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Ethiopia - Chaltu Waga: Brokenness to Joy
"Before the letters were read, in my mind my life was like a mountain. The road was closed. But when I heard the voices of the letters, the way was open." - Chaltu Waga
God comforts Chaltu
"I had an uneasy feeling the week before while attending a conference at church," shared Chaltu Waga, the wife of murdered pastor, Tulu Mosisa. "When I heard the news that Sunday, I cried aloud. I cannot remember much of what happened immediately after that."
In 2008, Chaltu's husband Tulu was killed when the church he attended was attacked by extremist Muslims, angered by the church's efforts to share the gospel. Chaltu's heart was broken. And she was afraid. She feared that she would not be able to support her five children. She feared that they would turn away from God.
But one day, some friends of Chaltu received an encouraging word from the Lord for her. He was aware of her suffering, and He would take care of her: "I am behind you and I am in front of you. Stop worrying."
Shortly afterwards, Open Doors was able to make contact with the family. After seeing their pain, we launched a letter-writing campaign, asking you to pray for and write encouragements to the family. Recently, we went back to visit Chaltu to see how God has been at work through your prayers and support.
'The letters were like strong walls around me'
"Before they came, I was building a house that Open Doors had committed to help with. When they came I saw that they were carrying something and I wondered, 'What do they have for me? Is it money, or building materials?'"
Chaltu had no idea that our colleagues carried with them thousands of cards and letters from supporters around the world.
"As soon as I heard the voices of the letters I became happy and rejoiced. Before the letters were read, in my mind my life was like a mountain. The road was closed. But when I heard the voices of the letters, the way was open.
"The letters said, 'We are all around you, like a building'. The letters were like strong walls around me. I want to thank the brothers and sisters who wrote the letters to me. They were instruments of God. God used them to save me and encourage me. They are the way of God."
Chaltu's prayers answered
"I pleaded to God in all the challenges I experienced and He has answered me ."
Sometime after the attack, Chaltu received compensation from the government, providing an answer to her prayers and fears over how she would support her children. Chaltu was also given some land, which she continues to cultivate today.
"One of my prayers has been for my children," Chaltu recalled. "They are ministering in the church. They are strong spiritually."
Her son, Asefa, is now an enthusiastic evangelist - he has even forgiven the people who killed his father and wants to see them reconciled with Christ. "God says that we are the light of the world," Asefa explained. "So, when we approach them with good character and sit with them, we might bring them to Jesus."
The next step
God has been at work in the life of Chaltu and her children, and they have even been an encouragement to those around them.
Chaltu recently spoke at an Open Doors seminar for Christian widows, in which she testified of God's goodness. She encouraged the women to keep their eyes on the Lord. "There are ups and downs in this world," she says. "[But] God is there during our trials."
And Asefa has a bright vision for his country: "The vision I have is to preach to people passing through persecution and suffering like I did, providing words that strengthen them. I want them to be comforted as I have been comforted."
- Praise God for the ways in which He has comforted and answered the prayers of Chaltu and her family
- That God will continue to work through Chaltu, Asefa and the rest of the family as they provide their Christian witness
- That those who attacked the church and killed Tulu would come to know the Lord Jesus.
*Name changed for security reasons