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Esther was kidnapped as a teenager by Boko Haram. While in captivity, she was under constant pressure to renounce her faith and faced horrific abuse. Heavily pregnant, she managed to escape. But when she finally returned home, she learned that her community was not so eager to welcome back 'Boko Haram women', much less their children. They mocked Esther and called the baby 'Boko' instead of using her real name, Rebecca. 

Esther, with her daughter Rebecca.

Esther was put in touch with Open Doors through her church leaders, and she was invited to an Open Doors trauma care seminar. As part of the seminar, participants were invited to write their sorrows on a piece of paper and pin it to a hand-carved wooden cross at the venue, as an illustration of bringing their sorrows to the cross.

Esther said, "When I pinned that piece of paper to the cross it felt like I was handing all of my sorrow over to God. It felt light within me. When the trainer later removed all the pieces of paper from the cross and burnt it to ashes, I felt like my sorrow and shame disappeared, never to come back again." 

Could you write to Esther to let her know that she is known and loved? 

If you're not sure where to start, check out the short list of tips below, and these simple letter-writing guidelines

  • Greeting cards, children’s artwork, and postcards are best
  • Write in simple English and keep your letter brief
  • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses. 

Please put all your letters and cards in one envelope and send to Open Doors UK, PO Box 6, Witney, OX29 6WG.

Please note that this letter-writing campaign closes on 30 June 2019.