SOUTHEAST ASIA — Dhea in South East Asia didn’t want the Bible that a missionary gave her. She tried to destroy it. But something stopped her – and when she started reading it, she chose to follow Jesus. As a Christian and as a woman, she has faced extreme persecution – but remains hopeful and active in ministry.
Please note that this video includes scenes that viewers may find particularly distressing. Her identity and voice have been disguised for security reasons.
“When my parents found out, and the neighbours found out, and then the government authorities found out, I was taken to court and my pregnancy out of wedlock was charged as a crime and for this crime I was put in prison.”
When Dhea was 15 she was assaulted by an older man in her community. As a result she fell pregnant.
“I was given lashes. And because of this I gave birth to a premature child.”
After falling ill in prison, Dhea was taken to a hospital. There she met a man, who later sent her a Bible.
“I was trying to live a normal life. And especially trying to keep a secret about the book I read, about my relationship with the Lord Jesus, but you know you can’t hide the Lord. He’s a bright, shining light.
Soon my parents found out. The neighbours found out. And soon it was heard by the religious authorities. And I was taken to questioning.
“And when I was in front of people questioning me whether all this was true that I read the Bible and I believed in the Lord Jesus, I knew I should not say yes, but in spite of myself, I found myself saying yes, that I was a follower of Lord Jesus.”
Because Dhea admitted to be a Christian, she was sent to prison again. After four months in prison Dhea was released. She moved to a neighbouring country where she now lives.
Dhea now ministers to people who are from her home country.
“My main ministry is hospitality. People from my country, come where I am for medical treatment. So I open my house for them. I provide them with a free place to stay and free food and also go with them as a medical guide and a translator. And it is at times hard because these very people will sometimes not want to eat with me because I am a follower of Jesus.
“Thank you so much everyone who is praying. I know that there have been people who have been praying for me for years and have never ever met me, but they continuously pray me. And I just want to thank them for their faithfulness to the Lord. I am not able to go back to my community even though time passes, I will never get used to that. It’s painful, but I also know that I belong to the community of God and I do.
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.