Have you ever been to a war-torn space or country? Have you looked at the old, bombed, burnt, vacant buildings and dirty city spaces and wondered how the people in the area live after all the turmoil? Now imagine if the war was still carrying on and you or your loved ones lived in those cities where there is no peace, and gunshots are triggered now and then, reminding you of the unrest in a place that you call home. It might not be your reality but for many believers, war has been a part of their lives for many years and not only war but persecution in places like Africa…
Northern Nigeria has been a warzone for many believers living in the country. Islamic extremists have forcefully claimed territories, causing many inhabitants to flee for their lives, displaced in terror.
That has spilt over into neighbouring countries like the Far North region of Cameroon, which has suffered a hard hit from the violence of extremists. In 2020 Open Doors registered at least 41 attacks against villages in northern Cameroon and other neighbouring countries. With many people displaced, Christian villages are targets for militant groups who hunt down believers, putting them in danger of individual assault or kidnapping. And because they’re displaced, they have no food, shelter, clothing, etc.
So not only is this a physical war because of the unrest in the countries, but it is a spiritual one because of the war on believers’ faith in Christ.
Elderly Baldina and her ailing husband have been deeply affected by the attacks in Cameroon, making them too weak to farm and fend for themselves. Thankfully, amid all the turmoil, the Church has become a place of refuge for Baldina, both physically and spiritually.
Churches in the Far North region of Cameroon are centres of hope. When people have lost their earthly footing, the fellowship and worship of believers often become their spiritual anchors. The Church has been just that for Baldina and her husband, who live in a small village in the region. They live alone as their eldest son was killed by Boko Haram fighters, and their other son fled to another town out of fear of Boko Haram.
“What pushed me to go to church is that my heart was not at peace,” Baldina shared. That was because she had lost her son. “My heart was in turmoil. Then I told myself that there, in the church, I will find peace. When I hear the message, listen to the songs, I’m comforted. I thank God for everything… He is helping me to be strong today,” she says.
Your support also helped Baldina through her pain. She and her husband were among the more than 400 families that received Open Doors relief aid in the Far North of Cameroon earlier in 2021.
“After you gave me all these things, I went to my sister and said: ‘See what I have received.’ I also told her: ‘… They really helped me a lot. Without this food, I would die of hunger. May God give them a long life.’… I’m grateful. I’ve received rice and millet. Even clothes, a mat and salt are here. Thank you very much. You gave it to me, and God gave it to me.”
During the first seven months of 2021, Open Doors distributed emergency aid to more than 3 000 Christians in Cameroon. This aid helps the Church support church members to deal with persecution and its realities. Your seed of faith helps encourage and strengthen many believers spiritually in physically torn places so they can stand strong amid the physical and spiritual war in their countries. Click here to continue to make a difference in many more believers lives.