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Photo story: Wasihun and his family find 'hope to live again'


03 August 2018

Wasihun and his family live in a remote part of Ethiopia. They used to be the only Christian family in their village, and they constantly faced insults and threats for refusing to return to their traditional religion. Eventually, Wasihun's father, Matuma, was killed in front of his family for not taking part in traditional rituals. Wasihun was just seven.

Your support and prayers have enabled Open Doors to support Wasihun and his family ever since this terrible tragedy took place, providing practical support and trauma care. Wasihun is now 12 -  he loves football, and helps his mother, Buze, care for their cattle. 

A recent visit to the family began with Buze roasting coffee over a small fire. Coffee is a very important part of Ethiopian culture.

Buze told us, "[After my husband was killed] I was all alone with a family of seven children and one on the way. I didn’t know what to do to make a living because it was my husband who has always provided for the family. I was worried about how I was going to feed them, how I was going to clothe them and raise them."

“Your ministry came to my home and visited me. They asked me what my problem was, how they could support me and they saw everything – my kids, my house, my problems. They told me to hold on and be strong for my children and that they would be here for us. They told me not to give up. They said I am no longer alone. That gave me hope to live again! [Open Doors] told the local church what had happened to me so that they could help me."

The support and prayers of people like you helped Buze to start a small business so that she could support her family, and also provided trauma care for Buze, as well school fees for her children.

Every £67  could help provide training for a beliver in the Horn of Africa so they can generate an income and have the dignity of supporting their own family.

A few days after this visit, Wasihun and his sister, Bachu, were able to attend a youth camp run by Open Doors for children impacted by persecution in Ethiopia.

An Open Doors youth worker says, “Children and youth experiencing persecution can be greatly encouraged when they know they are not the only ones experiencing difficulties. This programme is also an opportunity for a short time of rest and fun. Through fellowship with others, playing games and learning from the Bible, they had the opportunity to be instruments of the Lord’s healing and encouragement to one another.”

When asked about his father, Wasihun says, "My father used to work from early until the sun set to fulfil what was needed in the house. And when he died, we all gave up. We thought we had no hope. But the Lord added all we needed. God provided for us.

"I was totally shocked when my Dad was killed in front of me, but God comforted us and told us that He will be the Father of each of us.”

We also spoke to Wasihun's sister Bachu. She says, "They killed my father because he was a believer. They wanted him to follow traditional rituals like them, drink like them and behave like them but he refused. He was a very good person. He loved the Gospel. He loved God a lot! After his death, I gave up on life.

“After my father passed away we have been getting help. The Lord remembered us and he has been providing. Our lives have changed massively after the support [from Open Doors]." 

"I want to serve this God, who has helped me through the desert, through my trials. I would serve him at any cost. I would leave everything for a chance to preach his love. I would like to go to school and train to be a preacher. I would like to testify about everything he has done in my life, how amazing his love and care was. It will be all I preach about!”

Stand with your church family in the Horn of Africa

This month we are focusing on our church family in the Horn of Africa, which includes Ethiopia, as well as Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Kenya. Sadly, Wasihun's family is just one of many families who have experienced devastating persecution in this region because of their faith in Jesus.

Despite the risks, the church in Horn of Africa is growing! But they need the support of their global church family to keep going. Please continue to stand with our brothers and sisters in prayer and action.

Please pray:

  • Praise God for the way he has provided for Buze, Wasihun, Bachu and their family, and for the hope they have found in Him
  • That God will continue to bring them healing and encouragement
  • For others in the region who have lost a family member because of persecution, that God will bring them healing and comfort and provide for all their needs
  • For protection for believers in the Horn of Africa.

You can also be answer to prayer for a family in the Horn of Africa by giving a gift. Every £67  could help provide training for a beliver in the Horn of Africa so they can generate an income and have the dignity of supporting their own family.

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