You might remember Esther from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Last year, her husband was murdered. With support from Open Doors local partners, Esther and her three children are doing well, but they continue to need your prayers.
"My message to the brothers and sisters, who help us without even knowing us, is that they should press on without getting discouraged," says Esther
“I felt deep pain that one cannot bear.” Those were the words Esther shared in the wake of the tragic death of her husband, Pastor Isaac, in November 2021.
His body was discovered hanging from a tree in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Local Christians suspect Pastor Isaac, aged 33 at the time, was targeted by Islamic militants because of his efforts to tell his community about Jesus.
Upon hearing of his death, Esther went into labour. She was rushed to hospital and gave birth the next day, when her husband was buried. “I could not be part of the burial, none of it,” she said.
Shortly after the incident, Open Doors local partners visited Esther and her three children, to provide comfort, food, clothing and cash to cover other needs. “I am really happy, especially happy to see that we are in unity in Christ and we will continue to support each other in the faith,” she said at the time.
The team recently returned to see how the family are doing. Esther is doing well physically, and with the financial support of family and Open Doors, she’s been able to build a small house on her in-laws’ compound. The cash she was given by our partners has also enabled her to start her own business selling food and other household essentials.
“We continue to thank you very much all those who care about us,” Esther said. “In the past, we received goods that helped us a lot and the money has helped us in the construction of the house where we live.”
"I know that with [your] support, I can stand back on my feet" Esther
“I need your continued support – the support of my brothers and sisters in the faith – because I know that with their support, I can stand back on my feet and continue to be strong despite the circumstance,” she continued. “I also pray that God will grant me the courage and strength to continue caring for my children, for their education, health, and daily needs.” The three children are aged seven, two, and eight months.
Emotionally and spiritually, Esther still needs your prayers as she continues to come to terms with her terrible loss.
“I still go to church, but when I do, I think a lot about my husband, because he was always seated at the pulpit”, she said. “I know I am weak in my spiritual life because I have difficulty reading the Bible, difficulty praying. But despite all the ups and downs of life, there is one passage that always comes back to me and strengthens me. It is the passage from Romans 8:39 which says: ‘Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus’.”
“I strongly need prayers so that God will give me back the strength to continue serving Him; and for the moment there are no threats made against me. My prayer also is that God will strengthen me spiritually and that He will open a path for me to find work where I will not depend on anyone, because people often have evil thoughts to turn us away from the will of God.
“My message to the brothers and sisters, who help us without even knowing us, is that they should press on without getting discouraged. I, my children and my family are so grateful for all that the beloved ones continue to do for us.”
Your prayers and support have also inspired Esther to help others who are going through hard times. “I think that through what you are doing for me, I will also help my brothers and sisters in their difficult time,” she said. “Thank you for the great lesson you have enabled me to learn.”
Would you like to unite with other Christians and organisations to make a difference to the lives of our persecuted family? Join us for a special webinar to mark International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church on Sunday 6 November at 7.30pm. The event is held in conjunction with Evangelical Alliance, Release International and CSW.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.