Nita came running through the church gates with a big smile on her face, “They’re coming!” she shouted.
As the feet-washing ceremony began, Nita sat watching the others wash their parents’ feet. She already had tears running down her face. They continued to flow as she, too, washed her father’s feet.
I first met Nita at a wedding last year, although she had started coming to church before that. Like most others in my girls’ group, I wasn’t quite sure where she was in her faith, especially since her father had expressly forbidden her to attend the Sunday morning service.
Yet, over the last few months at the youth group, Nita paid close attention to the teaching. The focus was on subjects close to the hearts of teenagers, such as families and friendship. Perhaps they were striking a chord?
Whenever the girls’ group met, I encouraged them to say if there was anything they wanted us to pray about. Nita consistently asked that God would change her father’s heart and that he would allow her to come to church on Sundays.
A few months ago she told me she had been thinking a lot about the talks on families and marriage. Nita had decided that, when the time was right, she wanted to marry a Christian. When she told her parents about this, they were angry and demanded to know why.
In June we held our annual parents’ day. We encourage our younger church members to invite their parents to a special ceremony. It’s an important date in our calendar as we believe it helps to destroy the false notion that Christians don’t respect their parents.
Nita had really hoped her parents would come but wasn’t sure they would, until her father walked into church that morning.
I saw her father walking home afterwards with a big smile on his face. Nita is now allowed to come to church on Sundays and is preparing to be baptized. Having just left school, she is seeking God’s guidance for her future.