Married at 16, Oppressed in Islam, Redeemed by Christ
He treated me like his farm. No identity or dignity of my own, just a baby-making machine. Life was like war.
By Sister Akosua
We had four children. Several times they went to bed on empty stomachs. I ventured out to start some petty trading to bring in a little income. Like a mother bird, I flew everywhere scouting for morsels to place in the wide-open mouths of my children. At times I found nothing.
There were happy moments, of course, when my kids surrounded me with their giggles. But fear, bitterness, and sorrow enveloped me.
I was inexperienced, knew little about real life. My husband didn’t like my innovations to make money, and he made it tough for me, even unbearable. On many occasions he beat me for my efforts.
Our part of Ghana was almost all Muslim. My parents, Muslims too, sought security for me in marriage to a Muslim husband. So as soon as I completed middle school, they gave me in marriage to a local teacher. I was 16.
The worst moment came when one of my children, not even one year old, became seriously ill. We didn’t have money to send him to the clinic, so his father just gave me some local balm for him. It was no good. For over a week I literally watched my dear little one die in my arms.
That shook my foundations. What does life offer me and my children? Is it all about this life on earth? Where is God when I need Him most? Where is that security my parents tried to give me?
I cried in my room all the time. In the end my husband packed me and the children out of his house. I was divorced. The inevitable happened: I became a stigma in my community, good for nothing. I wore the clothes of pain and shame.
My parents took us in. Space was limited, so my kids and I slept in the courtyard. Our few belongings sat on the veranda wrapped in plastic bags to keep them dry when it rained. We went through hell. My father died and my mother remarried. My stepfather made things even harder for us.
Again I found ways to earn a little money for food, now also thinking about how I would pay the kids’ school fees. My older sister helped us a great deal financially and emotionally, but then she also died during our time there. My world was really torn apart.
I got hooked to several men for love and security.
Redeemed by Christ
My parents raised me as a devout Muslim. I learned and recited the Qur’an. We didn’t know many Christians, but we knew about their beliefs—or so we thought. Christians worshipped three gods and ascribed a wife to God by making Jesus a son of God through Mary.
But one day some actual Christians from nearby started talking to me about Jesus. They called him my Great Ancestor, who forgives all the sins I ever committed and gives me a new life through His death and resurrection.
And because I believe in His finished work at Calvary, I have eternal life through Him. He has changed my life.
It has still been a hard journey. I face many social, religious, financial and emotional challenges every day. But He gave me a new look and perspective, and there is nothing better than that. He is always there for me.
By His grace my daughter has completed university. What is more, she also accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior! She is serving the Lord in diverse ways. Looking back, it is a miracle for me to be able to see my daughter through her expensive and difficult university education. She is the first university graduate in my family.
It is the Lord’s doing. My two sons have also done well in school, and I pray they too one day will come to faith in Christ Jesus.
Today I can say with joy in my heart that my security is not in my position or money or the work I do for a living. Neither it is in a man’s love or man’s security. It is cemented absolutely in Christ Jesus. I am hooked to him.
I have found that in my weakness He makes me stronger each day. I am like a tree planted by a stream.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
– Jeremiah 17:7
Center of Good News works primarily in northern Ghana in the midst of the country’s Muslim communities. Through ANM and this fantastic local ministry, Christians like you are changing the stories of many like Akosua, now redeemed by Christ. Make your gift here.