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Making it Matter

It was early one morning in Cali, Colombia, when Aura Inés Lopera received the last communication from her only child, twenty-six-year-old Stephanie. Eight hours later, Stephanie’s abandoned car was located, as well as her dead, battered body. 

Aura was shattered. Although her daughter was a Christian, Aura was not. She wondered, “What kind of God could let this happen?” The ensuing despair threatened to consume her. She sank deeper and deeper into an abyss of silent grief, pulling away from friends and family. The guilt was overwhelming; she should have been there. She should have been able to save her child. 

Only Aura’s sister, also a believer, somehow managed to avoid adding to her crushing burden. Other church members leaned in with warmth and a practical outpouring of love that melted Aura’s heart, and she found herself drawn to them.  She began to attend Bible studies and joined a support group of women who had been similarly traumatized. Aura soon realized that she had to choose between trusting God in the midst of meaningless pain, or a descent into a bitter, hopeless void. She chose Jesus.

Growing rapidly in her new faith, Aura found herself longing to make a commitment to Jesus, and so was baptized. After that day, although painful memories of her daughter’s death still plagued her, they no longer had the same power. 

Nothing would make it right, Aura knew, but God could make it matter. God could give it meaning.

Aura began to take more of a leadership role with the other women suffering from trauma. In discipling them, she became hungry to be discipled herself. Hearing of a discipleship program called HADIME, run by Multiply’s Matthew Training Centre in Mexico, she jumped at the chance to join. 

“I was the oldest student there,” Aura reflected wryly, “but it was the best time of my life! I learned to serve the Lord as he wants me to serve, not just in the way that I think is best.”

Looking back on her daughter’s senseless death, Aura marvels at how God brought meaning, direction, and beauty to her life as she surrendered her pain to him. Aura has now returned to Colombia and is pouring out her life to Jesus in voluntary, loving sacrifice, asking God to use her to bring hope and meaning to the pain of others.  

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