Feeling a deep call to prayer, Temis and fellow church member Dioniz decided to meet regularly at the church to pray together. There were originally three people, but slowly the numbers increased to 18.
The prayer revival continued until the night of October 9, 2014. Strangely, many of the regular attendees were not present that evening. Pastor Joseph and another young man had joined but left around midnight. Dioniz and Temis stayed and prayed awhile longer and then decided to sleep at the church in order to resume praying early the next morning.
During the night, the two men heard a motorbike stop outside the church, but when no one came in they soon fell back asleep. Temis began to dream of fighting unknown attackers. His dream morphed into terrifying reality when he felt the searing pain of a machete hacking into him. He instinctively jumped up, thinking he was still dreaming. Blocking the blows with his hands and arms, he soon realized his nightmare was real.
The attackers had spotlights on their foreheads and machetes in their hands. Temis started shouting for help. He fought back and tried to get away but realized his left leg had been cut to the bone. The pain caused him to fall down. Another man was hacking at Dioniz who was not moving.
Temis’ shouts for help caused the men to run away. He dragged himself along the floor to the door still screaming for help. A woman finally came out of her house nearby. “When I saw her I shouted for her to call others to help us,” Temis related. “Thankfully she was brave and called out for people to come. I was bleeding heavily and felt strength leaving my body. I must have passed out. I awoke at the emergency room around 3am. I was stitched and attended to, then admitted into the hospital.”
The attack has had a devastating effect.
“I have been told I cannot work because of the injuries,” shared Temis. “My right thumb was sliced off. Other nerves in that hand were so damaged that I cannot straighten my fingers. The left hand does not fold, I cannot make a fist. My left leg has metal pins in it and hurts badly when I walk or stand for long.”
Sadly, Dioniz died of severe injuries to his head. He was buried at his home in Kilimahewa, Mwanza. His widow Faith has since relocated to another town with their two young sons.
Although the attack has managed to break Temis’ body, it has not broken his faith. In fact, it has fueled his desire to teach people about Christ. “I desire to become a preacher of the Word. May God help me actualize this dream!”
*Names and photos are representative for the safety of persecuted Christians