Scripture, faith sustained her during 2-years in Boko Haram captivity

Originally published by Open Doors

Agnes was 19 when she and two of her friends were kidnapped by extremists during a deadly attack on her village in northeast Nigeria. Muslim extremist groups are bent on crippling the Church and anyone who doesn’t adhere to their radical interpretation of Islam.

That day was the start of Agnes’ two-year nightmare. Out of the three girls, she is the only survivor.

“I am the only one living,” Agnes says, giving us a window into her life in captivity. “We suffered a lot during our time in captivity. They forced us to work hard and kept pushing us to denounce Christ.”

But throughout the two years of Agnes’ captivity, God revealed Himself in unexpected ways.

“I was given to a woman who was married to one of the fighters. In secret, the woman was still a Christian. She told me that if these people forced me to denounce Christ, I should say, ‘yes,’ but deep down within me I should hold on to Christ. And then, during times of Muslim prayer, I should pray to Christ instead of their ‘Allah.’”

Though Agnes followed her caretaker’s lead, she was still threatened and attacked.

“I suffered a lot of violence in their hands,” Agnes remembers. “Especially when I sometimes still mentioned the name Jesus. A few times they beat me up until I was unconscious.”

In her darkest times, Agnes clung to the promises of Scripture.

“In the book of Psalms, there is a verse that says something like, ‘no matter the troubles and suffering you go through, hold on to God. He will deliver you,’” Agnes shares. “[Focusing on those words] really helped me when I worried. I had strong faith that I would meet my family (again) someday.”

That hope and her faith kept her going for two years until she saw the chance to escape.

“The day I escaped, I was sent with another young girl to go and look for vegetables in the forest. They left us alone. Then the girl I was with told me to run away with her and find freedom.”

Open Doors reached out to Agnes and has been working with her through trauma recovery therapy to help her regain her life once more. Agnes has some specific prayer requests for all of us.

“I want all believers in Christ to pray for the many girls still in captivity. Ask God to intervene. Also pray for me, that God will bring an end to the rejection I am going through. Pray also for my family members and community that have rejected me, that God will open their eyes to see that what they are doing is not good.”

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