The devastating attack by Islamic militants on a school in Uganda has left at least 40 children killed and six abducted last month. There has been a bittersweet update to the appalling attack - at the funeral of one of the students who was killed, a man chose to commit his life to Jesus! Of course, the deaths are still a terrible tragedy - but it is encouraging that God is bringing something good out of this evil.
Amina's courageous faith
Amina grew up in a Muslim home, and she and her mother were abandoned by their wider family when they chose to become Christians last year. They were taken in by the church after their family chased them from their home. They were cared for by their local church, with support from Open Doors partners. Even at the church, they continued to face many challenges including threats from the family and difficulty to meet their basic needs.
Amina was just 15 years old when she was one of 37 students killed by Islamic militant group ADF in the attack. Her body was found in the nearby forest, over the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Ugandan army was searching for the militants. A funeral service was held at the Kibwe Anglican Church, where Amina used to worship.
A new believer
At the funeral service, the church leader bravely preached the good news of Jesus to the family and community members present, many of whom are Muslims. One of these men heard the words, and had already been questioning his faith in the wake of the attack. He chose to give his life to Jesus.
"I fear as a human, but I am trusting Jesus to guide me."
Ugandan man who gave his life to Jesus at the funeral
He has already received death threats, since this courageous decision, and it wouldn't be safe for us to reveal any other details about his identity. But he knows he is taking a risk that is worth it. “I have been told that I cannot be on the earth and must be killed," he says. "I fear as a human, but I am trusting Jesus to guide me. For me, even if they kill me, I will be in heaven with Amina."
Join us in praising and thanking God for bringing this man to faith, and for bringing good out of this atrocity.
Open Doors partners offer encouragement
An Open Doors local partner recently visited Kasese to offer encouragement, prayer and fellowship. While there, they visited a school near the one which was attacked, where young Christians were singing and praising God. One of the songs includes the lyrics: "I will continue proclaiming that which concerns Your name Jesus; even if I die, I will resurrect in You."
"Christians are still in fear and some of them are still in hiding."
Elsewhere in the neighbourhood, though, Christians remain understandably afraid. “There is great fear among Christians of this church, but we hope God will continue to counsel everyone,” said Pastor Mirundu of St Luke Kibwe Church. Four members of his church were killed in the attack. "The few who come to church stay standing during the service because of fear that anything can happen any time. Christians are still in fear and some of them are still in hiding."
But Pastor Mirundu is gradually seeing change. “Today, the number of those who attended the church service has at least raised a little. God is still in control. I therefore request our friends from within and outside Uganda to continue praying for us."