Revenge consumed Florine. Then her heart softened through the love of Christians and the gift of goats.
When asked what is the most valuable thing she’s learned through being a part of the Samaritan’s
Purse Uganda Southwestern Livestock Project, Florine replied, “Rukundo.” Love.
Florine Atuhaire is a young mother living in a tiny village in southwestern Uganda called Kiiwha. The village is surrounded by rolling hills and large banana plantations. Florine was selected to receive goats through the project because it aims to improve household incomes for women-headed families through modern livestock farming.
Additionally, Florine’s low income from only one livelihood source, bananas, puts her in a vulnerable position financially. Bananas are highly affected by unreliable rain and a long, dry season in Florine’s region.
Since the beginning of 2015, Samaritan’s Purse has helped Florine construct a shelter for her goats and has been training her on livestock care. Her growing flock of healthy goats and clean animal shelter is proof she is benefiting from the technical help of the livestock team. However, the value of what Florine has gained from the project goes much deeper than knowledge about goats.
“SP loved us [the people in her community] to the extent of bringing us livestock,” Florine said.
It’s a relatively simple thing to give someone goats, but the love it conveys is enormous. Going into a remote village to show people they are valued—that is the love that has impacted Florine.
“I’d only been a Christian for eight months before meeting SP,” Florine said. “I’d been backsliding in my faith.”
The love she’s experienced has encouraged her to continue moving forward with God, something that hasn’t always come easy.
About a year ago, Florine’s three children were poisoned by someone in her community. Her
4-year-old daughter, Anna, died from the poison. Florine became angry and vowed to get revenge.
Her desire for revenge consumed her life. She had been so angry and bitter, she even planned to sell her house and banana plantation so she could pay a witch doctor to curse the person who’d poisoned her children. All she thought about was revenge.
Her neighbors came and prayed with her, but she remained angry. Then some people came
through her village preaching about Jesus’ forgiveness and love. She’d sat there burning with conviction as she listened. Florine gave her life to Christ and gave over the hate and bitterness she felt. God began softening her heart and teaching her His ways. But the road to forgiveness was hard.
The love the Samaritan’s Purse staff members have shown Florine as they’ve come alongside her and invested in her has changed her life and encouraged her faith.
Instead of thinking of how to get revenge, Florine now thinks about how she will use the money she earns from selling goats. She wants to open a shop in her village so she can generate enough income to send her children to school. Instead of being bitter and hateful, Florine prays that the people who meant her harm will also come to know God’s love and be saved. Not only has God provided Florine with goats, but He has also filled Florine with hopes, dreams, and love.
Every time our livestock team visits Florine, they pray with her. She asks us to join her in praying that her husband, Steven, will also come to know God’s love, for her children whom she had to send to another village for safety, for the salvation of her enemies, and for her goats to multiply.