In the southern Philippines, Jen-Jen, a sixth grade girl accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. After her conversion, Jen-Jen found that most people in her town and school were not supportive of her newfound love for Christ. Her Arabic teacher threatened to fail Jen-Jen if she did not memorize and recite a Muslim prayer in class. Despite being uncomfortable, Jen-Jen memorized the prayer and planned to recite it in class. However, the teacher decided to require the sixth grade class to go a mosque together and pray the prayer aloud dressed in full Muslim garb. On the day Jen-Jen was required to go to the mosque, she became very sick with a fever and passed out in the mosque. The teacher had no sympathy and made Jen-Jen stay for the entire mosque prayer and ceremony. In the face of so much persecution, Jen-Jen’s faith was not shattered; she and her family still had so much love for the teacher and the classmates bullying Jen-Jen.
06/23/2017 The Philippines (Open Doors USA) – Growing up, Jen-Jen loved attending Sama Kitab Iskul, or Vacation Bible School, in the southernmost region of the Philippines. Here, she learned Bible stories, sang songs, played games and memorized verses. But more than anything, she loved to hear about Jesus.
In 2014, during a worship service in her community, Jen-Jen heard a pastor talk about salvation. This was the first time Jen-Jen remembers fully understanding what Jesus’ sacrifice and death really meant. Overcome with emotion, she recalls how she raised her hand to pray with the pastor, accepting Jesus into her heart.
Jen-Jen felt good about her newfound belief in Christ, but sadly, she quickly learned that her faith would not always be applauded by locals. By 6th grade, adult authority figures were already belittling her for trusting Jesus.
Although she performed well in nearly every subject, for instance, Jen-Jen encountered pressure in Arabic class where the teacher required students to memorize a Muslim prayer in order to pass. Despite being uncomfortable, Jen-Jen learned the words of the prayer to recite to the teacher. But rather than asking Jen-Jen to say the words in an oral test, the teacher later announced students would be required to go to a mosque and pray the prayer aloud.
Jen-Jen and another Christian classmate tried to explain to their teacher that they now prayed to Jesus and could not pray in a mosque.
“I don’t care,” The teacher angrily replied. “You must comply or else you will fail in this subject. You should revert to your Islamic faith.”