By Open Doors 10 July 2023 4 MIN

Empowering Widows to Rebuild in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sometimes supporting the persecuted church looks incredibly practical. This is how business training is empowering widows to rebuild in Sub-Saharan Africa, widows like Gertrude.

Empowering Widows to Rebuild

In Sub-Saharan Africa, extremists target Christian villages for attack, and ongoing violence means that many Christians lose their homes and are forced to flee, leaving behind everything. Trying to rebuild in a new place is hard, and many struggle to survive and provide for their families.

By equipping persecuted Christians with business skills, you have helped believers to rebuild their lives, providing ongoing income to support whole families who have lost everything.

With your support, we are investing into training and education, as well as micro-loan programs, to help Christians who have lost everything start again and support their families.

Your support transformed Gertrude’s life

Twenty-seven-year-old Gertrude lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where violence against Christians is rampant and churches are under attack. In this country, and right across sub-Saharan Africa, our brothers and sisters face extreme persecution.

Refugee girls playing football in orange hi-vis vests

Gertrude had been working in the fields when men from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) burst from the forest and began to attack. “My husband blocked our boy and I crawled into the bush, but they shot my foot and stomach,” she recalls.

It was hours before Gertrude crept out. Her son was nowhere to be seen; ADF militants had kidnapped him. Her husband had been killed. She was now without her greatest support.

Life for Gertrude became desperately hard. Aside from the grief and sorrow, she’s a widow with a limited income, permanent injuries, and other children to provide for. Fear, too, is constant. One day, Gertrude heard ADF rebels were nearby, so she fled with the children to a town that was more protected.

How Your Support Helps

Your gifts meant Open Doors was able to provide Gertrude with financial help to start a small business. She’s opened a shop, where villagers can buy everyday items, and she’s determined to make it a success. “I thank God for how He has provided through brothers and sisters like you,” she smiles.

Refugee girls playing football in orange hi-vis vests

Your prayers, too, mean everything. By uniting with our persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer, you strengthen their resolve and stand up to violent persecution. “Since I was shot and my husband was killed, everything is difficult,” said Gertrude. “I ask for your prayers – because that is what sustains me.”

Please pray:

  • Pray for God’s abundant grace over Gertrude as she raises her children alone.
  • Pray that Gertrude’s business will thrive and grow, to give her a good income.
  • Pray boldly for an end to violence against Christians across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Want more stories of real impact?

Impact Magazine 2022

Read stories from the global church, see the work of Open Doors close up, and gain insight into what following Jesus looks like in some of the darkest places in the world.

Get My Free Magazine