by Esther Schaeffer, an Alliance International worker serving in Burkina Faso, West Africa
Young people here often face harsh consequences for following Jesus. Some are expelled from their homes; others aren’t allowed to eat with the family and must forage on their own.
When Rose*, 14, accepted Christ, she had to walk alone to the closest church—an Alliance fellowship nearly four miles away. Since prayer meetings were often at night, the journey could be frightening. But Rose attended every church event.
Villagers began asking Rose’s father where his daughter would go on Sundays and several evenings a week. He was ashamed to tell them she had become a Christian.
He called Rose in one day and said, “You have humiliated me before the whole village. We have never had a Christian here. The gods will be angry with us, and the village will suffer—you must stop going to church!”
But Rose continued her cheerful devotion to Christ and to the believers in the next village.
One day, her father told the local witch doctor to do whatever was necessary to make Rose leave the Christ road—even to the point of killing her.
God is Protecting Me!
One evening, Rose set out for a prayer meeting. Shadows formed as night fell, so she began singing loud praises to Jesus. Then two men jumped in front of her, placing a death curse on her. She confronted them, saying, “Do you think that you, just mere men, can kill God?” They began backing away.
“If you want to kill me, you will have to kill God first. He is protecting me.” At this the men turned and ran.
When Rose later returned home, she told her father what had happened. “I sent those men,” he responded.
He said the men had come running to him, exclaiming, “Your daughter’s God is greater than our gods. We must not fight against Him because we can never win!” Rose’s father then told her, “We will put a church in our village so we can all worship this God of yours.”
Rose endured persecution, and today an Alliance church has been established in her village.
Praise God for protecting Rose and for the miracle of this new church. Pray for godly courage and comfort for Burkina Faso’s young believers, who often suffer for their faith.