Tchima is a young female Christian in Niger. Under continued, severe pressure she has been enduring for her faith in Christ, she has reverted to Islam, become the 3rd wife of a Muslim and remained out of reach of any Christian who could minister to her.
Tchima followed her father, Abdou, to Christianity when she was around 12 years old. Out of fear that his daughter may be forced back to Islam, Abdou sent Tchima to live with a Christian family member elsewhere. But it turns out she was not safe there either.
One day Tchima was raped by the driver of the motorcycle-taxi she hired to run an errand for her aunt. Scared that he would make good of his promise to kill her if she told anyone, she did not report the rape.
A while later, Tchima discovered that she was pregnant. Her host family, in an attempt to mitigate shame, married her off to a Muslim who promised to take care of Tchima and the baby. But he was untrustworthy, stealing money Tchima had borrowed to start a business and when pressured to repay it, divorced her.
Tchima went to live with other relatives, doing menial labour – washing dishes, cooking food and pounding millet and maize – to generate income. But life was too hard.
The person who introduced us to Tchima has just reported the sad update on Tchima. The last time she saw our contact, she lamented, “I am tired of my situation as a Christian. I have no hope of marrying a Christian man and I cannot stay alone like this. Besides, instead of helping me, Christians have slandered my name.”
Now no Christian is allowed near Tchima.
She is the sad face of the reality of the double targeting of Christian women: targeted with mistreatment because of her faith and for being a woman because she is too weak to defend herself.
Tchima fell through the gaps as the church deals with an array of difficulties (poverty, insufficient understanding of Islam and persecution, inadequate equipment of spiritual leaders, limited Biblical knowledge)
Tchima’s mother remains strong in the faith, but her father is also struggling. He is not attending church at the moment and told his pastor the only way he would be able to follow Christ was if he lived elsewhere.
Open Doors is investigating viable ways to bring Abdou and his entire family out of this destructive situation into safety. Apart from that, we are equipping the Church to provide appropriate spiritual and physical care to the most vulnerable among their flocks; MBBs and women like Tchima. But it is a slow process with many challenges.
- Pray that the Lord will visit Tchima through His Spirit to encourage and comfort her. Pray for protection.
- Pray that we will be able to find a way to help the family in a sustainable way and that Tchima will be able to be reunited with her family
- Pray for our work to equip the Church in Niger to provide sufficient physical and spiritual support to the most vulnerable among their floc.
CHANGE THEIR STORY
You are probably aware of the persecution against Christians in many parts of the world. But did you know that Christian women are two times more susceptible to persecution because of their gender? Tchima is one of them.
Will you join us in changing the stories of persecuted Christian women, and give to support them?
Your gift will enable us to hold trauma counselling workshops for those who have experienced violence, provide a safe and encouraging space for women to share and grow together, provide necessities to widows, as well as train them to minister to other women.GIVE NOW: CHANGE THEIR STORY