Praise God for all He has done through Barnabas

Vangai and her four children are starting a new chapter of their lives in Brazil

Afghan Christians thank the Lord for safe refuge in Brazil where they can worship freely

“I am so happy to be here,” said “Vangai”, an Afghan Christian mother who, with the help of Barnabas Aid, escaped almost certain death in her homeland to resettle in a safe country, Brazil. “Everyone is so kind at church and they look after us so well.
“They are like our brothers and sisters and it’s wonderful to worship the Lord with them. I don’t feel alone and I am thankful for all the comfort I have received here.”
The Taliban government in Afghanistan rules by sharia (Islamic law), which demands death for apostates from Islam. It means first-generation Christian converts like Vangai would be killed for their faith.
On seizing control of the country in August 2021, the Taliban proclaimed that Christians must reconvert to Islam, leave the country, or be killed. 

Churches provide for refugee families’ needs

Barnabas has worked tirelessly to help Afghan Christians and their children, who were forced to hide their faith from the authorities, their neighbours and even members of their own family.
We are supporting our brothers and sisters who remain in Afghanistan, as well as those who have escaped overland to neighbouring countries, where they still face anti-Christian hostility and violence.
Through our Operation Safe Havens, we have flown ten Christian families and some individuals to Brazil where they can resettle permanently and rebuild their shattered lives. God willing, we will fly a second group of Afghan Christians to Brazil in December.  
With funding from Barnabas, Brazilian churches are providing the Afghan Christian refugees with homes and food, they are helping adults find work and children settle in school. They have also organised language lessons in Portuguese for the refugees.

Larmina and her husband Isar arrive at the airport in Brazil with their children, aged 18 months to 18, and Larmina’s elderly mother

Family tell of escape from Taliban

“Praise God for all that He has done in our lives through Barnabas,” says “Larmina”.
She and her husband “Isar”, a taxi driver, were among the first to arrive in Brazil along with their four children and Larmina’s elderly mother. 
Larmina recalls how she was led to follow Christ eight years ago. “Jesus appeared to me in a dream and called me by the hand,” she says. “When I woke up I went to find out who Jesus was and I fell in love with Him.
“With my heart burning for Jesus, I started to evangelise my family and everyone was reached by Jesus.”
After the Taliban swept to power, Larmina fled with her children and elderly mother to a neighbouring country. But once there she and her teenage son and daughter were beaten by local Muslims. “It was a period of great suffering,” she said.
Worse was to come. Isar, who had stayed behind in Afghanistan to help other Christians leave, was captured by the Taliban. For many days the family prayed and trusted in the Lord. Finally they heard that through a miraculous act of God Isar had escaped and was on his way to be with them. 
Now the family are making their home in Brazil, and thank the Lord that they are able to worship openly, free from threat. 

Praise God for His protection

Samim, a pharmacist from Kabul, was introduced to Jesus when he read a Christian page on Facebook. Secretly he began to study the Bible and watch worship services online.

When the Taliban came to power, Samim crossed into a neighbouring country where he was supported by Barnabas. He began to help us find homes for refugees, arrange the documentation for them to travel to a safe country, and risked arrest by going to the Afghan border to help
Christians cross.

“God protected me so much,” he said. “I am very happy He used me for His service.”


“I am so grateful for my God who provided everything for me here”

Now Samim is beginning a new chapter of his life in Brazil. “I am so grateful for my God who provided everything for me here – I can worship God, I can pray, I can be with my God.”

Thanks to Brazilian government

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas, says, “We are deeply grateful to the Brazilian government, and thankful to God, for providing a safe refuge for Afghan Christians. Families in grave danger in their home country are now able to live as Christians and worship freely for the first time, and rebuild their shattered lives.”

Barnabas Aid’s Operation Safe Havens has helped many Christians over the years.

We have rescued more than 8,000 South Sudanese Christians, by plane and bus, who needed to escape from Islamic northern Sudan. We have also rescued over 1,700 Syrian and Iraqi Christians, helping them to settle in safe Western countries.

Christian convert scarred in acid attack gives thanks to Jesus

Vangai, a Christian convert from Islam, fled Afghanistan when she heard that the Taliban were planning to release prisoners from jail, and she feared her Muslim husband would be among them.

Vangai was sold in marriage at the age of nine to her father’s cousin, a man in his 50s. She was only 12 when she became pregnant with the first of her four children, a daughter.

Her husband regularly beat her or hurt her with a knife during their marriage, abuse that culminated in him throwing acid in her face, a terrible attack for which he was jailed.

Imagine his fury if, released from prison, he found out that while Vangai recovered from her injuries, which left her scarred and without the use of her right eye, she had discovered the loving, healing power of Jesus, and become a Christian?

Vangai escaped Afghanistan with her daughter, three sons, mother, brother and sister, who each decided to follow Christ after she shared her faith with them. With the help of Barnabas, they are now living in Brazil.

Vangai learned about Jesus for the first time from a Christian missionary who arranged for her to receive plastic surgery. “I understood that Jesus Christ was the real God,” she told us.

“Once I had known about Jesus there was nothing else more important than Him.”

 She added, “For me having a relationship with God is much more important than getting my face back.

“Jesus is my best friend and I am so happy that He is with me in every difficulty. When I die I want Him to tell me that He is satisfied with me as a true believer.” 

Project reference: 01-901 (Needy and persecuted Afghan Christians) 

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