Your prayers and gifts are helping change Blessing’s life after her husband left her for refusing to renounce Christianity.
“My husband forced me to convert to Islam, but I didn't agree and refused to convert to Islam,” says Blessing*, a 23-year-old from Kenya. “I held onto my Christian faith, and we separated.”
Blessing was abandoned by her Muslim husband. To make things even harder, she was pregnant when he left. She moved back in with her parents – and, since she didn’t have a job, Blessing was completely dependent on them.
Kenya is just outside the top 50 on the World Watch List ranking of the countries where following Jesus costs the most. While most of the country is Christian, believers can still face persecution – particularly in the north east and coastal regions of the country, where they can be targeted by Islamic extremist groups. Christians who’ve converted from Islam face persecution from their families – and Christians like Blessing can be rejected by their Muslim husbands and breadwinners if they refuse to convert.
Blessing was keen to work hard but didn’t have any training. That changed when Open Doors local partners heard about her struggle, through the local church, and stepped in to help: thanks to your ongoing prayers and support, Blessing was able to receive vocational training so she can provide for herself and her young daughter.
"My child is able to study, dress well and eat better." Blessing
“I am grateful that they [Open Doors partners] helped me through education, to get my own skills that will enable me to do the work of my hands so I can get my own money,” says Blessing. Local partners also gave her a sewing machine and some fabric, so she could start a seamstress workshop.
“Through this sewing job, I get help in many areas,” she says. “The first one is that I have started to educate my child; she is able to study, dress well and eat better. Secondly, on my parents’ part, I have been able to help them by reducing the burden of them helping me and my child. Right now, I am able to help them. I am now someone who can be depended on in my family.”
It’s clear that your support hasn’t just helped change Blessing’s financial situation – it’s transformed the way she feels about her role in the family. And Blessing is a true entrepreneur. With profits earned during the last festive season and the reopening of schools – since Blessing often works on school uniforms – Blessing started a roadside café that brings in additional income during off-peak seasons.
“I started thinking about something else, because where I live sometimes the sewing business goes down,” she shares. “I thought I should open another business and I began thinking of starting a café.”
"I’m grateful of where I am right now. I have made progress." Blessing
With some of the profit she makes, she also buys fuel which she sells to motorcyclists in her neighbourhood. She says, “I’m grateful of where I am right now. I have made progress. I can get money from the seamstress and food business.”
Thank you so much for the difference you’ve made in the lives of Blessing and her daughter, through your prayers and gifts. She asks that you keep praying for her – and is also thinking of others in her community: “The prayer that I request you to pray for me is that I should be able to grow in my business, so I can earn more to employ others. Then they can also rise to this level, and we can work together.”
*Name changed for security reasons
You can order your free World Watch List Top 50 booklet to get detailed information about the 50 countries, inspiring testimonies and stories from the persecuted church, and prayers to help you stand with your risk-taking church family.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.