Roda * is from Djibouti, East Africa, where Islam reigns from beginning to end. However, Jesus found her. When Roda’s family learned that she had converted to Christianity, she was accused of stigmatizing her family.
Roda now lives in Ethiopia with her husband and three children. “My family in Djibouti was a conservative Muslim family. God had to separate me from them all. I became a Christian 16 years ago. I found God through Tesfaye,” Roda describes.
Tesfaye was initially Roda’s friend, but later became her husband. The gospel must not be preached in Djibouti. Therefore, Tesfaye had to be very careful when contacting Roda’s Christians. Roda asked him: “Where are we going?” Tesfaye replied, “A place where people can teach you something important.”
Roda describes meeting with Christians: “They told me the gospel message. I didn’t know or understand anything. When they prayed for me after Bible study, I said that there was no one but Muhammad to save me. I don’t know why, but they continued to teach their faith and treated me very well. I said they were wasting their time.
Dead prophet or messiah
Christians taught patiently, although Roda went to class only to spend more time with Tesfay. “I admire them. They sacrificed a lot for me in two years,” she says. Roda was committed to her faith, but she lacked real knowledge.
In a Bible study class, a Christian with a Muslim background told Roda, “Muhammad is dead. Jesus, whom we call Isa, was born of the Holy Spirit. He died for us on the cross and went to heaven, from where He will return.” The man encouraged Roda to ask her parents if this was true.
So Roda asked the imam directly, “Is Muhammad dead? “Yes,” the imam replied, just as the Christian had said. Roda was reminded of the phrase, “He is risen from the dead.” “I do not know how to explain it. When I talked to the imams, I changed. It became clear to me and my eyes widened,” Roda describes. He told the imams something very bold and dangerous. “I told him that from now on I would honor the Messiah who saved me.”
From a refugee camp to education
Outwardly, Roda’s life became more complicated. Shee knew that her change of faith would not be well received by the family for the shame that comes with it. “I just left home, taking with me only the clothes I was wearing. I knew what they were about to do to me. She gave up the comfort and security of her parents’ wealth, but she was mentally like a source of water. God gave her dreams and visions that caused her to thirst for the Word.
Roda’s relationship with Tesfay also changed. They got married in the church and fled to a nearby refugee camp. “We were there for nine months. The conditions in the camp were poor. It was frustrating. The best part was that my spiritual life intensified because I had enough time to praise, pray and read the Bible.
Roda and Tesfaye moved to Ethiopia from the camp. It was difficult for them to cope financially when the children were born and were small. Tesfaya did not always have a permanent job to support his family. “When we were in that situation, we got a chance to learn,” says Roda. Open Doors invited Roda and Tesfaye to practical training to start their own small business and gave them the basic supplies to get started. They began to produce and sell fresh juice and juice ice.
Cross on her your neck to be offended
Roda returned to her parents’ home only briefly to attend the funeral. Her family did not know at the time that she had become a Christian. She was prayed for before the visit. “Go, God is with you,” the Christians said.
Encouraged, Roda did something bold, knowing she was surrounded by Muslims. “I went there, having a necklace with a golden cross. They asked: “What necklace do you have? Are you a Christian? ” Roda remembered verse from Luke 9, which warns that Jesus will deny those who are ashamed him. She told her family she is a Christian. Roda’s brothers began to threaten to kill her. “I am not going to die. My time has not yet come. I still have a lot to do, ”said Roda. “How did you become superstitious?” cried the brethren. Roda tried to talk to them and made them sit down. She explained the gospel message to them. “I do not know how they listened to me. The Holy Spirit spoke, not me. Mom couldn’t say anything. She was shocked. “
Later, her mother came to see Roda. She offered Tesfaye money to divorce her daughter. When Tesfaye refused, the mother began to insult her daughter. She exclaimed: “There have never been Christians in our family. How has she become superstitious? Killing her is a sacred act. ”
Not ours, but eternal life
Although Roda was not killed, she was abandoned by her family. The family is still bitter from the shame caused by Roda. When one of the brothers met them, he asked Roda to repent, otherwise he would kill her. Roda replied: “I’m not going to respect a dead idea like Islam. I respect the living doctrine.”
Roda family members elevate her and ask: “Is the life you live not a life at all? It’s mild. Your husband has no money. This is not a good life. You had servants. You didn’t have to work or be lonely. ” Roda doesn’t see it the same way. “It makes me happy that God says to me: “All these things will perish, but life with God remains forever. I have no religion but a life. A life that continues after death. That’s what I’m telling them. “
* Name changed for security reasons.
• Pray that God will continue to protect Roda, Tesfaye, and their children as a testimony of His wonderful power.
• Pray for Christians with a Muslim background in the Horn of Africa. Many can only believe in secret and live in fear of revelation. Ask the Holy Spirit to give believers strength and grace to endure and help them connect with Christians.
• Pray that Jesus will speak in the hearts and minds of Muslims in Africa to accept the gospel, especially in countries that are closed to Christianity.
• Please also pray for the work of Open Doors and its partners in the Horn of Africa. The Church grows there through the faithfulness and provision of God. Pray that our work to strengthen the persecuted church will bear fruit and that the Church will be both courageous and invincible in the work of God’s kingdom.