Tanzanian Woman Finds Joy In Witnessing
Eva’s incredible strength and passion for Christ has grown out of her struggle for survival. Rejected by both Muslim parents, she was taken in by a pastor’s wife, and converted to Christianity at age 14. After being forced by a crowd of her Muslim neighbors to urinate on the Quran, she was sentenced to two years in prison at just 18. God used Eva’s time in prison to draw many to His Kingdom, and she was released on appeal after one year when Open Doors helped with her lawyer’s fees, and had her record wiped clean. We revisited her in her coastal Tanzanian home to hear her remarkable testimony. “Just before the incident occurred,” Eva recalls, “I had a dream that I was sinking into a hole, but I had a Bible in my hand that I held up above the pit. I was preaching the gospel, despite the hole. Interestingly, when I was imprisoned, the Bible you brought me made all the prison wardens christen me ‘Pastor’!” God used Eva, and six women gave their lives to Christ before she was released! “I learned that nothing that happens to a Christian, however painful, is ever wasted. All experiences eventually bring blessings. I thought later that maybe I was imprisoned just for those six souls…it sure made it worth the pain.” She recalls the great support she received from Open Doors while imprisoned. “Your visit greatly encouraged my heart, and I knew that God had not forgotten me.” “In prison, I had a dream in which the Lord told me, ‘Do not be afraid Eva.’ He then instructed me to open Revelation 3:8 ‘I know your deeds. See I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and not denied my name.'” She saw this as a sign that she would soon be released. “I never cried- not when I was in danger, not when I was arrested, not during the hearing or even while in prison. But the day I walked out as a free woman…I CRIED! I was so happy that only tears would express my gratitude seeing how God had fought for me.” Fortunately, Eva’s case has been largely forgotten by the Muslims in her town, and free from further persecution- she looks forward to the future. Brave, humble and solidly grounded in faith, she now longs to utilize her spiritual gifts of preaching and teaching, as well as pursue higher education. Although the majority of Tanzania’s population is Christian, the percentage of Muslims is growing; young Muslims seem especially vulnerable to radicalization. Tanzania fills the 49th position on the World Watch List, which ranks the countries where Christians face the most persecution. Eva remains undaunted. “Through it all, God showed me that if we Christians deny Christ in front of people, He will deny us, too. If we acknowledge Him, He too will acknowledge us before our Father in heaven. Do not be afraid to testify before people, even if they are hostile. God fights for His own.” Will you join us in praying for Eva’s strength and confidence in Christ to continue, as well as for the country of Tanzania?