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Tragedy in the mission field – Benita’s story – part three 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 raiders demanded money. Eventually, Benita escaped and began to run, not knowing where she was heading.
Part Three:
I had left the wrapper that I used to strap my baby to my back at the scene of the accident, so I removed the shirt I was wearing to put her on my back and ran for miles, topless. Late in the night, I found myself in a village where I begged for a wrapper to strap my baby. There, an old woman offered me room to pass the night; however, I could not sleep. I was like a living dead person because everything that had happened was passing before my eyes continually, like a film. The next day, I put myself together and went to the local government office, and then to the police station, but the police could not have cared less about my story. They said the incident was not in their jurisdiction, but the truth of the matter was that they were Muslims and did not want to get involved in the matter. I later got in touch with some mission family members, who followed me to go get my husband’s and son’s bodies.
Before I saw them, it was hard for me to believe all these could be true. I told myself that my husband is not dead, that he was just pretending, that he is still alive and I will see him again. However, it was not true. To deepen my pain when I came the next day, I discovered that these Fulani people slept in our house that night: they ate our food, killed our chickens, destroyed our doors and took away whatever they deemed fit.
I also suspected that the old man together with the Muslim leaders connived with the Fulani to kill my husband. The Fulani did not know us as missionaries and they would not have attacked us without inside information. It should be noted that the Fulani did nothing to the old man and his family.
It was as if God took away my heart that day, and afterwards, I had a lot of questions:
“God, did you not promise to protect us?”
“We have done a lot of work in this village, why did you allow this to happen?”
“After all the years of waiting for marriage, why did you allow them to take my husband away from me?”
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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