20 November 2017

I was consumed by hatred

Raped by two of her brother's friends when she was 18 years old, Onica was left a bitter and angry teenager who did not trust men.

Years later when she thought she had healed from that ordeal, her husband was shot dead after six years of marriage.

"My brother's friends came home looking for him and when they didn't find him they raped me. I was hurt because they were people I knew and trusted. My brother was so angry that he stabbed one of them to death and was sentenced to six years in prison. I thought dealing with the rape I went through and seeing my brother serve his sentence in prison was the worst pain in my life," She said

To shift her focus away from the pain she felt, Onica started drinking alcohol heavily. She later met Edward who did not take advantage of her drinking, but treated her with respect.

"He always made sure that I was safe. That changed my thinking about men as he made me understand that not all men were the same as those who raped me. I developed trust in him because he was patient with me. We later dated and married in 1997," she said.

They had four children, however, Onica's happiness was short -lived when her husband was shot dead on his way to work.

His family accused Onica of plotting his death and took everything out of the house.

"They took everything, including my clothes. My children and I were not even allowed to attend his funeral. That opened old wounds from the rape incident. I suffered from depression and was admitted to hospital for four months while my family looked after my children.  After I was discharged I managed to find a job so I could provide for my children.  I was still angry with my in-laws," she said.

One morning while preparing for work, Onica saw one of the Universal Church's broadcasts where someone testified about a similar situation that she was going through.

"On that same day when I got back from work, I went to the Universal Church. A pastor offered me counselling and suggested that I come on Wednesdays for inner healing and spiritual growth. As I continued coming I was able to let go of my painful past. I was able to forgive the two men who stole my innocence.  After 15 years God healed me and I was able to face my in-laws and make peace with them. God's presence in my life gave me a new lease on life," she said.

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