CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC — Open Doors partners recently delivered Covid relief aid to over 4,500 Christians in Central African Republic. Beneficiaries included widows, believers from Muslim backgrounds, church leaders, other vulnerable Christians and orphans. Among those helped were the families of Jeovani, Steven and Dieu Fera, who Open Doors have been supporting ever since their church was attack in 2013. All three boys had one or both of their legs amputated following devastating grenade explosions. This is their story.
In April 2013 rocket-propelled grenades fired by Islamic rebels hit a church service in Bangui, Central African Republic. Seven were killed and many more injured including Jeovani, Steve and Dieu Fera who lost one or both legs.
“We were praising and worshipping. Suddenly fighters drove to the main road nearby. They fired grenades that fell through the roof into the church.”
“That was a day you could never forget. People were running all around. Because the grenade exploded – the first grenade here the second one over there one behind the church building.
“And so then there was dust and noise. People were running all around to see what happened. You see over there, there was blood flowing everywhere. It was bad, it was dreadful.”
“They took me to a big hospital. In the hospital were many children. There they cut off my leg. I had to stay for a long time in a big room with many beds until the day I went home.”
Jeovani had to have both of his legs amputated. He cannot run and still needs crutches to help him walk well.
But despite his life-changing injuries he is willing to forgive the man who fired the grenades.
“I don’t even have the heart to hurt him. He doesn’t even know what he did but if I find him, I’ll greet him and say ‘God forgives you. You do not even know what you have done, but God forgives you.”
Open Doors came alongside these boys and gave assistance with their medical care and school fees. The boys also received messages of encouragement sent from Christians all over the world.
“All these cards in front of me were sent by people who love me. They tell me they will pray for me and my family. To everyone who has written to me I say thank you.”
The boys hope for a bright future where they can make a difference in their society.
“When I grow up I want to be in the government. I want to sign documents and make decisions.”
“If it is God’s will I’d like to be a doctor, so I can treat others. But if God doesn’t want me to be a doctor than that is God’s plan.”
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.
- Global News Alliance, Amputee boys in Central African Republic Receive COVID 19 Aid
- Open Doors UK, Official Website