I read a story about a 14-year old girl from southern Sudan. Her government’s Islamic forces and been sending troops on the villages and towns of southern Sudan in 1990. These troops were removing people from their land, and those who opposed were tortured or killed for their rebellion. While many of the village people were able to escape, this 14-year old girl named Abuk Ajing was not able to escape.
The soldiers attempted to remove her forcibly, but she emphatically refused to go. The soldiers were not happy with her refusal to obey orders and demanded Abuk Ajing repeat the creed of Islam” There is one God; Allah is his name, and Muhammed is his prophet,” but she would not. Abuk Ajing was a Christian and would not deny her faith, although she faced military men with guns as her opposition, she would not give in. The soldiers stripped her, tied her up and heated long knives to mutilate her flesh. During her persecution, she cried out to Jesus for help in her time of torture—never giving in. Through extreme pain and mutilated flesh, she collapsed and fell to the ground unconscious. The soldiers left her for dead.
Ten years later some missionary workers visited her Abuk Ajing’s village and noticed a beautiful woman with a baby. The missionaries saw her face displayed suffering and began to ask her what had happened. She told the story and showed the scars, which often became infected from not receiving medical treatment through the years. Against all opposition, this strong women of the faith led life determined to follow Christ against all demands of suffering and persecution.
What we can learn from her story is never to allow our faith to take a back seat during times of anguish. King Nebuchadnezzar threw the three Hebrew men into the fire for standing against conversion. Persecution is nothing new for the Christian. We must be prepared and determined to trust that God will remain with us through the fire.
2 Timothy 1:8 (NLT)
8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.