In the Midst of Persecution

Under the mango tree

The mango tree in his parents’ backyard has always been Kofi’s favorite spot in the world. Not only does it bear fruit and give shade from the hot Ethiopian sun, but it also provides Kofi with the a hideaway to hold Sunday church service – without the fear of persecution. Friends, family, and neighbors often make fun of him for being so attached to the tree; little do they know that when he is ‘talking’ to it, he is secretly praying to God.

From an early age, Kofi learned how to earn a living so that he could help his parents. The little food that his dad brought home usually was not enough to feed the entire family. So, while his friends would spend the afternoon playing games, Kofi planted and began to tend to a mango tree.
Learning that God sent his Son to die for him – a person who never had much – made Kofi realize that the ever-present longing in his heart was his need for Jesus. Unfortunately, many believers in his native Ethiopia are afraid to speak about their faith in public, and he could never find a group of Christians he could trust and fellowship with. Soon, the fire for Jesus he had in his youth began to diminish. 

The search begins 

Not wanting this fire to be put out, Kofi began searching on his phone for a spiritual mentor to help Him stay close to God. When a website came up on his search with an option to connect with a Christian, Kofi excitedly agreed to connect and received a message from Bethany, his new friend.

“Kofi has been encouraged and is more hopeful now, knowing others around the world are praying, and God is with him even in his struggle,” Bethany said. “He enjoys the GodLife Bible studies and says they keep him in the Bible, lift his spirit and give him hope.” 

For the last five years, the treatment of Christians in Ethiopia has worsened, but Kofi remains steadfast in his faith, almost solely because of His relationship with his new friend, Bethany. 

“What I am receiving from you is beyond friendship communication. It is all about God and His love that laid the basic foundation in His sacrifice. It is all about mercy that we receive from Him and reflect on it...Yes; in Him everything good is there. But without Him, nothing good is there... Therefore I assure you that you are helping me to stay connected to the Lord and remain blessed in every part of my life.” 

To reach more people just like Kofi, give your best gift today

Category: Stories

Get the Newsletter

Read More


Searching For True Love
Hot, angry tears roll down Kasih’s face. As she lays motionless, lamenting the pain inflicted upon her, Kasih realizes she has never been truly loved. She starts to cry even harder. Read On


A Devout Muslim Turns to Christianity
Living in a devoutly Muslim household, one could say Hakim's faith looks to be unshakable...but things are not always what they seem.  Read On


Escaping a cult to find Jesus
Camilo’s face seemed like it had never been touched by a smile. People often described him as lonely, scary, and bitter. When his older sister gave him away as a child, Camillo got involved in a cult. He was being trained to become an assassin. Read more to see where this path led him. Read On