The Silgadji village parish in northern Burkina Faso was attacked on April 28, 2019. Martine’s adoptive father had just told his parish about love for his neighbor. Martine clearly remembers the events.
Leaving the church less than ten minutes after the closing prayer, the parishioners noticed that they had been besieged. The attackers forced those present to got back to the church building. Martine will likely remember the attack for the rest of her life. The attackers were not local, their skin was darker and they were shorter than the inhabitants of the area.
“They took the Bibles and the wooden pulpit, threw them all together and burned them. Everyone in the church was forced to walk out and stand by the big tree in front of the church… ”
“They told the men to follow them. The men were taken behind the church. They were laid on the ground and shot. ”
The rest of the congregation did not see the incident but heard the shots. The pastor and five parishioners died. Among the dead were two of the pastor’s sons. That day Martine lost her father, husband, brother and son-in-law.
The attackers took the phones and ID cards of those present and they also took some motorcycles. They burned everything they couldn’t or didn’t want to take with them. “They told us to leave quietly. If we cried, they would return the next day to kill us all. ”
Martine’s phone had been hidden in her bag and she could call for help on the spot.
It is difficult for Martine to understand what happened. The family has had a good relationship with their Muslim neighbors. Muslims sometimes went to talk with the pastor about what was happening in the country. Some believed that Muslims and Christians should flee the country. However, the pastor said he would never flee for the name of Jesus, but would remain in his village even if it resulted in death.
Even though Martine mourns her father’s loss, she’s sure her dad would do that all over again. “He used to point at a land and say, If I have to die for the name of Jesus Christ, you can bury me here. And no one should cry for me. Because I accepted death for the name of Jesus Christ. ”
Trust in God’s plan
When she has to move out of the area, Martine remembers thinking: “I don’t want people who have done this to die without knowing Jesus Christ.”
Martine did not know what the future holds and she had no words to pray. However, she chose to trust in God’s plan and care.
Thanks to the generous supporters of Open Doors, Christians like Martine have been able to get the help they need. At least 2,100 families benefited from food aid (rice, corn, beans, cooking oil) for at least a few months.
Martine and 87 other widows have received help with trauma therapy. “Trauma therapy has helped me. Thanks to the teaching, I have rediscovered joy and found peace in my heart. The teaching you have given has renewed my life. It has also renewed my strength. ”
Martine is grateful for the help she received: “Thank you for thinking of us, the widows, and the hard-working people. Nor did you forget that our hearts are wounded. You helped us become stronger and our bodies could recover for a better life.” Martine has received help, but there are still many men and women in the world who need similar help.
“Pray that the teaching we receive could lighten the burdens of our hearts, heal our wounds and strengthen us. Pray also for the strength of our faith, that we may be able to stand firm in Christ.
Pray for peace to return to Burkina Faso. ”
Source and photos: Traumahoito toi virvoitusta väsyneelle sydämelle – Open Doors Finland