Twelve-year-old Kadidja lives with her mother and three younger brothers in a Muslim-dominated area of Cameroon. They too used to be Muslims.
Kadidja’s father passed away a while ago and since then her mother has been struggling to care for the family. Things became even harder when Kadidja was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver shortly afterwards. It is not clear how she contracted the disease. It could have been caused by a viral hepatitis A or B infection, exposure to chemicals or a wide array of other possibilities. It makes her feel weak and tired all the time and leaves her with poor appetite and painful bruises all over her body. It also requires regular hospitalization.
Since her diagnosis, Kadidja has come in contact with Christian neighbors and last year she gave her life to Christ. Since then, she has used every opportunity to attend church and fellowship with Christians. “When I’m in church, I feel at ease, despite being sick in my body,” she confesses.
The Muslim community is not happy about this and has put her mother, Haoua, under constant pressure to stop allowing her daughter to hang out with infidels. “You will see what we will do!” they have warned her.
But Kadidja has remained determined. “The young girl’s faith is remarkable,” says one of the local pastors. “When we came into contact with her, she was ready to have her mother sign a document saying even if she gets well, her mother will not prevent her from coming to church. She was really so determined about that.”
“I cannot deny my daughter to be with the Christians who have been so good to her,” testifies Haoua. “They have given us so much spiritual and material support. All of these things have really touched me, and I decided to also give my life to the same Jesus who had touched my daughter.”
Although they cannot cure her, doctors are doing their best to prevent further damage to Kadidja’s liver. And they have seen encouraging improvements.
“There was a time I didn’t believe that Kadidja could ever stand on her own feet again,” said Haoua. “But, I am seeing change now. During our last visit at the hospital, doctors testified that her situation is improving. I am so grateful for this change.”
Kadidja has enrolled in classes in preparation for baptism.
Father, what joy it brings our hearts to know that Kadidja is Yours. Thank You for the testimony of her strong and determined faith, a faith that could only come from Your Holy Spirit within her. And our joy is increased by the knowledge that her mother Haoua is now serving You. We pray against the intimidations and threats from the Muslim community and take heart that the Spirit within them is greater that the power around them. Thank You, Father, for the Christian neighbors and the church as they help care for Kadidja’s health and we ask for Your healing to fall upon her in such a way that all will know that You have done it. Teach them all, Lord, from Your Word and grant them wisdom to manage this sensitive situation in their community in a way that brings honor to You. In the name of Jesus, who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147). Amen.