Khalid was born into a Muslim family in Ethiopia. He lived a comfortable life, supported by his loved ones and community.
But then a friend told him about Jesus.
It was this message of the gospel that Khalid couldn’t shake. But he knew the choice to follow Jesus wouldn’t be an easy one.
Khalid said, “It’s very difficult for a Muslim to come to Christ, because in Islam, Jesus is said to be human, and in Christianity, it is said that He is Lord. It was so hard, but God helped me, and I became a free man.”
When Khalid chose to be baptised, his new church family welcomed him with open arms. However, his family at home weren’t so happy.
“They told me that I defiled the culture and betrayed their faith,” he said. “They forced me to leave the house and refused to give me food or shelter. They even threatened to kill me.”
Khalid left with few possessions and no way to sustain himself. Like many others in Ethiopia, choosing to follow Jesus nearly cost him his life.
“When I lived with my family, life was comfortable. But when they kicked me out, life turned dark.
“What helped me to stand strong was the Word of God, which says: ‘He will never leave or forsake you’. With that in mind, I left everything behind, even if it would make me unhappy.”
Image: Khalid’s daughter
One Sunday church service, Khalid came across a life-changing opportunity. An Open Doors economic empowerment program.
After receiving a microloan and attending saving and investment training, Khalid chose to invest in a small convenience store.
He discovered a gift for entrepreneurship and was soon able to expand his business, rent farmland and employ other members of the community.
With one microloan, Khalid was able to bless his entire community and even began to restore his relationship with his family.
“The loan changed many things in my life,” he said. “Now, I provide for my family and even beyond that.
“Those relatives that used to hate me before, now come to spend time with me. Many things have changed.”
Ethiopia is currently going through a lot of turmoil. ‘Scores, and probably hundreds,’ of civilians have been massacred in the growing conflict in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, according to a report from Amnesty International as tensions between the ruling government and another political party play out. Neighbouring Eritrea has also been impacted. This follows violence earlier in the year, when protests erupted and Christians were targeted, with 9,000 people being displaced.
Many Christians can’t openly celebrate Christmas, like us due to Covid-19, they face restrictions and limitations. This year, why not share Christmas with some young persecuted Christians. Learn their stories in our youth sessions and videos, write a Christmas card or message to encourage them and even send a gift.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.