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Stories

He Wanted Death. Instead, Resurrection

March 30, 2017 by Open Doors in

“Why am I in here?” He demanded an answer as he prayed in his prison cell. “I was doing good things for you! Why did you let this happen to me?”

After two years of persecution, Aberash was angry with God. He was arrested for hosting church gatherings in his home and sent to an Eritrean prison. But, he wondered, would a good God really allow him to endure the torture that he now faced on a daily basis, without an end in sight?

“One time when I refused to reveal information about other Christian leaders and home cells, they chained my legs together for days and beat me many times. I was humiliated and so stressed that I suffered a mild stroke that left me partially paralyzed.

“By then I had lost all hope and decided it was better to die. I went on hunger strike and waited to get weak, sick and die. But the jailers didn’t even notice my attempt. And I found myself feeling healthier than before. I was furious with God.”

It was here, when his hope had died, that God used your gifts to resurrect it — through a Christian radio station you…

helped to fund through local partners of Open Doors.

He and the other prisoners secretly tuned in late at night, well aware that they’d be tortured if caught by the guards. When Aberash remembers the many nights they spent huddled around the radio in the dark, his face lights up.

“It was manna from heaven!” This radio station, funded by your support, fed his soul when he was starving for the truth of the gospel. And it sustained him and the others for gospel ministry, even to their persecutors.

“We shared the food our families brought with the guards. This opened opportunities for conversation, and I found myself counselling many, praying with them and even sharing the gospel.”

“As I started seeing small positive changes, I actually lost the desire to leave prison.”

But when he got news of his release, he was overjoyed at the prospect of being reunited with his family.

“I remember shouting and hugging my fellow prisoners when I heard the news. I couldn’t believe it and was almost out of my mind with joy.”

While in prison, God used your support to carry him through severe persecution. Now, he runs his own business, using the proceeds to help other persecuted believers who are suffering for the name of Jesus Christ.

Your gifts are providing persecuted Christians in Eritrea like Aberash with lifesaving practical assistance through the presence ministry of Open Doors partners. To learn more about Eritrea, visit ODUSA.org/Eritrea

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