Christian women living in the Muslim world bear a two-fold burden. First, they are women, subject to the restrictions and oppression of the Islamic faith. Second, they are Christian, which is often illegal and punishable by death. Yet, despite these weighty dangers, women continue coming to faith—seeking and accepting Jesus—daily. Women like Hawa…
Persecuted Women Like Hawa
Hawa didn’t go looking for Jesus, but He found her all the same.
When her husband Imed began spending time with the wrong crowd, it was Hawa and the children who paid the cost. Working at a wholesale produce market near their home, Imed started hanging around other employees who were drug dealers on the side. Their influence changed him—to the point where he would beat Hawa and their three children.
When the police wouldn’t help but merely suggested the family relocate to another town to be removed from the bad influence of these drug dealers, Hawa complied. Though the family moved, the destructive behavior didn’t stop. Instead, Imed brought marijuana seeds with him to get right back into the drug trade. He also found some new friends with the same old problems. Worst of all, the beatings continued—they even intensified.
On one occasion, Imed locked Hawa out of the house in her pajamas and beat their oldest daughter Atika for attempting to defend her mother. Another time, Imed struck Hawa with a metal box. It was after this incident that Hawa decided she’d had enough. She took the children and left Imed, heading out of town. The taxicab driver, seeing that the situation was critical, suggested Hawa go to a local church for help.
A Coming to Faith Journey
At the church, Hawa began attending worship services, and the children began attending the Christian boarding school. The community even rented Hawa a house and began supporting the family financially until they could get back on their feet. Hawa discovered peace and joy in that place, but she was not ready to accept the Christian faith. Not yet, anyway.
Two years later, Imed discovered that Hawa and the children were living in a nearby country, and he told Hawa’s parents. When they heard she was living among Christians and that the children were being educated by followers of Jesus, they ordered Hawa to return home at once. But it wasn’t enough for Hawa and the children to return to Jordan; the family shamed and humiliated Hawa, and they made life difficult for her. They stopped talking to her, and began referring to her as an infidel.
Hawa took out a small loan so she could rent an apartment, purchase furniture, and then she found a job as a nursery caregiver. She also filed a complaint in court to keep her husband away from her. If he did try to find Hawa, he would be arrested for breaking the order.
Sometime later, Hawa went to a local mosque because she needed kerosene heating oil for her home. The imam agreed to help but only if Hawa would allow him to visit her house. Hawa would not agree to such a thing, so when a friend told her she might be able to find help from a local church, she sought relief once again from Christians. Within two hours, kerosene was delivered to her home.
Something Different About Christians
Hawa couldn’t stop thinking about the way Christians had treated her over the years, so she began having spiritual conversations with a friend who was a believer. This friend told Hawa about the way of Jesus and advised her to forgive Imed. Hawa began reading the Bible and praying, asking the Lord for guidance. She also began attending a local church. One day, in a dream, she saw Jesus, and He called to her. This happened again and again, so she knew it had to be the Lord, and she gave her life to Him.
Now that Hawa knows the Lord, she wants to tell everyone what she is learning, but it has cost her dearly. At the kindergarten where she worked, her colleagues ostracized her on account of her faith. At home, her landlord overheard a Christian broadcast Hawa was listening to and was furious. He poured kerosene on her front door, poured out her son’s fish tank, and cut off her electricity. He told her: “Respect the hijab! Or better yet, find another place to stay!”
Enduring Livelihood for Hawa
Help The Persecuted has come alongside Hawa to help her start a business that will provide a stable and dignified life for herself and her children. Now, Hawa rents a different house, and she’s able to save money on rent by completing repairs on the home herself. For her business, she makes spice mixes for cooking, and she sells them to local merchants to resell. Her new home provides all the space she needs to do her work, and her business is slowly expanding, as her mixes have become quite popular. She was even able to revive an old car to make the deliveries.
Help The Persecuted is committed to providing Enduring Livelihood for persecuted Christians in the Muslim world. By supporting businesses and providing skills training, Help The Persecuted is helping our persecuted brothers and sisters to remain strong in their faith, stable in their vocation, and hopeful in their future. Join with us to provide Enduring Livelihood for believers like Hawa.