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News / Thoughts

I’m choosing to forgive

May 5, 2015

Birtukan was eight months pregnant when her husband, a pastor, was murdered in front of her. Afterwards, she experienced terrible flashbacks of his death. She couldn’t understand why God had allowed this to happen.

But Birtukan was able to begin to experience healing and forgiveness after she received trauma counselling, organised by Open Doors. She says, “I hated them for killing my husband. I have received healing and I am now choosing to forgive them. I thank God for this help from Open Doors. I now feel more hopeful for the future.

“When they killed my husband, they took the light out of my life. But I have given my daughter a name that in the Amharic language means ‘my light’.”

There were three other Ethiopian widows attending the trauma counselling with Birtukan, all of whom had been married to pastors who were brutally killed for their faith. A widow named Sintayehu commented, “I served Jesus with my husband for twenty years before he was killed. God has graciously given me a ministry to others who are suffering as well. I have discovered that no matter how hard I fall, God will lift me up!”

Two of these women also brought their eldest children with them. One of them said, “My dad was sacrificed for his love for people and for the sake of the gospel. We are now replacing those who died. This seminar has taught us how to be healed.”

Please pray…

  • For continued healing and strength for Birtukan and Sintayehu and others like them who have suffered extreme persecution in Ethiopia
  • For God to continue to work through Open Doors staff to bring healing and understanding to widows and pastors.


If you’d like to support the work Open Doors does with communities, churches and Christians around the world, you can. Find out more here…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.