Published on May 23rd, 2018
The Voice of the Martyrs USA is part of a worldwide family of missions that were started through the influence of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. SDOK is VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands. Stef is SDOK’s children’s magazine and website.
The following story about a girl in Egypt comes from Stef magazine.
I Wish I Could Fly
Hi, I’m Christine. I live in Egypt. In my family we have three boys and three girls. My brothers are called George, Mohammed, Mina, Anwar, Kirelos and Ahmed. My sisters are called Maryam, Souad, Marina and Yasmine. And then me. My name is Christine and Fatima.
It’s true that we have six children, but it looks like 12! Everybody has two names: an Islamic name and a Christian name.
When I was born, my parents were Muslim. We lived in a small village and were very poor. My father is a baker. The money he earned was never enough for us. My father decided to follow Jesus, and then our lives became very different.
After my father became a Christian, he became a better father. My mother and all of us became Christians, too, and then we were all baptized. If you are baptized, you leave your old life behind you and you get a new life with Jesus.
And with a new life, we take a new name. But we don’t use our new name. In Egypt, it is not allowed to change your faith. On my identity card, I am called Fatima, and it says I am a Muslim. Muslims are expected to go to the mosque, to learn verses from the Quran at school, and to wear a headscarf if you are a girl. [A mosque is a building where Muslims worship, and the Quran is the Muslim holy book.]
No matter how careful we were, our neighbors noticed we were different “You have changed,” they said. “Are you Christians or something?”
That might seem like a compliment, but in our village, it is an insult. We never responded to their comments. Thankfully, other Christians invited my father to live in a big city. Nobody would know us there.
Or would they?
It was wonderful to be in the big city and to go to church. I felt so close to God! I want to learn more about Him and to be more like Jesus.
But we lived there only a short time, then things went wrong. My brother was recognized by someone in the city from our village. The man was hostile. He said, “Now I am sure you are a Christian.” My brother ran anxiously through the city with the man chasing him. When he was sure he was no longer being chased, he came home.
Now we are moving to another part of the city. My brothers almost never go outside anymore.
Sometimes friends ask them to join them in going to the mosque. But they do not want to go, of course, and they say they are sick. I think that is true, because they do not really look good.
To Hide or Fly
I sometimes don’t know how we can go on. We cannot keep playing hide and seek. I just want to say what I am, and that is Christine. A Christian.
I wish I had wings and could fly away.
There are also people in the Bible who wanted to fly away. David wrote in a song that he wished he had wings like a dove, then he could flee to a safe place. And I want that too!
*Read Psalm 55:6-8. Pray for Christine and her family