This is Achiam. She’s 20, a Christian and was born blind. She wasn’t always a Christian. Her family are Muslim, but she was able to go to a boarding school for blind children, and it’s there that she chose to follow Jesus.
At school, everything was fine. But at home, surrounded by a Muslim family and community who didn’t understand her choice, things became hard.
“Within a few days, they noticed that I no longer prayed like them. My father asked me what the problem was. I confessed that I had become a Christian, and that I no longer followed Islam.”
“From that day on, nothing was the same anymore… I was considered the worst thing that had ever happened to the family.”
Achiam faced hardships every day of that three-month-long school holiday. On at least one occasion her older brother beat her with a cane. And every single holiday since then, life has remained challenging.
“When I am on holiday, living my faith is difficult. If I want to pray, I wait until late at night when everyone else is sleeping. Then, I know I can pray without anyone stopping me.”
And when her holidays coincide with Ramadan, it only makes things worse. She says, “No one cooks during the day because everyone is fasting, except the children. Mothers would warm up leftovers – called pap – from the previous day for them. I eat pap with other children. Sometimes, when there is no pap, I stay home and ask children to find me something I can cook for myself.
Despite all this, she refuses to give up.
Image: Achiam knitting
“I know the end of this situation is not for tomorrow, but I also know my God will continue to sustain me. I was very clear with my family about my faith. I told them I am with Christ and that nothing in the world would make me change my mind. My God has been sustaining me since then, so I fear nothing.”
Achiam is no longer living with her family, she’s been taken in by a local Pastor. She’s still at school and is determined to finish her studies:
She says, “Please pray for my studies. This year I will be writing the advanced level exam. Also pray for my family. The tension has eased somewhat, but please continue praying for God to change their hearts so that they can discover the way of Christ. Pray for my entire community and my family to accept me as I am.”
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We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.