Elissama Wani Daniel (From a curse to a blessing)

All the routes led to failure, neither the father supports, nor the family provides, but when God became in the forefront of my life, He turned evil into good, failure into success and the curse into a river of blessings.

Something Missing:
Although I was born to a Christian family, and we used to read the Bible and pray on a daily basis, and I used to go to church every Sunday like any other child, besides, none of us at home has ever smoked cigarettes or drank alcoholic drinks. In spite of all that I felt deep emptiness inside, as if I missed something very important in my life. I wasn’t sure of my salvation and that my sins were forgiven.

This continued, until the time I went to two youth conferences, arranged by the Holy Bible Union in the eighties of the twentieth century; a conference in “Raghav” and another in “Yei”, here was the turning point in my life; when I read a verse from James that says: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”(James 2:10)

In accordance with reading that verse, I realized that there’s no difference between me and any other sinner who commits many sins and immoral acts, that’s why I took a decision in this conference; to ask the Lord for forgiveness and salvation, and I declared accepting The Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior, that was in 1986, and since that day my life has totally altered.

Father’s cruelty:
During my schooling years, my family was moved from Uganda to South Sudan during the first civil war by my father, and there he gave us some help and he went back to Uganda, but Satan deceived him, and he married another woman and abandoned his family. Since then, we lost the love we used to get from him; for he quarreled a lot with my mother, and he claimed that I wasn’t his legitimate son, he used to tell me: “I’ll curse you in this world, and you’ll never inherit me, everything will go to your younger brother”.

It was extremely hard on me, for I experienced to be loved by both parents when our home was still united. Since then, my life was confused, and my heart was full of bitterness towards my father, “I don’t want such a father”, I said. I considered myself an orphan despite his being alive.

By the time I accepted The Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior, the first thing I asked from God was to make me able to love my dad, it wasn’t easy at first, but I asked God to provide me with the power and strength to forgive him, and respect him once again.

Suffering with education:
My financial state was tough, when I was at Luka Secondary school, and I had no one to pay the school fees for me; because my father evaded his duties towards me. For that reason I began to seek a job, I was cleaning houses or cutting the trees, till I found a job opportunity as an apprentice; in the farm of a foreigner (a white man), for little money in return.

The “foreigner” was very nice to me, and he told me: “I don’t mind if you seek a new school to learn while you work”, so I went to a school in Juba, they told me at school that I have to repeat the second term, but I said “No, I won’t”. So, I turned to another afternoon school and I was admitted there. And so, I was working and studying at the same time, until I successfully completed the Sudanese secondary school certificate.

Thorough Success:
Thereafter, I began my university studies, and God began His work in my life, even though I was lonely but God was by my side; helping and guiding me. We had a Bible study association in Juba university (JUBSA), we shared the Bible with non-Christian students and with teachers’ children. After a short period of time, we started a Fellowship Of Christian University Students (FOCUS), as an attempt to help the church spread the services among the other religions.

During my college days, I always put God in front of me, and my colleagues used to believe I won’t pass the exams, due to my busyness in the service, but when the results were hang outside, my degrees appeared very high and very good. So, I was graduated from Juba university with honors, and then I started working with Operation Mercy (OM), an organization in Khartoum; which serves the internally displaced people all over the city. Later on, I came to South Sudan and I joined the government on the Anti-Corruption Committee. I worked for some time with ACROSS organization, afterwards, I married Eva Samuel Lopez, and we had four children: Daniel, Abigail, Lucy and Samuel.

God taught me a priceless fact; as long as I succeeded in the most dignified matter (spiritually), success will follow me wherever I go. Still remained a single matter that I wasn’t able to accomplish; which is forgiving my father for what he did to me, and to the rest of the family.

The appearance of the fruit:
Although the civil war separated me from my family; they live in Uganda and I live in Sudan, but one day, I had the chance to attend FOCUS conference in Kenya, and the organizers bought me the travelling ticket from Nairobi to Kampala. So; I went to see my mother and my siblings in the refugee camps, and also to see my father.

As soon as I met my father, I told him: “I just want to tell you one thing, which is: I have forgiven you, and I love you “. He shed a lot of tears and said:”Son, I’ve wronged you, please forgive me for all the bad things I did to you”, and we spent two hours with each other, then we prayed together. Afterwards, I went back to Nairobi, from which I travelled to Khartoum, and I realized that God has prepared that precise time to forgive one another.

From that time and on, I’ve learnt that when the love of God enters our hearts, it provides us with the power of forgiveness, that had helped me in Khartoum; there was an enmity between southerners and northerners, and the Arabs used to insult the southerners calling them slaves. So God has made it plain to me that I should love my Arab brothers with the same love I have for my father, this had an influence on many of them, and they became real Christians since then, they even were steadfast in their Christian faith, when they were severely persecuted, although some churches were scared, but God has assured them.