“I felt that my life was meaningless. I was so lost,” Bermet shares, “but Jesus found me.”
A friend shared the gospel with Bermet and told her that there was a new and better way to live. “I wanted to be like her, to have peace and joy,” remembers Bermet. This friend took Bermet to an underground church. “My friend didn’t tell me where it was and I didn’t know it was a church until I was there,” Bermet laughs. “Jesus is the way, the life, and the truth.”
With all the joy and excitement she had found in Jesus, Bermet couldn’t wait to tell her parents. Her dad immediately hit the roof and scolded her: “If you choose Jesus, you will no longer be our child.” Her mother tearfully added, “You will be a traitor to our family. Come back to us! I will pretend it never happened.” Bermet was shocked by her parents’ reactions. Soon the news spread all over the village. People spit on her when they passed her on the street. One of her brothers was an alcoholic and he once threatened to kill her when he was drunk. “I was scared and hid in my friend’s house,” Bermet said, “but one night some people threw stones at my friend’s house and two windows were smashed.”
“Sometimes police came to search my house for evidence,” she continues. “Some people reported to the police that I was converting people to Christianity. Fortunately, they never found out where I hid my Bible.” Soon, Bermet was tired of hiding and living under such pressure. She ran away when her brother threw clothes on her face and cursed her.
After fleeing from her home, Bermet was introduced to a Christian training center which allowed her to continue learning and growing in Christ. A few years later, she felt God calling her to go back to her hometown to serve children. “God doesn’t ever leave me, but stays with me all the time,” she says. “I still have a heart to share gospel with ‘my folks’ (people in her ethnic group).”
“Are you afraid of going back to your hometown to face your parents and brothers?” Open Doors China staff asked her. “Yes, to be frank. But my faith is stronger. I can’t run away all the time. I have to face what’s coming to me next,” Bermet replies with a firm voice.
*Names and photos are representative for the safety of persecuted Christians