Resistance Fighter has just been published and is a read-at-one-sitting book. For me it turned the tedium of a flight from UK to West Africa into an enjoyable, challenging, emotional and disturbing experience as Susie Howe took me from the joys of playing with lively orphaned children in Zimbabwe to the horrors of learning of children accused of witchcraft in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Susie’s autobiographical record of her life (how much she has packed in already!) recounts how she has sought to walk close to God in obedience as He has taken her and her husband Jeremy on a number of unexpected excursions into situations that most of us have never experienced nor even dreamed existed.
Starting with her childhood she tells of growing up as a talented young dancer only to be redirected by God as he made Himself known to her. Her nursing career took an unexpected turn when she first encountered AIDS in the early 80s and rapidly became something of an expert. When Susie gives herself to learning about something it is whole-hearted and focussed. This took her to Zimbabwe for the first time, a country she and Jeremy would return to later and where she was used greatly to improve the lives of thousands of children orphaned by parents dying of AIDS.
But orphanages were not for Susie. That would have been too easy an option and touch only a small number of children. She determined to ensure that children stayed in their villages and set up a network of carers to help thousands of children lead as normal lives as possible.
Next, back to the UK where she gave herself for a year to developing the unique and highly successful Pavement Project, a means of reaching street children with the love of Christ through pictorial tracts.
Then onto other parts of Africa before challenging the horrendous issue of children being accused of witchcraft with its associated torture and child abuse, particularly in the DRC. Not willing to do nothing Susie has mobilised churches and others, including people of influence, to expose this scandal and advocate on behalf of the children.
But let me not tell too much of Susie’s story – this is a must-read book. Let it challenge you: your walk of faith, your passion for issues, your tenacity to what God has called you to do. Susie has set us an example. I urge you to read this moving life-story and be vulnerable to what God might say to you.
Resistance Fighter – God’s heart for the broken. IVP.
Footnote. Susie is Founder and Director of the Bethany Children’s Trust