Here is the first part of a three-part true story about a girl growing up in Nigeria who was persecuted for her faith:
How swiftly the days and the months passed! Wamdi was learning to read. She kept going back to the missionary school and learning from Miss Frances and now she could read from the Bible—the only printed book her Tangale (Tangle) people in Nigeria had in their language at the time. She loved to hear Miss Frances teach from the Bible. Every day she heard the story of God’s love. Many times she heard the teacher say, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Miss Frances said, “God’s love is so great that He gave His Son to die for our sins (wrong things we do that disobeys God’s law). He came to die in your place—to suffer for you!” Wamdi always listened to this story with great wonder in her heart. How could anyone love her so much? She had done so many wrong things—things Miss Frances called sins. Wamdi’s family worshipped a false god. Wamdi was taught that this false god was cruel and always punishing people—people said he was evil and unloving. She had been taught that he brought bad luck and sicknesses like smallpox. When anyone was sick, the Tangale people always said, “Our god did it.” The people didn’t know he wasn’t a real god. Wamdi did not love the false god her people worshiped. But the one true God Miss Frances told her about loved her. He is the living God. He sent His Son to die for her—she knew she could love this God. Miss Frances said, “The Lord Jesus died for you and came alive again to save you from sin, not because you are good or deserve His love. He loves you and wants your sins to be forgiven. He wants to have a relationship (friendship) with you. You can ‘love him, because he first loved us’ (1 John 4:19).”
Then one day as Wamdi was sitting quietly all by herself, she thought, I know I do many things that are wrong and sinful. I want the Lord Jesus to be my Savior and forgive me for doing these things. I want to love God, who is good and kind. Right then Wamdi believed in the Lord Jesus to be her Savior and take away her sins. Wamdi looked around her. The hot sun was still beating on the little houses of the village. Children still laughed as they played. The village and the people were the same but Wamdi was different. She knew she should not do the bad things she used to. She wanted to please the Lord Jesus. One day soon after this, Wamdi’s parents who did not believe in the one true God, asked her to do something she knew was wrong and that Jesus did not want her to do. Will Wamdi choose to live Jesus’ way and do the right thing even if it means going against her parents? What will her parents do if she chooses to disobey them?
Wamdi said, “No. I can’t do that. I belong to the Lord Jesus.” She decided following Jesus and doing what He wanted her to do was the most important thing. Her father was furious at her for disobeying him. He grabbed her, scolding and threatening her. He hit her with a heavy rope, raising big welts on Wamdi’s back. Her father threw her into the family’s small, smelly goathouse. The sheep and goats bleated as Wamdi was thrown in. Wamdi was in the goathouse for many days. Her father would not let her out. She became hungry but no one in her family would help her. Her sister would spit on her as she walked by. Her brothers would not even speak to her. Her friends would have nothing to do with her. Wamdi asked herself, Is Jesus worth being hungry and thirsty for? Is He worth being beaten for and hated by my family? Wamdi was thinking about the cost of following the Lord Jesus. Was she willing to go through hard times to obey Him? As she thought, she remembered Jesus’ love for her. He loved her so much He died for her. Wamdi knew she was not really alone. She remembered Miss Frances saying that even when bad things happen, Jesus would never leave her. Jesus was with her even in the goathouse. She remembered the verse Miss Frances had taught her: “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5b). Each day Wamdi’s father asked her to change her mind about following Jesus but she refused. Straightening her shoulders, Wamdi decided, “Even if they kill me, I will not stop following Jesus.” What will happen to Wamdi? Will she continue to follow Jesus? Will her father ever let her out of the goathouse? Just as God was with Wamdi, He is with you and He knows what you are going through. You aren’t alone. You can talk to God about the hard things you are facing. If you want to know about what happens to Wamdi next, you will need to come back to church next week to hear the end of the story!
To view the takehome sheet for this week click the Wamdi- Takehome 2