We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

the Salvation Army Church in the Majengo area of Mombasa Island was DESTROYED in riots following the murder of a prominent Muslim cleric. AFTER THE RIOTS, THE TREND OF violence against Christians in the area CONTINUED.

But more recently, things have changed. Major Robert Nzioka, the leader of the church, said “We used to receive regular threats, especially on Sundays as congregants walked to church… But these threats have stopped almost completely.

“The few members who still hear comments are now bold enough to respectfully assert their right to worship… The support we have received after attacks has served to strengthen us. We now know that we are not a small church struggling to stay alive here, but that we are part of the wider body of Christ who genuinely cares about us.”

Your letters

After the attacks, we asked you to pray for Majengo Salvation Army Church and write to encourage the church there. Many responded, Open Doors was able to present Robert with a package of letters and cards from around the world.

The smile on Robert’s face could have lit up the room. “May God bless you for bringing us these letters!”

The cards were distributed at the end of the service, a few to each person. At first the church fell silent. The response was incredible. ‘Thank you! Tell them thank you!’

Ephy (11) and Catherine (10) with their cards

Ephy (11) and Catherine (10) came over to show off their cards and say thank you. When asked what they would like to say to people who wrote the letters, they immediately responded: “Please tell them, ‘we love you too!’”

Faith, carrying baby Abigail, smiled as she said, “Mine is from Roy and Judith in England. Thank them from me and tell them I too will be praying for them.”

Jeremiah wrote a note, saying: “You have made us proud to be one in Christ with you and we wish to extend our great love and prayers to all who have touched our hearts. God bless you all.”

Robert writes back

Major Robert wrote this personal note to say thank you:

Dear Comrades in Christ,

I thank the Almighty God because of His powers over my family and the entire church. God is good all the time, we have peace in Mombasa, the area is now cool, Jesus under control. We appreciate your gifts, and we thank you for your special word of encouragement. Thank you, God bless you all for that tender love. We know we have friends who stand with us in times of persecutions through prayers. “Together in Christ in prayers we stand.”

God bless you very much,

Yours in Christ,

Major Robert Nzioka.

Prayer points
  • Praise God for the improved safety and confidence of members of the Majengo Salvation Army Church
  • That the believers would continue to be bold in defending their faith
  • For comfort for the family of Sheikh Salim Bakari Mwarangi, and that his death would not lead to further outbreaks of violence
  • For peace in Kenya

Do you know someone who is deaf? If so, you’re likely aware of the challenges that this can bring. Thankfully, there is often a lot of support from the societies in which we live to help those who are deaf.

But in parts of Central Asia, this is not always the case, because being deaf carries a stigma that brings isolation and rejection, including trouble finding work. This adds to their suffering. In fact, some interpretations of Islam believe that deaf people cannot go to heaven.

Amazingly, the deaf community are among the fastest growing group of believers in Central Asia, helped by an initiative run by Open Doors local partners who show deaf people how treasured they are by God. This includes training in skills such as computing, make-up and how to repair mobile phones, as well as support for children, including road safety help because of the dangers facing deaf people near roads.

The community also provides support to withstand persecution, because those who come to know Jesus from a Muslim background can face hostility from their families and communities.

We’d love to particularly encourage the young people who are involved in this community by inviting you to write to them! They’d love to hear from you and be reminded that, amidst the rejection they can face because of their deafness and faith, their global church family is thinking about and praying for them.

Guidelines
  • Greeting cards, children’s artwork and postcards are best
  • Use simple English and keep your letter brief and without too much text (some of the children can’t yet read English)
  • Print clearly
  • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses
  • Show sensitivity; please don’t dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country.
For security
  • Do not mention Open Doors in your letters
  • If writing a postcard, please send it in an envelope and do not write the Open Doors’ address on the postcard
  • You may provide your name, but do not provide your full name or address
  • Do not criticise a region’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system, or political leaders
  • Do not send money or make proposals to help.
Send to us!

This campaign is postal only. Please send your physical drawings, cards or letters to us at the below address:

PO Box 6
Witney
Oxon
OX29 6WG

And we’ll do the rest!

Please note this campaign ends 31 December 2023. Since we are restricted in the amount of letters we can send to the centre, we may have to close the campaign early.

Our gifts and prayers can support persecuted children like Fasil and Ezana have a brighter future. Every £30 could give a month’s education to five children impacted by persecution – an amazing way you can send some light this Christmas!

Open Doors founder Brother Andrew said “If we realised the power of our prayers, we would be on our knees 100 times a day asking God to turn the world upside down” so let’s involve our church in supporting and praying as much as possible over Christmas. 

Below are several ideas that could be done as part of a youth group, during a church service or on a table after the service. We have put them together in a plan but please do adjust them to best fit your group. It would be great for as much of this as possible to be led by the young people. 

1. PLAY THIS Game:

Watch this example

After you have played the game with a few people from the church explain that candles and light are such a big part of celebrating Christmas. We want the Light of Christmas, Jesus, to not be blown out after these few short days but to continue on for the rest of our lives. Watch this video (Fasil and Ezana) to see what steps the church in Ethiopia is taking to grow children in the light of Christ. 

2. Watch THIS video 

Say: This Christmas, your prayers and gifts can support persecuted children like Fasil and Ezana to have a brighter future. The church school they attend, has dreams to expand, to provide school for all the children in their community and they need our prayers and support. Every £30 could provide a month’s education to five children impacted by persecution. 

After the service we will have a couple of ways to respond, opportunities to give what you can, opportunities to pray because we can all pray.  

3. Response 

After the service we suggest you have two tables set up, one to encourage financial support and one to encourage prayer. 

Financial support

Purchase tea lights before the service. Explain that we are sending some light this Christmas to the persecuted church. For a donation, they can light a candle as a symbol of support for our persecuted family and make a display of lit candles. 

Prayer

On a separate table, lay out strips of coloured paper to make some paper chains with (you’ll need a stapler or good glue to stick them together). Encourage everyone to take a strip and write or draw their prayer for children like Fasil and Ezana on it. They can then add it to everyone else’s strips. Encourage the church to hang or display the chain over Christmas as a reminder to keep praying for the persecuted church during this time. 

Please do send in any pictures of your church or youth group taking part to youth@opendoorsuk.org or our instagram @opendoorsyouthuk.

Any donations made can be sent to us online here… Thank you!

Back to the ‘Send Some Light’ Christmas page…

*Names changed for security reasons

THIS IS ELNURA from Central Asia. She’s deaf which means that SADLY, in her community, she’s faced a lot of isolation and rejection. There are not the same opportunities for her to be able to go to school, have friends or join in with activities in her community, as there would be for her in the UK.  

But a community of deaf Christians, supported by Open Doors local partners, is showing deaf children how much they’re loved by God. It’s where Elnura has spent time learning sign language – and where she received a Christmas gift that meant so much to her. “The Christmas gift really gave her the feeling that she is seen and loved, not only by us, but also by God,” says Naira*, an Open Doors local partner. “I really see Elnura being more open because she received love and attention from the deaf Christian community.”  

Amazingly, the deaf community is home to one of the fastest growing group of believers in Central Asia. Some interpretations of Islam believe that deaf people cannot go to heaven, meaning there is a greater openness to the hope and light of Jesus. 

Since many deaf Christians are isolated and cannot fully integrate into society, local Open Doors partners like Naira also come alongside the community to provide trauma counselling, as well as training in vocational skills such as computing, beauty therapy and phone repair for those struggling to find work because of their disability.  

The community is one of several ways through which local partners in Central Asia distribute gifts to people during the festive season. Others include hospitals, orphanages and house visits to local families – many of whom are very poor. Not all are Christians, making it a wonderful way to introduce people to the love of Jesus, and in some cases, it’s the first Christmas present people have ever been given.  

You can write to Elnura to encourage her and to let her know she is part of a Christian family who love and care for her. Here are some things to bear in mind: 

Guidelines: 
  • We will only be able to send digital copies of your messages to Elnura (photos/messages) 
  • Use simple English and keep your messages brief and without too much text  
  • Print clearly 
  • Be encouraging and include one or two Bible verses 
  • Show sensitivity; please don’t dwell on the recipient’s plight, or share about the blessings of life in your country. 
For security: 
  • Do not  mention Open Doors in your messages 
  • If writing a postcard, please send it in an envelope and do not write the Open Doors’ address on the postcard 
  • You may provide your name, but do not provide your full name or address 
  • Do not criticise a region’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system, or political leaders 
  • Do not send money or make proposals to help. 
Send to us, either: 
  • email photos of your messages to youth@opendoorsuk.org 
  • post your messages to  PO Box 6, Witney, Oxon OX29 6WG 

Back to the ‘Send Some Light’ Christmas page…

*Names changed for security reasons

After his father was killed by Islamic militants, Ayuba* from Nigeria was determined to kill the person who helped the extremists identify their targets. But after attending a trauma centre run by Open Doors local partners, a remarkable transformation happened.

“I thank you so much,” he says. “It is because of you that I have peace in my mind now. I said I would never forgive, and I wanted to take my revenge, but now I have forgiven totally. I have learned to leave everything at the feet of Jesus.”

Sessions at the centre focus on what trauma is, and how to respond in a resilient and biblical way. This includes workshops that help trauma survivors – especially church leaders, women and young people – to process and work through their trauma and start to heal. Practical support is also offered.

“The act of listening to victims of violence and allowing them share their frustration, humiliation and fear for the future proves to be very helpful,” says Tirham*, a volunteer at the trauma centre. “They are able to open their hearts to share their ordeal and express their fear and sometimes suicidal thoughts.”

Your prayers and generosity are enormously contributing to the precious work of the trauma centre. Now you can give help in a different way – by writing to both beneficiaries and frontline workers at the centre!

Ayuba has now left the trauma centre feeling strengthened and encouraged to resume his life, but you can write to other believers like him who are still at the centre, or workers like Tirham who are selflessly supporting survivors. Your words will be a powerful source of encouragement.

Guidelines
  • Greeting cards, postcards and artwork are best
  • Please include one or two encouraging Bible verses
  • You can include an uplifting prayer, verses from a Psalm or lyrics from your favourite worship song
  • For security reasons, please do not use verses that refer to Israel, armies, or war
  • Show sensitivity. Please do not dwell on the recipient’s plight, share about the blessings of life in your country or your own struggles.
For security
  • Do not mention Open Doors
  • Do not mention other religions
  • Do not refer to Israel, even when using scripture
  • Do not criticise religions, religious extremists, governments, judicial systems or political leaders
  • Do not send money or make proposals to help
  • You can disclose your name and the country you live in, but do not provide your full name or full address.
Send to us!

You can send digital encouragements to letterstonigeria@opendoorsuk.org or post them to us at:

PO Box 6
Witney
Oxon
OX29 6WG

And we’ll do the rest!

Please note this campaign ends 31 May 2024. 

*Names changed for security reasons

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