. He saved our whole family. Praise be to God!” 

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Theresa told her neighbors, “The Lord is my strength!!!!” Theresa, age 15, Monrovia, Liberia

There is a whole future generation of young people like Theresa in Africa whom we can reach today. The society and culture does not raise them up as leaders. Even churches do not have the equipping or vision to nurture the younger generation, as often happens in the West.

But there is a tremendous opportunity and open door right now to empower, equip and nurture them in the Lord!

We hold over 250 trainings and train thousands per year, but there are even more pastors, church volunteers, and children who are asking for training. They are giving what they can give – about 18,000,000 child-hours of volunteer ministry and discipleship without pay, and giving their very lives as a sacrifice for the ministry.  Click here to come alongside these volunteers and help us train up thousands in CIC like Theresa