(Open Doors USA) — The last sight 17-year-old Esther remembers seeing the day her world turned upside down was her father’s collapsed body lying lifeless on the ground. Before that October day, Esther and her father lived a pretty simple life after her mother passed away. She attended school and took care of her ailing father as best she could.
In October 2015, everything changed when Islamic extremist group Boko Haram (which means “non-Islamic education is a sin”) struck her town. When the first gunshots rang out, Esther and her father ran to escape. It was too late — the attackers had already surrounded their home.
They struck down her father, leaving him in a heap on the ground, and carried off Esther and several other young women deep into West Africa’s Sambisa Forest. Life in the hands of Boko Haram was a living nightmare.
Militants employed diverse tactics to coerce the kidnapped girls to renounce their faith in Christ. When enticement with privileges didn’t work, they quickly resorted to violence.