FOR more than 10 years I carried a deep hatred in my heart towards a particular community of people: for robbing me and my family of our father. I could never bring myself to forgive them, even though I was a pastor. That was until I attended the Raphah School of Prayer Counselling and Healing Ministry in 2016, where I learned to truly forgive, and found the deep healing and breakthrough I did not realize I needed.
In 2005, my father died in prison, falsely accused of kidnapping 2 young children. Because he was the last person to be seen with them, he was accused of kidnapping them and taken into custody pending investigations. He was detained for 3 years, and died without receiving justice.
I can still remember vividly the one occasion when he was rushed to hospital outside the prison. Lying in bed, both his ankles were handcuffed. Seeing him in that condition I felt so degraded. I felt that my father was being treated not as a human person but like an animal. I asked the police officers why my father was still cuffed, knowing that he was already so sick and weak, and in no position to escape? The officers merely replied, “Sorry, we are just following orders.”
When he was sufficiently recovered, my father was returned to prison. One day, while at work, I was informed by my wife that my father had passed away in prison. He died not knowing where I was, and without his case being settled.
The loss of my father under these circumstances caused a deep hatred to grow within me: a hatred towards my father’s accusers, their families, and their community.
As it turned out, the 2 children were never kidnapped; they had run away from home due to abuse by their families. With this new information, and the testimony of the children, our family tried to seek the release of our father, but to no avail. My father died in prison, without seeing justice, because the authorities were not expedient in resolving his case.
I vowed that I would not forgive the people who robbed me and my family of our father. Outwardly I appeared composed, but deep within I was shaking with rage and deep hatred; the thought of revenge brewing not only towards the children’s families, but towards their whole community.
I carried that deep hatred for 10 long years, until God’s divine appointment for me with Raphah Ministries in 2016.
Knowing that I carried a deep, destructive pain within me, and learning that resolving the issues of my past was key to my future, I submitted myself to be prayed for by a team of Raphah prayer counsellors.
My friends and colleagues know me to be a very strong person; not given in to emotions, especially tears. But as I poured out my deep hurts to the prayer counsellors, I found myself weeping before the Lord, asking His forgiveness.
In that moment, God really moved upon my heart: I confessed, repented and renounced my sin of bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness towards my father’s accusers, their families and their community.
That day, God freed me and delivered me from my bitterness, hatred and desire for revenge!
Looking back, my father is gone, and there is nothing I can do about that. But there is something I can do about myself. I can choose to be free. Free from hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness. It was a good thing that God did for me, when He moved to send me to the Raphah School in 2016.
I know I have been set free and healed because I am now working among the very people and community I once used to hate and plotted revenge against. This is happening to me. If I am not healed, I would not be able to welcome and embrace these people.
The love of God, and the Spirit of the Lord, softened my hardened heart, healed my wounds, and took away my pain.
I am able to live free, because I learned to forgive!
To God be the glory!