Once Kidnapped. Now Free.

Fatou* was just 15 when she became the victim of a bride kidnapping and was abducted off a busy street in West Africa.

In the region where Fatou was born over 55 percent of girls are married before the age of 18. In the local dialect this is called “wajibi furu,” meaning a marriage of obligation.

Fatou was whisked off to the groom’s village where she was then raped so she’d be forced to accept the marriage. A few weeks later, she made the decision to flee her abusive groom.

Fatou made her way back to the capital where she found work as a domestic worker in the home of a Christian family. But as you can imagine, Fatou was traumatized. She spent much of her day crying and could hardly perform her duties.

Her employer Louisa heard of a program you helped CAMA start at a local Alliance church.

The program, Hands of Honor, reaches out to vulnerable female child laborers or domestic workers. Louisa contacted local staff and asked if they could talk to Fatou.

In talking with her, more of her story came to light. She was pregnant and had tried on multiple occasions to kill her child and was contemplating taking her own life as well.  It took an immediate and serious intervention to get her the resources and help she needed. Staff also began to pray for her, and then with her, and saw Jesus begin to heal her deep wounds.

It was a joyous day, a few months later, when Fatou put her trust in Jesus.

Right away she asked to take a new name, Elizabeth. Jesus had healed her and given her freedom from the past. She wanted a name to express that she was now following Jesus.

Fatou, now Elizabeth, delivered a healthy baby boy, and today a local Christian family is in the process of adopting him.

Through your partnership with CAMA and ministries like Hands of Honor, we can address issues like child marriage that affect so many teen girls. These girls’ lives are being changed by Jesus with eternal impact.

In fact, Hands of Honor has seen more girls come to faith this year than in any previous year! And on Easter Sunday, a Hands of Honor girl was baptized for the first time.

Thank you for being a part of Elizabeth’s story and helping lives to be transformed.

(Top Photo) Left to Right: A Hands of Honor staff member, a CAMA worker, Elizabeth, and her employers.

* Name changed.

Jen Vogel

Jen Vogel

National Director. Jen has served in a variety of ministry capacities, including the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and a competitive game of racquetball. Jen and her husband Doug attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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