Amina’s Story

In the summer of 2000, Amina’s life was changed forever. Here is her pastor’s story of Amina’s sacrifice:

The first time she walked through our church doors we could tell that she was heavily burdened. She lacked a love for life because she never experienced true love and compassion. I noticed that every time Amina came to church she would cry and most of the time walk out. So after watching her for several weeks I invited her to come to our youth group. When she attended, she began to cry again, so I stopped her outside by the thick steel doors of our front entrance and tried to comfort her.

The next week Amina came back to the youth meeting crying. I asked her what was wrong, but she said she did not know. I asked her again, “Amina, what is wrong?” Again she replied, “I do not know.” I asked her how she felt and she replied with a question: “Why is it that every time I enter your church building I feel a weight being lifted off my chest, and I forget everything that is hurting in my life? Why do I need to cry here?” I explained that it was God drawing her. At that moment Amina prayed and became a Christian.

Amina’s journey had begun. She went from a sad and hurting soul to a happy, joyful person filled with love and compassion. Her parents visited us occasionally, and one time they came to meet with us to ask what had happened to their daughter. They said, “She is so different—she has hope, and is happy and smiling. We want that same joy and peace in our lives.” So we shared the gospel with them, and right there, her parents became Christians as well.

Amina did not believe in keeping her newfound joy to herself, so she made sure to share it with any and everyone who crossed her path. That particular summer of 2000 Amina came up to me and asked if she could invite a few more kids from her neighborhood to our upcoming Vacation Bible School. I could not turn her down.

That summer she invited two full vanloads of kids. Not only did we have the largest number ever in attendance, but on the last day we had the largest number of children respond to the message of love, hope and peace that we taught.

Months later I began my journey in the U.S. to attend college. At four o’clock one morning the phone rang and I didn’t pick it up, thinking it was a wrong number. It persisted to ring again and again so slowly I got up, tripping over things on the floor, trying to pick up the phone in the dark. It was my father on the end of the line. There was something peculiar in the way he said my name.

I remember him asking, “Are you up? I need you to sit up and lift your head up high. Amina and her older sister were both shot today. Their mother walked into their bedroom and found them both shot to death bleeding on the floor. Amina’s hand was stretched toward her Bible on the side of her bed.” A feeling of emptiness and confusion came over me. I could not sleep for two days. I cried at the thought of Amina’s loss and the joyful spirit she possessed.

We found out later that Amina was being harassed by many Islamic radicals in the community for taking their children to VBS and exposing them to Jesus. This act of violence was a sign to everyone to watch out for their lives if they were witnessing for Christianity.

When I think of what those men did I ask, “What horrible act did Amina commit to make her worthy of death? What did she do to earn a bullet to the head?”

Even today the police won’t touch their murder cases. Their deaths influenced the lives of many people of all ages, from all religions.

“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.” Psalm 112:4

Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.