While Esther* was in Boko Haram captivity (October 2015 - November 2016), she was under constant pressure to denounce her faith and was tragically raped multiple times. She became pregnant and had no idea who the father was. When she was freed she learned that people were 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 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.
*Name has been changed to protect identity
Please note that this letter-writing campaign closes on 30 June 2019.