11 May 2023

“You helped us carry our burden” – Fati from Burkina Faso finds strength after fleeing her home

Please keep praying for Christians in Burkina Faso as Islamic militants cause untold devastation. Fati (name changed) has experienced fear and loss, but she feels your prayers.

Fati found strength and support from her local church after she and her family were displaced by Islamic extremist violence

“I live in permanent fear,” says Fati, a young mother and wife. “Whenever I hear a gunshot, I get scared, and I think they are back to kill us all.” 

Living in fear is a daily reality for believers like Fati in Burkina Faso, where Islamic militants have driven more than two million people from their homes since the insurgency in Mali began spilling over in 2016. 

The attacks don’t stop

Fati remembers the first time the militants attacked her Christian village. They spent the day firing their weapons, before leaving and returning three days later. “This time, they went through the entire village shooting at everything and everyone,” she recalls. “They set fire to the marketplace, set fire to people’s houses, their possessions and their animals. The cattle and flocks were doused in petrol and burned alive. Those who were able to run hid themselves, but many people were burned alive in their houses.”

After a third attack, locals began taking supplies to a nearby village, in case they had to flee – but the militants caught wind of their plan. “The terrorists then placed explosives along the road to stop the displaced people from reaching safety,” shares Fati. 

The attacks on Fati’s village continued with increasing devastation, including one occasion when Fati was in a nearby village dropping off supplies whilst her husband and children were at home attending a prayer meeting. Learning of the attack, Fati ran home fearing the worst. “When I got to the village, I couldn’t find the children or my husband. I finally found them hiding in nearby bush.” 

“God will be with us no matter what”

The family fled to the nearby village before heading to the capital, Ouagadougou. “On our way to the city, the few things that I was able to save from home were stolen,” continues Fati. “We were empty-handed, and we didn’t have any food or housing.” 

When they arrived in Ouagadougou, Fati and her family found support from the local church. “When we came here, the church received us with love,” she says. “They cried with us and they comforted us. They helped us with money and food and also comforted us with the Word of God.”

Through the upheaval, trauma and loss, the family know that they’ve never been alone. “The Bible says that we will face trials in this world. But He says He will make a way for us. We believe these words written in the Bible. And this gives us life. It strengthens our faith and brings joy into our lives. When I think God has forsaken us, I remember His words in the Bible. He tells us that He will be with us no matter what.

“I’d like to thank all those who supported us in prayer,” adds Fati. “You helped us to carry our burden. God has answered your prayers. He saved us from hardship, problems and temptations.” 

  • For the healing of Fati’s husband, who is struggling with his mental health following the attacks
  • For wisdom for Open Doors local partners as they support Fati’s family and other displaced Christians
  • For peace, stability and security in Burkina Faso.
Please give
  • Every £28 could mean a believer displaced by persecution receives food, medicine and other emergency relief to help them survive
  • Every £42 could give hope and healing at a trauma centre to three Christians who have experienced extreme violence.

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