Sharing her remarkable testimony at the ZITF in Bulawayo last week, the 67-year-old Meyer revealed that she had been raped at least 200 times by her biological father, whom she says also beat up and abused her mother.
“I have shared the testimony of how my father sexually abused me but now I think it is time to say what really happened because that word ‘abuse’ does not really explain what I went through and what my father did to me was rape. I was raped at least 200 times,’’ said Meyer leaving her audience stunned.
Meyer is the author of several best-selling books based on her own life experiences that have inspired, motivated, uplifted and encouraged Christians the world over but on Thursday, this world-renowned teacher and minister of the Word, made quite an impression on those who attended the Festival of Life.
“I share the story of my life to prove that there is no mess that God cannot fix, there is no pit so deep that God cannot reach His hand and lift you out of it — if you will only believe in Him,’’ said Meyer.
She spoke to the heart of women, sharing her experiences of how God had turned her life around, restored her and made her a witness to the world of the exceeding greatness of God’s power.
“Because I was raised in an abusive environment, I married the first guy that came along out of fear. I was afraid that no one would want me and I would end up alone. Fear makes you desperate and I know many women marry the wrong guy out of fear,’’ said Meyer as most people nodded in affirmation.
In her desperation, Meyer revealed that she had married a man who turned out to be a thief, a habitual cheat who chased after other women and was generally a criminal.
“He left me to go and stay with another woman and I was pregnant at the time. He was claiming the baby wasn’t his. I left the marriage and the girl who did my hair took me in because I had nowhere to stay and I couldn’t go to work anymore. All these things happened to me — but I am still here,’’ shared Meyer.
After divorcing her first husband, Meyer later met and married Dave Meyer her husband of almost 44 years, and they have four children.Her global appeal has been credited to the fact that she is frank and open about her past, drawing from personal experiences to teach the Word of God and to encourage others. Last week, hundreds of people in Bulawayo deserted their jobs and school children bunked lessons for a chance to see Joyce Meyer in the flesh.
As a woman minister, Meyer said she believed God was raising up women like never before — not to “boss’’ men but to be complementary equals because, “God wants women in government, in parliament and even on the pulpit in the church’’.
Meyer urged the congregants, drawn from all denominations, different walks of life and various social statuses to “never let your past become your identity, because what God can do for one person He can do for you — if you will just believe.”
Joyce Meyer is broadcasted on over 350 TV stations and receives airplay from over 450 radio stations in more than 40 languages all over the world and her Ministry is over two decades old.