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I found hope

Tamari Sasau

Fijian Tamari Sasau (37) was full of fear when her estranged husband was diagnosed with HIV. But God brought spiritual healing to their lives.

I had already started searching for God when my mother visited me in my flat in Suva and invited me to a prayer group. A lady there asked if she could pray for me. She read out the Bible verse of Romans 6:23, ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ before praying.

From that day, my whole world changed. I realised nothing about me was hidden from the loving eyes of God and that God’s grace was especially for someone like me who was so full of pride and other sins. My love for God grew more and more each day. Today I am a soldier at Suva Central Corps and work as the librarian and receptionist at The Salvation Army’s School for Officer Training in Suva.

When I met God, my pride had led me to separate from my husband. I told myself there would never be any reconciliation between us and that I didn’t want any relationship whatsoever with him. Then I heard he had been diagnosed with HIV. I was shocked. All sorts of questions and feelings came into my mind with this dreadful news. There was no peace within me—I was in pieces.

All I wanted to know was whether I was also infected. Death was literally knocking on my head. I contacted him and he invited me to visit and discuss his health status. This was the toughest day I could ever imagine and I was left with even more questions.

It took me weeks to put things together and gain the courage to take the first step. I was fearful, focused on what other people would say about me and my son. I felt like I had been diagnosed with HIV myself.

God blessed me by placing lovely people around me who helped me get through each day and take each step at a time. Finally I had the courage to be tested—and I learnt that neither my son nor I were HIV-positive.

Because of what happened to my husband and the love and concern I felt for him, we were able to reconcile as husband and wife. God has taught me to forgive and let go of things that would hinder my Christian walk. God has taught me to love unconditionally, just as he first loved me. God has also blessed me with a wonderful extended family. My parents have not allowed my husband’s HIV status to affect our family bond.

Even though I go through difficult situations in life I can remain true to God. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’ This is what motivates me to hold on to God, because I believe that he has saved me for a reason— to serve him and to testify that God’s great arms are never too short to save not his ears too dull to hear.

The number of HIV cases in Fiji continues to rise. When people find out they are HIV-positive, some choose alcohol, prostitution, drugs and other ways to show their anger at this news. But I want to encourage people and assure them there is still hope. Even if physical healing doesn’t come, spiritual healing is possible. Most of all, I want people to experience the hope that can be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

by Tamari Sasau (c) 'War Cry' magazine, 26 August 2017, p11
You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.