Amina is one of many Christians who wears the internal scars of the an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria More insurgency in northern Nigeria. She and her family’s story show us what it looks like to walk through the flames of persecution with faith.
In 2012 on a quiet evening in Maiduguri where the family lives, an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria More fighters stormed Amina’s home and forced her husband Daniel and their three sons to the ground. Shouting, they delivered a deadly ultimatum: “If you are not going to denounce Christ, we are going to kill you today.”
Death threats didn’t deter Daniel and his sons. They plainly refused to deny Christ.
Daniel died with a prayer on his lips. “They slaughtered my husband,” Amina shares. Then the fighters turned to Amina’s oldest sons, Daniel and Manga, and slashed their necks. They spared the youngest son’s life, Kambu. Under their code, he was too young.
“They brought out his clothes and saw he is too small,” Amina remembers.
Miraculously, Amina’s sons are still alive. They spent a month hospitalized and today their necks bear deep scars where the knives cut through skin, veins, sinew and bone.
“At first, we were shy of these scars. You know, it is something that attracts attention… “ Manga candidly shares. “But later, we came to realize [our scars] are a testimony. It is evidence of the existence of God.”
Daniel, the oldest son, shares: “This incident has affected my life in so many ways. It has really increased my faith. No matter what the enemy will do against you, if your time has not yet come there is nothing the enemy can do about it.”
I wish I could tell you this was the family’s only encounter with an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria More. But in 2017, Amina was kidnapped, along with 10 other women, and held hostage for eight months. In captivity, her previous devotion to Scripture helped sustain her faith, Amina says.
“The Bible says you should teach a child the words of God when that child is small, because if that child grows up, he will not forget it…” Amina explains.
an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria More has forever changed Amina’s life. By God’s grace, she received trauma counselling. Slowly, she has learned to live without Daniel. She is healing and is even closer to God, she says.
“All these things that happened to me, it makes me come closer to Him, more and more,” she says, thinking deeply about everything her family has walked through. “Now I only focus myself on God and my children.”
This beautiful faith of Amina, Daniel, Manga and Kambu in the midst of suffering and loss is a bold example to us of trusting in God in every situation, even in the fire.
Now, we have what I believe is an amazing opportunity to write to this family and tell them how much their story encourages us to keep following Christ—and, in turn, encourage them to keep the faith (2 Tim. 4:7).
In Christ, we are One Church. One Family.
Photo: Amina and her children. Manga is on the far left and Daniel the far right.
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Thank you for your heart for our persecuted family.
One church. One family.