Hawa* grew up in a wealthy Muslim family in the Horn of Africa. Her life was pretty sorted. Her parents were going to send her to another country to go to a special Muslim school. She was engaged to an American Muslim. Her life was planned out for her. However, everything changed when she became desperately ill.
While in hospital she had a life-changing spiritual experience.
“I had a dream [in which] I saw a man who was smiling and crying at the same time. I somehow knew he was weeping for me.” None of her family could explain the dream. However, the leader of her mosque, who was secretly a Christian, told her that the dream was about the Messiah. He gave her a Bible. “I read the Bible continually and little by little learned about the love of Jesus for all men. [The Book] changed me from the inside.”
Hawa kept her faith a secret, but one day her family discovered her Bible. Her father was furious and beat her. Not long after he forced her to leave. Her fiancé broke off their engagement. Hawa was very sad, but was determined in her new found faith: “The love of Christ was of more value to me than the love of my family.”
Her sister, Zulfa*, had learned about Jesus from Hawa, and decided to join her. All of a sudden these young women who had always been so sheltered were destitute. They had no money, no home and no friends – and they were hated by their extended family.
To make matters worse when Hawa was trying to get away from one of her angry uncles, she fell and broke one of the discs in her spine. Zulfa tried to provide an income for them by baking hundreds of flatbreads on smoky fires. The fumes and smoke damaged her eyes so much they feared she would lose her sight.
Hawa and Zulfa have been through a very dark time of suffering. But thankfully they are now receiving great support from Christians around them. Open Doors has provided medical care for Zulfa and then helped them start a small business. Their cafe generates a good income that helps them cover all their costs and even make some profit.
Hawa looks back on her time of suffering and says “The light is increasing day by day. I thank you for your help. God bless you.”
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.