Who We Serve Amina from Nigeria
It was dark outside when Amina Yakubu was awakened by the sound of gunshots near her home.
Living in Bauchi state in northern Nigeria, Amina had heard of hundreds of attacks on Christian villages throughout the years. A year earlier, Muslim Fulani warriors had attacked a nearby village and massacred more than 500 men, women and children. And now, on April 22, 2011, Amina realized they were attacking her village of Kataru.
She and a friend rushed to escape with their children over a fence in the back, but Amina was six months pregnant and had difficulty climbing the fence. As she struggled to reach the top, a bullet shattered her leg and she fell to the ground.
Her friend dragged her back into the house to hide, and they locked the door behind them. But attackers soon followed the trail of blood from Amina’s wounds and broke into the home.
They slashed Amina brutally with their machetes, leaving deep gashes in her scalp, neck and arms. “I am finished today,” Amina cried as she tried to block the blades with her arms. “Oh God, forgive me.”
Overlooking Amina’s friend, the attackers left, setting fires throughout the village. “I was lying down in the pool of blood until they finished,” Amina said.
The next day, the Fulani warriors returned to Kataru and set fire to Amina’s home, which was completely destroyed.
Several hours after the attack, the Nigerian army transported Amina to a hospital, where she spent the next four months recovering. As a result of the trauma, Amina’s baby was delivered stillborn, and doctors took six days to suture all of her wounds. VOM’s medical program paid her medical costs, and VOM workers visited her periodically to check on her and offer encouragement.
Amina cried a lot while she was in the hospital, mourning her losses and lamenting the physical pain. One day as her husband sat next to her hospital bed, he said, “Those that did this to you, if they brought them to you and you saw them, what will you say should be done to them?”
She showed him her fractured right leg and told him that she’d do to her attackers what they’d done to her.
“Won’t you forgive them?” he asked.
“I will never forgive them,” she said.
Several weeks later, God reminded Amina of Scripture passages that teach forgiveness. She knew she had to obey. Eventually, Amina told her husband about her change of heart.
“If I see those that attacked me, even if today they are arrested and brought to me, I have forgiven them,” she told him. “All this suffering I am going through, even before it happened, I know that the Lord had already known and he has written it, that at so and so time I will find myself in this suffering. Therefore, I will forgive them for everything they did to me.”
After another surgery, which VOM covered financially, Amina has recovered well. God is still healing her heart, too.
“I am pleading with God to give me a courageous heart, that he will give me patience in all pestilence so that I will not betray his name,” she said. “Let me not think that he is what brought this to me. I should hold onto God no matter the suffering or persecution. Every day, I ask him that in all of this suffering that I am passing through that he will give me courage and that nothing will tempt me to turn back from him.”