Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let's help our brothers and sisters in need

Open Doors in Ethiopia: Oct 17 2013

“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God ….” 1 Timothy 4:10

The child was inconsolable. “They stabbed him to death,” the words rolled off his tongue. Wasihun is just seven, but seemed like an adult. He attentively listened to every word the adults were saying, breaking into tears often. Many children, who have faced similar circumstances, will cry when they see their mothers cry, without really understanding why they were crying. But not Wasihun… He understood completely. During the conversation, he repeatedly interrupted his mother to explain exactly how they had killed his father. His eyes were screaming in grief.
An Open Doors co-worker met with this family from the remote district of Hareto, Oromia State in Western Ethiopia, only two days after the tragic murder. This was a bereaved family – a mother and eight children aged 2 to 16 – completely spent by the trauma they had experienced and the bitter grief they were going through. When the crime was committed, there was no one to come to their aid. His wife and children helplessly watched Motuma Kemede die. Motuma’s day started the same as most other weekdays. He got up early and prepared for his job as casual laborer on a nearby farm where he worked throughout the rainy season. In the dry winter months, he worked as a merchant, travelling around to buy and sell items for a minimal profit.
Motuma’s family members are the only Christians in this Animist village. The increasingly hostile community knew Motuma for his dedication to the gospel and that he was a member of a congregation in a neighboring village. Like many other Christians in the area, Motuma received repeated insults and verbal warnings to renounce his faith. “It was in the middle of the night when they broke into our house,” shared his widow, Buze. “I was shocked. I didn’t know what to say or do. They shone their torches directly into our eyes, so that we could not see their faces. There were three of them in the house, but others were waiting outside. I heard them shout to each other, ‘Stab him!’ When I asked them why they were attacking us, they shouted at me to shut up. They first hit my husband with a spear over his back. Motuma was lying over Defary, our two year old, to protect him. But they dragged Motuma out of the house by his legs. Right outside the door they continued to hit his upper body with machetes. I was shouting for help, but no one came. They hit me with a stick on my right arm… We were alone... All the children were shocked to see how they killed their father.”
Open Doors remains closely involved with the local church in this and other regions of Ethiopia where persecution is intensifying. We helped cover immediate costs for Buze and her children, and have also covered the children’s school registration fees, uniforms and stationary for this academic year. In consultation with the local church, we are looking at ways to help the family in the longer term.
Let's take time to pray for those Christians around the world being persecuted for their faith that God will help them to keep their faith and give them the strength to persevere.  Let's pray for children all over the world (Christian and non-christian) that have lost their dad and/or mum and ask God to be their Father and their hope so that they may have eternal salvation.  Let's pray for all their material, emotional and spiritual needs to be met.  Let each of us think of how we can help.  What can we do?  We can write letters of encouragement, we can donate money, we can inform others. 

Click here for ways to be one with those who are suffering for their faith.  This website from Open Doors enables yous to pray with our brothers and sisters and to send them an encouraging message. 

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