From Homeless Orphan to Teenage Evangelist: Hanna’s Story

03/22/16

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”—John 3:16

 
As Hanna Abwot, 18, held the microphone, more than 30 people in the circle around her had their hands raised high, accepting Christ as their personal savior through her words. This girl, leading the crowd, was a different person from when she was found by COTN living on the streets eight years ago.
 
You see, the odds were stacked against Hanna from the beginning. When she was only an infant, her father died. A few year later, her mother disappeared. This left her living on her own, on the streets, with no food, no clothes, no education, and no way out. That is, until a COTN staff member found her when she was ten and offered her a place in the COTN Children’s Home. 
 
                                                       Hanna upon joining the COTN family
 
Almost immediately, Hanna not only received food, clothing, shelter, education, and healthcare, she fell in love with the Lord. As she said at that time, “Jesus brought me here. He saved me and He changed me, [allowing me] to love my friends and love myself. I am now able to see the gifts that God has given me.”
 
One of those gifts is the ability to speak God’s love to people and share His word. She recently had the opportunity to do that at Ayira Nursing Home just five miles from her village.
 
Every month, students from COTN’s Children’s Homes in Lira, Uganda, do an outreach day. On these days, they minister in their communities, leading a service, singing, sharing testimonies, preaching the word, and praying for the sick. Every child gets a specific role for these events. Hanna didn’t know her role at the nursing home would change lives.
 

COTN children minister in their communities, including leading services full of singing, dancing, and worship. Hanna helps lead the crowd at a recent Outreach Day. 
 
That day, she decided to speak on John 3:16.
 
Many in the meeting were non-believers. But when speaking, Hanna felt led to encourage everyone to put their trust in God and call upon Him, for he would be right there with them always. For those who were already believers, she encouraged them to continue putting their trust in the Lord who has the power to heal their sick bodies. When speaking, she asked those who were non-believers to give their lives to Christ. Immediately, more than 30 people, both young and old, put their hands in the air and called on Jesus to be their personal savior. 
 
                               Hanna leads the crowd during Outreach Day, speaking on God's love and power.
 
“Hanna had never thought that her message could cause such a great miracle like that to take place, no less than she had thought that God could use her as the special vessel through which he could accomplish the salvation of so many that day,” recalls a member of the COTN Spiritual Care staff in Uganda.
 
COTN children joined patients in the nursing home to pray. Many people gave their lives to Christ during this time of prayer.
 
Amazed, all of the kids left the nursing home with great joy, singing and praising God for all He had done through them that day.
 
              "Hanna was able to see more clearly that surely she is a child whom God is raising to transform lives."
 
When Hanna's pastor, Pastor Richard, sat down with her later that week to discuss the miraculous events that took place during the outreach, he took the opportunity to reassure her of her calling from God—she is someone God is using to transform lives. “She saw it happen that day when the Lord used her life and message to touch and deliver people in need. Hanna was able to see more clearly that surely she is a child whom God is raising to transform lives and cause lasting change in her community.”
 
Help children like Hanna continue developing their faith and their discipleship opportunities. Give to the COTN Spiritual Care fund today.