“May the Lord Forgive Them”
By Nathan Johnson
01/15/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The beginning of 2020 was full of fear and uncertainty for Grace James, but not because of COVID-19. Her husband, James Adu Yakubu, a Fulani man, had converted to Christianity several years prior. Converting from his tribal religion of Islam to Christianity placed a target on his back. He had already survived multiple attempts on his life. Despite this, he was not afraid of dying and was unwilling to leave his newfound faith in Christ. On the night of November 28, 2019, Fulani militants ambushed him while he was driving home and brutally murdered him.
Life for a widow in Nigeria can be intimidating. Grief was tinged with fear and uncertainty for Grace; she had no idea how she was going to provide for her family’s future.
James had left behind his wife and their daughter, Regina. Grace was also now responsible for caring for his parents, whom he had taken care of for several years. The grief of losing her husband was accompanied by the burden of caring for their children as well as his parents. Without her husband, Grace had no idea what she was going to do.
“Life has been difficult since the death of my husband. All hope was lost. I was traumatized, hopeless, and I felt like my world [had] come to an end,” she told ICC. Her husband had always taken care of her and their family. He worked hard to ensure that they had the food, clothing, and money that they needed. Without him, Grace lost hope that she would be able to give her daughter the life she wanted.
When ICC visited Grace in June, she was surviving off of the generosity of friends and the local church. However, she was only able to provide her family with the bare necessities from this aid. She still wanted to provide a better life for her daughter, but had no idea how.
Before the death of her husband, Grace had received some training in hairstyling and hoped that James would help get the equipment she needed to start a business.
But when her life changed, ICC stepped in to purchase the equipment that would allow her to care for her family and give her back her dignity. When she received the business supplies, Grace recalled that she had lost all hope “until ICC came and provided me with this business. Now you can see I am back on track and I am very happy.”
Today, Grace has been successfully running the business for several months, earning enough to provide for her family. She even has hopes of expanding in the future.
Grace shared, “May the Lord forgive the men who attacked my husband and may they repent from their evil acts.” She misses her husband and the love and security that he gave her. Yet, she does not hate or harbor ill will toward those who hurt her and her family. Her desire is to see their hearts transformed as well.
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