One of my (favorite) mama’s just had her 13th surgery… for the same thing…
Mama Komeza dressed me up in her clothes like a baby doll on one of my visits to her house.
She was brutally raped in 2006. I won’t go into details. She lived in Heal Africa hospital for almost 10 years. That’s where she met Esther. Esther spent a lot of time at that hospital after her and Camille moved to Goma; before Africa New Day/Un Jour Nouveau (UJN). She loved on a lot of women; she spent time there praying and worshiping with them. Hearing testimonies and praying more. She’s seen and heard a lot of horrific stories, but she encouraged praise and worship and prayer despite the pain. What else do we have?
My tiny mama
Mama Komeza moved into one of the UJN safe houses in 2015. She works at UJN cooking for the kids and sewing. She’s crazy in all the most perfect ways. She is my mama; or at least one of them. She gets into fake arguments with some of the others over who will get the “mama’s fabric” at my wedding (no, there is no wedding remotely in sight). Apparently this is a big deal for mamas. When I come see her in the kitchen (or the area where she cooks for staff and the kids) she usually makes me sit on her lap, but that’s probably because I sat on her lap all the time on my own, now she makes me when I forget. She is a shrewd business woman and a tough negotiator. She has saved her money to buy land on the outskirts of Goma and is saving to build her own house. Her newest thing is repeating me when I speak English (like a parrot). It’s hilarious…
cooking for our after school program. 250 kids… with a smile. Always.
Her heart is huge and she is amazing. She is shy and reserved at first, but give this woman a chance to speak when she’s passionate about something and good luck getting her to stop talking. She’s funny and affectionate. It’s strange not having her at the center this past week. We went to visit her at the hospital Friday. A specialist is in town for the surgery she needed, so she went. We went with Mama Melena, Marie, Annette and Sarah. We found Mama Komeza in bed with one of her daughters. She doesn’t have her own kids, but she adopted two little girls. The youngest is Esther, she was sleeping in bed when we got there but woke up because Komeza was so excited we all came.
making me sit on her lap… luckily Victoire didn’t capture the picture of her force feeding me beans!
She took my keys, couldn’t figure out how to unlock the door (so I did) and got in to pretend she was driving. I would love to see her drive one day… but also the thought scares me!
Imagine, a large room like in a war movie- a triage center- except rather than soldiers, it’s filled with beds of women all having the same surgery, for the same reasons. This particular room had about 50 beds… Naturally they were all surprised when a huge white girl (that’s me) walks in and asks in Swahili where her mom is. I crawled in bed with her and Esther (her daughter, not our co-founder). She’s doing well. We all laughed and talked for a while, and then Mama Sarah started singing. The entire room joined in. The voices of 50+ women all singing praise to Jesus in Swahili was beautiful. We prayed for Komeza, I cuddled a little more and then we had to go. I really love her.
Video: I told Komeza to talk (she is holding the deed to her new land she bought and she is so excited), she started dancing and taking off her jacket instead! Melana says: Mama is crazy, She’s crazy with pride (because of her land). I tell them to say Good Bye… and Komeza says bye, but then she says “my little Jenni, I love you, a lot (I say “no, only a little”) A LOT, A LOT, so much, so much!
This woman is strong! I mean, sure, she picks me up and swings me around… but she’s strong. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. She’s been through a lot and she’s choosing Joy. Please pray for her as she recovers. This one’s gonna be a success, in Jesus name!
Komeza and Melana
much love from Goma,
Before I was able to get a good internet connection and post this, we went to the hospital after church today to check on her again and so Mama Ngalula could see Komeza. This time my roommate went with us, so it was two giant white girls (she’s taller than I am) coming in to see the women. She snapped these pictures of us (me, Komeza, Mama Ngalula, Baby Anaëlle, and little Esther.)
Komeza after we got her sitting up posing in my sunglasses
We prayed again and she is confident this surgery will be her last. Keep praying!!