Back at the end of June a Nigerian church leader, Reverend Joseph Kura, was brutally murdered on his farm by suspected Fulani herders. He was the leader of the Evangelical Church Winning All in Obi, Nassarawa state, and Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Recently, Open Doors visited his widow, Martina, and their seven children to offer them prayer and financial support.
“I will forever remember 30 June as the day I lost my best friend,” Martina Kura shares.
“Two days before the attack, while on his farm, a young man approached Joseph and started arguing with him,” Martina recalls. “He said Joseph was cutting down a tree that belonged to him.”
Joseph reported the incident to the local ruler who ordered him to pay for the tree. But following the meeting, the youth threatened him: “‘A fight is not finished in a day’. Everyone present heard him say that and the ruler issued a warning to the young man,” Martina explains.
Joseph decided to stay away from the farm the next day, but when his farmhands told him a machine had broken down he went to assist them.
“I begged him not to go, but he wanted to help the youths,” Martina says. “As they were packing up they heard some shouting in the bush and the next moment a group of Muslims came running towards them. ‘I know they have come for me,’ he apparently told the young farmhands with him. They ran away, but Joseph faced the attackers. They killed him and left his mutilated body there on the farm.
“Back home I was growing anxious. A neighbour came to ask if he was home, but when I told her he was not back yet she said she heard rumours that he was attacked and badly injured. I started shivering, hoping that he was just injured. But a few minutes later a church member arrived in tears and told me, ‘Baba was killed’. I started shouting and collapsed on the floor.”
Men from Martina’s church picked up Joseph’s body and took it to the morgue. “After all of this, I cried until I had no more tears left,” says Martina. “But eventually I realised that crying will never bring Joseph back.
“The Lord also reminded me of the words of Psalm 139:16, ‘Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be’ – and I was comforted. I looked up to the heavens and said: ‘God, here am I with my seven children. Take care of us and fulfil your promises. You know I have no source of income’.”
After Joseph’s death, Ebenezer, Martina’s oldest son, wanted to take revenge. “At first I made up my mind that I must avenge the death of my father, even if it would cost me my own life,” he told us. “But after many words of encouragement from different people, I realised that two wrongs can never make a right. My father is gone and I will never see him again. My prayer is that those who killed him should never find peace until they repent and turn to Christ.”
Since Joseph’s death Open Doors workers have visited and prayed with the Kura family, and supported them financially.
“Thank you for remembering us in our time of pain and agony,” says Martina. “May the vision and mission of this ministry come to pass as you continue to serve persecuted Christians. The Lord will continue to shine His light through you so that others may see and glorify His name. May God richly bless you.”
Source: Open Doors
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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.