We received an amazing answer to prayer this evening. Eli has been missing for more than 6 months now, and we had begun to think the worst - knowing that there were very few people who would even know she had gone missing or who would care. But she is like a sister to us and we did care and continued to pray that one day she would turn up and that God would be looking after her wherever she was.
We had phoned the missing persons help-line but they had come up with nothing. Finally we asked one of the volunteers from MEFI who lives down in the south of the city - within the same district as Eli if she could ask in the market place and anywhere else where Eli would usually go if they had seen her. We had a partial address for her - although the names of streets and neighbourhoods here often lead you on a wild goose chase! Besides, Eli's rented room didn't have a number or anything.
However, Julia (the volunteer) set out on her own with a photo of Eli to walk the district within which we knew Eli lived, and kept asking people around if they had seen her. Eventually she found a man who told her to knock on a door of one of the buildings. She did this and amazingly Eli appeared at the door!
We're thanking God that Eli is OK, nothing serious happened, she just got in to a lot of financial problems and had to sell her mobile phone amongst other things, and had to work long hours, so didn't have the money or time to come to the drop-in centre to tell us what was going on. She had lost all the contacts on her phone, and although she'd tried to retrieve our number she hadn't had any success.
Sadly, because of her financial problems she has had to take Edith (her youngest) out of school. Samuel is still at the boarding school, but we found out he has been suffering with depression (he is only 8 years old) and Eli insinuated that he has been suicidal at times. He is now on anti-depressants which Eli is trying to raise the money for.
Now that Eli hasn't got a phone and isn't working in MEFI it is going to be much more difficult to support her or keep in touch with her. Please pray that God provides for her daily needs and that she will see real evidence of His love and care for her. Thank you for your prayers for her whilst she was missing - God does hear us when we pray!