Here is the third part of a three-part true story about a girl growing up in Nigeria who was persecuted for her faith:
While Wamdi was locked in the goathouse, she decided that even if they killed her, she would not stop following Jesus. This did not make Wamdi’s father happy. He beat her again and left her in the goathouse. But Wamdi kept thinking how much the Lord Jesus had done for her. That night Wamdi began to sing a song about God. Her clear voice rang out in the blackness of the night. People woke up, wondering who was singing such a sweet song. They pushed aside their mat doors and came out into the darkness. “Who is singing?” they asked. “It’s Wamdi in the goathouse!” Whispering to each other, the people listened as Wamdi sang praises to God. Finally Wamdi’s father came out—and he set her free! When Wamdi was in the goathouse, she made the choice to follow God no matter what happened. She continued to follow God as she grew up. God gave her a great love for her people. She told others about Jesus every chance she could. She walked up and down the Tangale hills, sharing God’s love with everyone and telling them about the Savior who died for them. One day Wamdi led her nearly blind mother into the missionaries’ church. What joy was in her heart when her mother sat and listened to the Word of God! Then her older sister, who had spit on her when she was in the goathouse, believed in Jesus. Her life was changed just as Wamdi’s had been. Many of Wamdi’s family members and friends became followers of Jesus because of Wamdi’s life and love for the Lord Jesus. Not only had she told them about the Lord Jesus but she was also willing to suffer for Him. Have you trusted the Lord Jesus as your Savior? Jesus suffered and died to pay for your sins but you must trust Him as your Savior to be forgiven. If you have already trusted Jesus as your Savior, will you trust Him even when you suffer? Sometimes God will allow pain to come into your life. He allows this suffering in your life to help you grow closer to Him. But God always has a plan for your suffering. He may want you to tell others about Him or He may simply want you to grow closer to Him. No matter what you’re going through, God has a plan for you and He is there to help.
Many people in the world today are suffering because they love the Lord Jesus—some suffer even more than Wamdi did. They are not free to love and worship Jesus openly. When people are treated badly because of what they believe, it is called persecution. Persecution can come in many different ways. Some people don’t get hired for jobs because of what they believe. They might not be able to talk to other people or be forced to stay in their homes. Often people are thrown into prison and even killed just because they believe in Jesus. For you this might mean someone will tease you because you believe in Jesus or because you go to church. Maybe someone in your family is mean to you and doesn’t talk to you. Some people choose to follow Jesus even though they know it might mean they will be hurt or killed. They know that Jesus loves them so much He suffered and died for them. Because they know the greatness of Jesus’ love, they would rather die than stop following Him. In some places people are asked, “Are you willing to die for Jesus?” Many people answer yes. They are willing to suffer persecution for Jesus because they value and love Him above everything else—even their own lives! Jesus knew that those who follow Him would face persecution. In the Bible He tells us that those who follow Him will be persecuted. The Bible also tells us God is in control and He is always with those who believe in Him—even during persecution:
Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b). That means no matter what happens, Jesus is greater than any problem you face. He is always in control. Do you remember what Wamdi did when she was persecuted for her faith in Jesus? (Allow response.) She remembered Jesus’ love for her. She remembered that He died on the cross and came back to life for her. Thinking about how great Jesus is helped her to sing even while she was being persecuted. You may not be persecuted the same way Wamdi was but believing in Jesus is still serious. Do you love Jesus more than anything else? You can ask God to help you love Him the most. We can also pray for God to help those who are facing persecution now in countries like Nigeria, where Wamdi lived. We can pray that God will help them continue to love Him more than anything else and that they will remember His great love for them. Even today, many people are still being treated badly and even killed in Nigeria because they believe in Jesus. Let’s pray for the people in Nigeria who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus.
To view the takehome sheet for this week click the Wamdi- Takehome 3