In discussing his faith, Andre says, “I know the importance of following Jesus. Nothing or no one can separate me from God. Only Jesus can save. He is the way on earth that can lead me to Heaven. The meaning of my faith is eternal life with God.”
Those closest to Andre have refused to encourage his new faith. He says, “When I became a Christ-follower, I faced opposition and discrimination from my family. They don’t want to see me healthy and doing well. They don’t want me to follow Jesus. Most of them stopped speaking to me. They call me a ‘kafir,’ or one who doesn’t know God.”
Andre’s family continually mocked him. They had no investment in his successes or failures. In Andre’s words, “They completely separated themselves from me.”
Shockingly, members of Andre’s family even tried to kill him with poison—but with no success. “Members of my family hate me to death. But God protected me and saved my life.”
Then, one afternoon, terrorists arrived in Andre’s village. They shot off their weapons and killed 15 innocent civilians. Andre, his wife and child ran into their living room and locked the door behind themselves. The terrorists stood outside Andre’s home and burned his shed and farming cart. Andre believes if they had entered his home, he’d be dead.
The terrorists made a claim, shouting, “We don’t want to see anybody in the village.” Andre knew they would shoot anyone on sight. Fearing for his and his family’s lives, he discreetly led his family out of their home—leaving everything behind.
“We didn’t take anything with us, like food, clothes or the animals on our property. We left everything and ran away with empty hands.”
Andre and his family walked more than 70 kilometers in 24 hours, until they arrived in the region’s capital.
“There were many displaced in the city with no room to stay or food to eat. We stayed in the classroom of a school. Others slept in tents.” This was their new home.
But God was at work. Andre met a local pastor who gave him food relief kits provided by Global Christian Relief and our partners: “This food was really a relief from being hungry. We hadn’t had food in a long time. We had been eating leaves for a while before that.”
Andre was even able to find a local job and a home to rent.
But two months later, Andre’s wife became seriously ill. She died this past July, leaving behind Andre and their five-year-old son. A local church helped Andre buy land to bury his wife.
As a commitment to faith, Andre clings to scripture. He shares from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” He adds, “Yes, I am giving thanks to my God who saved and protected me—always.”
When asked how the global church can pray for him, Andre says, “I want to walk with God in the good times and bad and to be strong in the Lord.” Let’s pray for Andre now.
Lord God, we’re inspired by Andre’s faith, a faith he’s kept through persecution, terrorism and the death of a loved one. You see him and are keeping him in the palm of Your hand. We ask You continue to bless his walk with You, that he’ll continue to look to You for all provisions—physical, emotional and spiritual.
We ask you put the right people in his life to help him raise his son. Fatherhood comes with it real challenges. Bless him as a father and help him look to You for guidance and grace.
We also pray for Andre’s extended family. Let Andre’s life be a living testimony and inspiration. Let them seek and find You. You are a God of miracles. We pray all this in Your holy name. Amen.
About the authors
Tim Dustin and Pastor M work for Global Christian Relief as writers. They passionately pursue sharing the stories of the persecuted with the global church. They invite you to learn more about Christian persecution on our website and read the latest stories of persecution at GlobalChristianRelief.org.