Fourteen-year-old Susan Ithungu lived in isolation, locked in a room with almost no food or water for months. This Ugandan youth from Isango village, Kasese district is still unable to walk months after her father tortured her for leaving Islam and turning to Christ. She has been hospitalized at Kagando Hospital since October 2010 when neighbors alerted police and helped rescue her from her father, Beya Baluku, who was arrested shortly afterward and but was quickly released.
Muslim father locked 14-year-old in room with almost no food or water for months.
Susan and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived alone with their father after he divorced their mother. In March 2010 an evangelist from Bwera Full Gospel Church spoke at Susan’s school and she decided to dedicate her life to Christ. “I heard the message of Christ’s great love, of him dying for us to get everlasting peace, and there and then I decided to believe in Christ,” she said from her hospital bed. “After a month, news reached my father that I had converted to Christianity, and that was the beginning of my troubles with him. Our father warned us not to attend church or listen to the gospel message. He even threatened us with a sharp knife that he was ready to kill us in broad daylight in case we converted to Christianity.”
Pastor Joseph Baluku of Bwera Full Gospel Church in Kasese said neighbors discovered the girl was being kept locked in a room with only the scant food and water her brother was able to slip her through a secret hole he dug in the dirt floor between their rooms. Neighbors notified authorities, and after her release took her to the hospital. It is unknown when Susan will be released, but Pastor Baluku said area residents and church members will try to gather funds for the medical costs incurred.
“By God’s grace Susan is still alive,” the pastor said after a visit in early August. “Though she can’t walk, she can now talk. She is still feeding on soft foods. The great news is that Susan is still strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. She needs prayers and support, so that she can resume her education soon.”
Thank you, Father, for preserving Susan’s life and for sustaining her faith through that terrifying ordeal. We pray that she will always experience Your hand in her life and that she might know she is precious in Your sight. We ask you to return strength to her legs that she might walk again and that her faith will continue to be strengthened to depend on You for whatever life brings her here on earth.
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