Secret Believers Central Asia | 22 June 2022


Show: false / Country: Central Asia /
Lisa* aged 28, tells us her story of how through the support of Open Doors she managed to overcome her family disappointments and find strength through the love of Jesus.

Lisa’s parents separated when she was 12 years old. Her mother was married to her second husband, when under the influence of alcohol, he sexually abused Lisa. It was witnessed by her brother, but when they told their mother, she did not believe. Lisa’s mother accused them of being rebellious and badly behaved. As a result, Lisa’s mother left, and her husband followed her.

During this challenging time, Lisa chose to sacrifice her education so that she could help her brother. To survive, Lisa became involved in the wrong crowd selling illegal DVDs.

“The only thing I could rely on at the time was God. I was just looking for God and asking Him for His protection and His help, for our survival, my brother and me.” she said.

Her parents eventually returned to their lives after Lisa was arrested for selling the illegal goods and they paid for the bail money to release her. Lisa’s mother had once again remarried, and her new husband was an Imam.

Lisa said “I decided to become more pious in Islam, and to leave my quest to find the truth about God. I began to pray five times a day, hoping to please my mum and her husband. I start wearing the hijab. This made them proud, and they loved me because of it.”

“My friend who was believer could see my heavy burden”

At the time, Lisa’s brother had just finished his education and Lisa was keen to go back to complete her studies and go to college. Her parents eventually agreed to support her financially due to her religious endeavors.

During Lisa’s time at college, she did not have any friends, she was lonely, and so her desire to know God started to grow within her.

“I kept praying to God, ‘Just give me strength’ because I did not have any friends at all. I came here to study, but I felt so lost.” said Lisa.

Despite Lisa’s struggles during her first semester, her situation soon changed when she met a new roommate, and they quickly became firm friends.

Lisa said “My friend who was believer could see my heavy burden that I carried within myself. She helped me to learn His words.”

During this time Lisa’s grandfather passed away and she had to go home. Lisa said “When I returned home, I was still wearing the hijab. I was just lost. I kept on praying to God, ‘God just show me, and give me peace. How can I go through all this? ’ I still recite the Quran, perform the prayers, cover myself, I have done everything. Yet, I was still lost and with all the challenges in my life, I could not find any comfort in Islam.”

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Finally remove her hijab, no need to please anyone

When Lisa returned to college, she decided with the help of her roommate to finally remove her hijab because she no longer felt the need to please anyone. She had endured being bullied by her colleagues and even the college administrator, but Lisa now had the strength to make the change on her own terms. It was about her and her own belief, now she finally she felt free. So, when Lisa started to learn the words of God, she could see that His words were all about love and chose to be baptized soon after.

Unfortunately for Lisa, her joy was to be short-lived when in her final year of study, her parents declared that they could no longer afford to support her financially and her studies ended. Lisa had no other option but to return home and to find work.

“My stepfather is an Imam. If my parents found out about my belief, then I am sure that he would alert the authorities. The authorities will come for me,” said Lisa. Her only option, therefore, was to conform with her parents’ religion and to find employment.

Financial lifeline through Open Doors

Lisa found a job and worked hard for the next few years but her desire to complete her education was still at the forefront of her mind.

Lisa did not know what to do other than pray and trust in God. Finally, an Open Doors local partner heard about her situation and decided to help her pay her tuition for her final year in Bachelor of Law. The financial assistance answered her prayer and strengthened her faith. As a result, Lisa decided to trust God completely and rely on His love from then on. Lisa has now completed her studies and is working as a Legal Executive in an International corporation.

Forgiveness through Jesus

Despite her negative experiences, Lisa never held a grudge against her parents for their inconsistencies as she had grown spiritually. This year, Lisa decided to rent a place so her father could stay with her, and she could care for him in his old age. Lisa’s father is single and has fallen on tough times due to being unemployed and was homeless. He has also suffered with mental illness.

The decision to live with her dad comes at the price of having to hide her Bible, not play worship music or express her faith in Jesus freely at home. However, it will not stop her from serving the Lord and sharing the Gospel with her father and eventually the rest of her family. When asked how she has managed during her tough times, Lisa shares this verse with us from Deuteronomy 31:6.

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God who goes with you, will never leave you nor forsake you.”

*Name changed for security reason
please pray
  • Please continue o pray for Lisa and her family, that she may continue to be a witness for Christ to them.
  • Pray for many other Christians like Lisa who continue to suffer in silence.
  • Pray for open doors for our ministry to be able to reach isolated Christians like Lisa.

Will you at this time be a family to isolated Christians– and keep the door open to the Gospel in Central Asia?

Every PHP 5,000 provides vital aid for an isolated Christian family struggling financially because of persecution.
Every PHP 7,500 runs a training seminar for brave leaders like Ruslan, so they keep serving others.
Every PHP 10,000 trains an isolated believer in a new trade, so they can provide for their family.