Since the days of the early church sharing the gospel has been met with persecution. In Acts 7 we meet Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who forgave his killers in his final moments. Sadly, martyrdom is still a cost many pay for their passion to share the life-giving message of Jesus.
Eunice, a mother of seven, is from a town in Northern Nigeria. Most mornings Eunice was up before 6am to share the message of Jesus in the streets at sunrise. Her husband, Pastor Olowale said, “She always made sure that she shared the Word of God with at least one person or group of people every day.”
“She always made sure that she shared the Word of God with at least one person or group of people every day.”
That is an incredible challenge to us in the west. How many times have we shared our faith with one person in the last week, or even month? Eunice’s commitment can inspire us to get more passionate about how we go about showing and telling others about God’s love. But unlike us, Eunice wasn’t just worried about looking different or being embarrassed about sharing her love of God. She knew when she told others about Jesus, she could be risking her life.
Pastor Olowale. Eunice’s remembers: “My wife preached next to a mosque while the imam in the mosque was also preaching. He stopped talking and listened to what Eunice was saying and then told his members to listen to what she was saying because she was speaking the truth about God.”
In the following weeks after preaching near the mosque, there were some incidents that made the family concerned about Eunice’s safety. “I began to feel very uncomfortable,” explained Olowale. But Eunice continued getting up early.
Olowale knew Eunice would continue to preach so he called for a night of prayer. “We prayed all night and Eunice led us in worship songs… Little did I know that this was the last time we would ever pray together. We went to sleep at about 4am. Eunice got up at about 5am and left for her morning preaching.”
Eunice’s sons were at early morning football training. They heard that a woman had just been killed on the street while she was preaching. The boys hearts sank, and they immediately ran home and told their father.
Olowale rushed out of the house to find his wife. “I ran to the place where the killing took place. I didn’t find my wife there. All I saw was a pool of blood. I broke down and cried. I lost my true companion.”
“We were taken into the police station and were consoled. Eventually someone drove us home because I was in a state of shock.”
Despite going through such a horrific loss, Olowale testifies of the Lord’s comfort to them as a family during this time. “My encouragement has been Col 1:27, which says, ‘Christ in you, the hope of all glory’. Yes I know that my wife has died, but I know I am not alone. Christ is with me and He lives in me.”
“My wife died preaching the gospel. She lived to preach the gospel.”
Olowale is now a single father. He is determined to continue the Great Commission. “On the Sunday after she was killed, I encouraged my congregation to not be discouraged or afraid, but to keep preaching the Word of God everywhere they find themselves.”
He told the media “Whether the people [attackers] are caught or not, we should forgive them. My prayer is that if they can accept Christ it will be a gain for Christ.”
Please continue to pray for Pastor Olowale, his four girls, and three boys who continue to feel the loss of their mother.
Pastor Olowale said, “I want to thank you for the support and the encouraging words you brought to me. You do not know me, but you came to identify with me in my time of sorrow. May God continue to bless your ministry!”
We can use our freedom to bravely, boldly and courageously share Jesus’ love with others, just like Eunice. Her passion, commitment and dedication to sharing her faith offer us a serious challenge and wake-up call. As you pray for Pastor Olowale and his children, ask God to show you if you’ve become complacent about sharing His love with others. Ask Him to put five people on your heart that you could share your faith with in the next month. Pray for them each day, and be bold and brave in speaking to them when the time is right!
*We’ve adapted this post from an original article written by the lovely chaps at Open Doors Australia!
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.