Written by: International Christian Concern
Article source: www.persecution.org

In the quiet confines of Widho Village, Mary and her children found themselves thrust into a nightmare on a fateful night in September 2023.

Around 2 a.m., al-Shabab stormed their village and shattered the tranquility of their humble residence.

“As darkness surrounded our humble house, I found myself sheltered within its walls, my children by my side,” Mary said. “Little did I know that danger lurked just beyond our doorstep. The air was thick with tension as armed militants descended upon our village, their ominous presence sending shivers down my spine.” 

While the assailants attempted to break into her house, Mary’s son asked her why there was so much commotion. He grew concerned, she said, that the noise would wake the baby.

“I was so scared for my sons and couldn’t even raise my voice,” Mary said. “My older son reassured him, explaining that the intruders were al-Shabab militants. He urged him to remain still and quiet, advising him to pray to God for protection.”

Amid the chaos, the Islamic extremists barged into the family’s home and demanded answers.  

“Is there a man in the house?” one of them barked.  

Mary trembled with fear as she assured the attackers that they were alone. The gunmen continued to press her. They then laid eyes on her oldest son, Isaiah.  

“Is he your husband?” one of them questioned. 

“With all the strength I could gather,” Mary recalled, “I told them that he was my son and not my husband.” 

The gunmen went outside and dragged one of Mary’s neighbors, a man named Daniel, toward her home.

“With merciless intent, they subjected him to unspeakable horrors, all in the name of their twisted ideology,” she said. “But Daniel, a man of unwavering faith, refused to renounce his beliefs, even in the face of death. They slowly butchered him and watched as he went through immense agony, hoping he would renounce his faith. Daniel stood still and firm in his faith in Jesus Christ, which he held onto until he shed the last drop of blood.”

Mary stood paralyzed by fear.  

“My sons looking to me for guidance, their innocent eyes filled with confusion and fear,” she said. “My heart ached as I witnessed the brutality unfolding before us, powerless to intervene.” 

With pride in her eyes, Mary recalled her son’s bravery. After the attackers left, Isaiah approached her with words of encouragement.  

“He suggested that we should leave and find a safer place, fearing that the jihadists might return to set our house ablaze,” Mary said. “With a gentle grip, he held my hand, offering support as we gathered a few essentials from our home in our search for safety. My heart swelled with pride as I observed him prioritizing the Bible, placing it inside his bag.”

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much left to take. The assailants had ransacked the home, stealing everything they could, including the family’s entire food supply.  

“Despite the scarcity of resources, Isaiah’s unwavering determination filled me with hope as we embarked on our journey to find solace,” Mary shared. 

Before the al-Shabab attackers left the home, they promised to return and continue their violence until the villagers converted to Islam.  

“Convert or die, a choice no one should ever have to make,” Mary said. “Yet, as we fled into the unknown, I knew that our faith would guide us through the trials that lay ahead. With Isaiah by my side, I embarked on a journey into the unknown, clinging to the hope that one day, we would find peace amidst the chaos that threatened to consume us.” 

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Date published: 11/06/2024

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