Widow: Claris Mathole
Trusting God when her world has been shattered; trusting that there is a way, when there seems no way, Claris Mathole’s faith is an inspiration as the devastated widow from Mombasa, Kenya, comes to terms with the senseless murder of her husband Pastor Charles Mathole inside their Redeemed Gospel Church in Mtopanga.
“I ask God questions but get no answers…but I still trust Him. I have peace in my heart,” she says quietly. “My husband and I were close. We hardly did anything separately,” she told Open Doors when we visited shortly after her loss.
Marrying young as unbelievers, Charles and Claris’ love for each other soon grew to include the Lord Jesus when the couple first accepted Him as Savior. After they joined their church, Charles eventually became Pastor in 2008. He later planted his own church, while Claris served as worship and intercessory prayer leader.
Despite undergoing persecution from hostile Muslim locals, the church grew to over two hundred members with many Sunday school children. That is until the night of October 19 when their faithful leader was shot in the head while reading his Bible in church.
Kenyan police strongly suspect that al-Shabaab is responsible for the murder of Pastor Mathol and are continuing their investigating. Several Mombasa Pastors have been receiving threatening text messages.
Although Claris has no close family to share her pain, she praises God; however, for the church family that has surrounded her with love, prayer and companionship.
Claris may take consolation in the courage and fearlessness shown by her husband’s colleagues. She is now depending upon the mercy and grace of our Lord and the faithful church family around the world to uphold and bless her in her trauma, grief and faithful commitment to her husband’s vision and God’s work in Mombasa.
We ask supporters around the world to send letters and cards of encouragement to Claris.