Susan is from Uganda. Sub-Saharan Africa is a region seeing increasing persecution against Christians. This story shows how Christians – even new converts like Susan – show amazing courage and faithfulness, even in the face of violence and abuse.
Susan became a Christian when she was 13. A visiting speaker came to her school and at the end of the assembly Susan decided that she wanted to follow Jesus.
But when her father found out, he was furious.
He grabbed Susan and her younger brother and dragged them outside. He held a knife to Susan’s throat and said: “Susan if you don’t stop going to church and worshipping God I will kill you and your brother.”
But Susan didn’t stop – she kept going to church.
The pressure intensified. One day Susan’s father dragged her to a room, threw her in, and shouted: “Sit on that mat”. He told her, “You will not get off that mat until you renounce Jesus.”
With that he locked the door. For three months Susan sat on that mat. She only survived because her brave younger brother poured water and scraps of banana through a gap under the door.
After a while, some neighbours started to ask questions. They asked her brother, “Where’s Susan? We’ve not seen her in weeks.” Eventually, her brother told them, so they called the police.
When the police found Susan, she weighed less than three stone.
But she was still sitting on the mat. She hadn’t moved.
She was taken to a nearby hospital and there began her rehabilitation and recovery. When she was in hospital she was asked by an Open Doors team: “Susan why didn’t you try to escape? Why didn’t you get off that mat?”
She looked them in the eye and said these words “Because my father said if I got off that mat, I’d be renouncing Jesus, and Jesus is the most precious gift of all. I could never renounce him.”
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