At only 12 years old, Adaeze has experienced things that would steal the hope from nearly anyone’s heart. As is common in the northern part of Nigeria, Adaeze’s family began preparing her for marriage at the age of 10. The bride price, a traditional gift of money or property from the groom’s family, would help Adaeze’s family provide for their other children, so they planned for her to marry as soon as possible.
However, preparing Adaeze for marriage doesn’t mean simply teaching her to cook and clean. It also means preparing her to serve her husband in other ways. So Adaeze was encouraged to begin sleeping with older men to learn how to become a better wife. By the age of 12, Adaeze had become promiscuous, seeing her value only in what she could do to please others.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)
But a caring teacher equipped with training and Life on Life discipleship materials saw much more in Adaeze. As he taught his class the Easter lesson about Jesus’ victory over death, he knew the message was reaching Adaeze’s heart.
As he and another teacher prayed with Adaeze after class, they could see her excitement. She could barely stop talking about Jesus’ great love for her and the crown of victory she would one day wear as part of His eternal family.
Though the challenges Adaeze faces haven’t changed, those difficulties don’t steal her hope anymore. Adaeze finds hope for the future in the knowledge that she is a beautiful, new creation—a precious and victorious daughter of the Most High King!
*The name and image of the girl in this story have been changed to protect her privacy.