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Tragedy in the mission field – Benita’s story – part four of four

Benita, a missionary, lost her husband and son in the mission field. She shared her story of pain, confusion and her journey with God. We are sharing it in four parts.
Recap: Benita and her husband were working with the Avadin and Dukawa people group of Niger state, teaching the children and helping the community manage their finances and crops better. The Muslim minority of the area was deeply unhappy with the situation, knowing that their oppression of the people was nearing an end. When the Fulani came to raid the area, they were betrayed into the hands of the raiders and Benita’s husband and son were shot as the herdsmen demanded money. Eventually, Benita escaped and got to safety with her 3-month-old baby daughter. She wondered why God had allowed such a loss.
Part Four:
I still have a lot of questions today. I still spend lots of nights in tears, but thankfully the grace of God continues to keep me. I am not angry with God, because I believe nothing happens in the life of a Christian without the knowledge of God. He knew that this would happen to me.
The truth is that three weeks before the incident the Lord spoke to me about it, and that was why I felt uneasy on the day of the incident.
God is not done with me yet, and that is why I am still alive – I could have been killed alongside my husband and son. I believe my husband has finished his assignment and that was why the Lord allowed him to die. Before he died, he told one of his aunties that he knows that one day the Fulani people will attack him. He also told one of his pupils in the school that if he hears of his death, he should not cry, because he has finished his work.
In the course of time, God spoke to me, and I felt a deep peace in my heart. He told me that my marriage was not a mistake and that the fact that He allowed what happened to happen does not mean that He does not love me. I don’t know what the Lord wants to achieve with my life; I only ask Him for grace to continue in Him.
I know I can’t survive without Him; in my weak moments, I say things I am not supposed to say because I still go through emotional pain when I have a flashback of the whole event. Therefore, I ask for His mercy and help, so that I will not disappoint Him, because I know He loves me despite the incident.
After all of this, I went to get 15 of the children we had been discipling from the village. The villagers were abusing them, so I brought them to the city where they go to school and I care for them. The parents allowed them to come, to study, but did not know they were Christians. Unfortunately, the mission agency tried to force me to send the children back, even after the mission was no longer willing to help my daughter and I and cut us off.
However, these children are the fruit of our years of labour in that community. They are the seed of my husband’s labour; to let go of them is synonymous with letting go of all the years of labour. I have made a vow to the Lord that I will do all that it takes to get them rooted and grounded in Christ so that they can go back to minister to their people.
I believe the Lord kept me alive for their sake. The Lord has been faithfully providing through Christian friends who believe in what I am doing and are standing with me. Psalm 121: 1-2 is a great encouragement.
One of my visions is to establish an orphanage for the less privileged and disciple them for Christ, but presently I am in the school of ministry while waiting on God for His direction for every step of my life. I will remarry someday if it is God’s will but my deceased husband was a very godly man and it would be hard to find someone like that again, who loves my daughter like his own. Meanwhile, I advise women to get ministry training before going out as missionaries, and they must also have passion for the work to avoid any kind of regret because they are bound to face challenges. If they are sure it is the will and purpose of God for them to enter into missions, then no matter how hard it is, the strength and the grace of God will keep them.
Excerpted from an interview by Rhoda Oluwakemi Appiah. She is married with three children. She is a pioneering missionary of Fullstature Missions International together with her husband, Rev. Daniel Hyde Appiah. She is a lover of God and His word, with an overwhelming desire to see God’s kingdom advance in every sphere of society. Rhoda can be reached at kemiappiah@gmail.com.
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