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Persecuted Christian from Burkina Faso escapes terrorists

January 2, 2024 by Tim Dustin in Persecuted Christians in Burkina Faso

In 1982, a pastor came to Owusu’s village and went door-to-door sharing the gospel. As a child, out of curiosity, Owusu followed the man. He even helped the man by carrying his visual aids. Owusu’s favorite image was called “The Heart of Man;” it was an image of God and Satan with people in-between. The pastor would share how everyone in the middle can choose eternal happiness with God in Heaven. One day, after listening to the pastor share what the image meant, Owusu gave his life to Jesus.

Owusu’s father immediately opposed his son’s decision. But that didn’t stop Owusu from following Jesus; he went to church every Sunday and studied the Bible on his own. But his father’s persecution continued: He stopped paying for Owusu’s schooling, refused to give him food and would ultimately kick him out of his house. Owusu says, “I was thrown out of my family because of my decision to follow Jesus. But in all, I kept my faith in God.” After being thrown out of his house, Owusu moved in with a welcoming church member.

His faith would grow and mature—despite opposition—and Owusu would eventually start his own church, a decision that would come with it grave hostility.

In February of this past year, terrorists arrived in Owusu’s village and showed up at the pastor’s front door. They told Owusu to stop holding services on Sundays, and that the women who attend his church must sit in a separate room and have their faces covered.

Owusu continued to hold services on Sunday, but at a different time. His congregation would also meet quietly, not to disturb anyone who might be listening in.

Just a few months later, the same terrorists came back to the village and killed the chief and another young man. They also set fire to various shops and vehicles. Then they arrived at the pastor’s house.

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“They came to my house on three different occasions, but I was not home. I was in another village doing ministry. They told my wife that wherever I am, they will find me and kill me. They’re going after me because I am winning others for Christ.”

Owusu’s wife then called Owusu in a panic and told him not to come home. He told his wife to join him in the nearby village and to bring any church members who wanted to flee the terrorists.

Since that time, Pastor Owusu, his wife and some congregants are all living in the same village. And God is continuing to bless Owusu’s ministry: “I bought land here in the city to build a simple shed for our church. We can do our Sunday services and evening prayers inside. God protected and saved me.”

In reflecting on how his faith has shaped his life, Owusu says, “It has completely transformed my life. I know that my Redeemer lives, and I am ready to follow Him until my last days.”

Owusu’s favorite Bible verse is Psalm 103 verse 2: “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” What an inspiration. Owusu was neglected by his family, had to abandon his home and is pursued by terrorists, but he still praises the Lord and remembers His blessings.

Pastor Owusu passed along some prayer requests. Join us now in praying.

Lord, we’re inspired by Pastor Owusu’s story. You’ve completely transformed his life and are blessing his ministry and we’re thankful. Thank you for protecting his and his family’s lives from persecutors. We ask that You continue to shield him, his family and congregants from danger, especially as they live displaced. Please provide for them food, clothing and housing. And we pray for the terrorists striving to take Pastor Owusu’s life—may they come to know the love that is You. Amen.

*A representative name used to preserve security

About the author
Tim Dustin writes stories of the persecuted for Global Christian Relief, sharing their hearts of courage and faith with the Church in the West and around the world. Get the latest blogs and prayer requests at GlobalChristianRelief.org

Over Christmas, a sequence of coordinated attacks in Nigeria killed 175 and displaced 10,000. Many are sleeping on the floors of schools and churches with only the clothes on their backs. A gift today could mean food aid, hygiene kits and blankets for winter.

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