(Posted by Jane)
I remember Rahab mainly as a prostitute. One of the more gripping stories in the Old Testament where an unknown, courageous woman risks her life to protect two of Joshua’s spies (Joshua 2). I remember her less as Rahab, mother of Boaz, the great grandfather of King David; ancestor of Jesus… Perhaps that is of no surprise, to remember someone for their scandal as opposed to their place in a tedious genealogy, or their tenuous link to Jesus (as it felt when I read the beginning of Matthew’s gospel growing up). For some reason I decided to read and study the book of Joshua again when we first moved to Uganda, comforted, I think, by the verse my sister Mary stuck on our bedroom door when we were living with them, which is now framed in our flat: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
I was hooked afresh by the character of Rahab: this feisty woman who fears a distant God she has heard about, and somehow ends up becoming an intimate part of his salvation plan; this woman of little to no significance to society, but chosen to be of great significance to God.
I have found myself amidst a cluster of women and initiatives in Kampala called Rahab Uganda. Rahab Uganda exists to support girls who find themselves trapped in sexual exploitation, and to campaign and raise awareness about human trafficking. I admire the women who have established this organisation; their combined passion to see significant, lasting change for girls on a national scale and their conviction to respond as best they can to the needs of girls before their eyes today. Aptly named, I have met girls these past few weeks like Rahab; hard-pressed by life on every side, but courageously seeking a new future.