Adel (10) felt like his life had no purpose – until he came across a children’s ministry class in a nearby church supported by Open Doors local partners. There, he encountered Jesus! Find out how your prayers and support are making a life-transforming difference for hundreds of persecuted children like Adel. All names in this article have been changed for security reasons.
Growing up in deep poverty, and with an alcoholic father, school for 10-year-old Adel was not an option – he had to start working as soon as possible. His job at a local garbage filtration workshop was unpleasant enough, but, as a nominal Christian, he was harassed, humiliated and paid less than his co-workers. Despite being considered a Christian by others, he knew nothing about the faith he was suffering for.
“I hated my life,” he says. “I didn’t know a lot about God yet, so I didn’t know what to say when they said bad things about Jesus. I did not have any answers. Also, I didn’t have anyone to ask for the answers. I felt ashamed of my Christianity.”
But God had much better plans in store for Adel, who found hope when he discovered a children’s ministry class at his local church – it became a haven he could escape to during his lunchbreak.
“I know I have a Father in heaven who I can always talk to. That’s amazing”Adel
“I decided to go to the classes as much as possible,” he says. “I always left directly after the class and never stayed for fellowship or to play with the other children. I had to go back to my work to finish it.”
It was Marta, one of the leaders, who first noticed him. “He was sitting alone in the corner, while the other kids played around him,” she says. “He told me about his life; I felt the pain in what he was telling me.” Marta started to tell Adel what God is like; how God is a good father, that he was uniquely created – and about Jesus.
While Adel’s circumstances didn’t really change, Adel did. “Knowing God makes me feel happy,” he says. “I know I have a Father in heaven who I can always talk to. That’s amazing.”
Marta also helped Adel with the answers to his questions, which meant that he could respond to his co-workers’ taunts. On one occasion, he explained to them that Christians do not believe in three gods, but that God is one. “I even used verses from the Old Testament to prove it,” he says proudly.
Marta is excited to see how God is guiding Adel forward. “He knows he has a mission,” she says.
Adel is excited about his future: “I want to talk to people about God. I want to share about Him with lots of people.”
Thanks to your prayers and support, Open Doors local partners are committed to walking with Adel and his family as he grows in faith – and supporting children’s ministry for thousands of children in Egypt like him. Thanks to you, this will be the first year Adel celebrates Christmas truly knowing who Jesus is, and that he is deeply loved.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.