Our suffering family in double distress
Gabriel was at his market stall when militants attacked his village in Burkina Faso. The gunmen opened fire and he fled for his life, along with everyone else at the market.
His wife was at home with their toddler and baby, but when he got back there in the evening the house was empty. For a week, Gabriel went from village to village, searching. The militants had warned they would be back at his own village in three days to kill anyone they found there – especially Christians.
“As a Christian, I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t take anything. I was only looking for my wife and my two children. I almost became mad,” Gabriel explained.
“Christians we don’t know are sending us help”
Eventually, Gabriel was reunited with his wife and children in Kaya City, where many had fled for refuge. Overwhelmed to find that Christians far away – Barnabas Fund supporters – had been taking care of his family, he said with tears in his eyes, “You gave us clothes, shelter and food. Christians we don’t know are sending us help.”
“This is strengthening our faith and giving us the sense of the real body of Christ. Wherever they are, may the Lord bless them and rescue them in difficult times as they did for us.”
Plea for help answered for Christians in Burkina Faso
“Desperate and starving” is how a pastor in Burkina Faso described to Barnabas Fund the plight of hundreds of displaced Fulani and other Christians who fled for their lives from Islamic militants.
As they sought refuge in Kaya City, Barnabas responded rapidly by sending millet, rice, sorghum, beans, cooking oil, and milk. We also sent seed for sowing crops to enable them to become self-sufficient.
Islamic extremists have openly declared their intention to kill all Christians in the north-east region of Burkina Faso, but with their basic needs met, these displaced Christians can begin to rebuild their lives in their new location.
“Rescued by people whom I have never known”
Ngaldiyé, a widow from Cameroon, asked her pastor “Is this really for me?” when she received the aid sent by Barnabas, thinking it must be a mistake.
She too had been displaced by anti-Christian violence – losing everything she owned when her village was attacked. Finally convinced it was meant for her, Ngaldiyé melted into tears, saying, “God, you who do not give up your children, here I am rescued by people whom I have never known even for one day.”
As anti-Christian violence has soared in West Africa, thousands of families have lost their homes, livelihoods and crops. Their most urgent need is food. As displaced people, they have no way to support themselves. Famine is looming and the regions where Christians have sought refuge are struggling to feed the newcomers.
Saving believers’ lives in Bangladesh
“We were craving for food. Our little one had to remain hungry often. We don’t have a job, and we lost our crops, lands, house everything,” said Merry, who lives with her husband Jacob and their five-year-old daughter in a remote area of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh.
The family received food and medical aid from Barnabas when they lost their home in a massive landslide during flooding this year. “We are now able to eat three times a day. Our Christ is our saviour. Praise the Lord!”
Torrential rains caused more than 400 landslides in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in 2019, killing five people and injuring 17. Christians, already a marginalised minority who eke out a meagre existence, lost their homes and crops. Most are tribal people or converts from Islam; they are in need, vulnerable and despised.
Will you give a Christmas gift so that hungry Christians can rejoice?
Thousands of persecuted Christians are hungry and desperate around the world.
As Christmas approaches and we rejoice in the birth of Christ, we also remember that he experienced persecution and flight, even as an infant. Could you give a gift this Christmas to feed faithful Christian families, including many widows and orphaned children?
Please be the unknown Christian, far away, who amazed them by sending help in their time of greatest need.More