What Love In Action Looks Like For A Widow In Ethiopia

When Michael was killed for his faith, he left behind his wife, Meskele, and 6 young children. Hear Meskele’s story of faith and hope in the midst of persecution. 

“I love God. God also loves me. I know that He feeds my spirit and gives me what I need.” – Miriam, Meskele’s daughter.

You can help Christians like Meskele and Miriam though Walk to Water.

Meskele (left) and her daughter Miriam.

Meskele (left) and her daughter Miriam.


Ethiopia – Africa’s oldest independent nation, the birthplace of coffee and home to one of the oldest Christian churches in the world.

This region is one of the first in the world to adopt Christianity as the state religion.

Today, Islamic extremists are trying to change this and there have been increased attacks on churches and Christian communities, leaving many children orphaned and women widowed.

Women like Meskele.

Her husband Michael who, because of his faith in Christ and his eagerness to share the gospel, was killed by Islamic extremists.

Meskele: The enemy came at night when we were sleeping.

 They broke down the front and back doors of our home. 

They were shouting and I felt frightened. 

They took my husband outside beating him…

…in several places.

…on his head, legs, hands and back

Until finally he fell down

After the murderers danced and shouted, they went away

I was crying and so were our kids

Nobody came to help us, it was very difficult at that point.

Michael left six children behind and Meskele found out soon after his funeral that she was pregnant with her seventh child.

Their daughter Miriam remembers having a dad, but was very young when he was killed.

Because they live in a predominately Muslim area, this left no other option but for Miriam to attend school with the children of the men who took her dad’s life.

Due to Ethiopia’s high levels of illiteracy and inequality, women and children are especially victimised if their husband or father is killed.

Open Doors has committed to helping them advance through emergency relief, providing education, and support with starting new businesses.

These projects helped Meskele build a house and empowered her to start working.

Meskele: While my husband was alive he worked and we depend on his business.

But after he died we became hopeless, wondering how we will survive

I thought it was impossible to live

But after a while I began selling food and my kids went to school so it was okay.

Through Open Doors support, Meskele and her family know that God cares deeply of them.

Miriam: I love God

God also loves me

I know that He feeds my spirit and gives me what I need.

Ethiopia Country Profile
Main Source of Persecution: Islamic Extremism
Rank on World Watch List: 18

Ethiopia is ranked as the 18th hardest place to be a Christian on the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List.

Growth under pressure
Though the Protestant church is growing rapidly, persecution in Ethiopia comes from a variety of places, Islamic extremists are fighting for control; certain groups within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church are discriminating against protestants and evangelicals; and the current government has restricted freedom of expression and public gatherings.

Please Pray:
• That Christians under pressure from all sides would stand strong for Jesus.
• For unity and peace amongst the different denominations particularly between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and protestant churches.
• For Muslim Background Believers who are under immense pressure for their refusal to return to Islam

Want to know more? Read Ethiopia Country Profile on our website.

You can help Christians like Meskele and Miriam though Walk to Water.

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