When Susan Ithungu renounced Islam and accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior at the age of 13, her Muslim father subjected her to harsh conditions hoping that she might change her mind.
Suzan was beaten and locked up in a cramped space, bent over, and in pain.
Several months passed before neighbours realized what was happening to Susan and notified the police, who rescued her, having survived on small amounts of food and water that her brother was able to secretly give to her.
Susan suffered from untreated malaria while locked away and the months of calcium deficiency affected her growing bones, resulting in permanent leg damage.
Open Doors International, a US-based organization serving persecuted Christians around the world, says a pastor in Uganda who visited her immediately after her rescue revealed she was extremely thin and unable to walk or talk.
“Her hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked very slim, less than 21 kilograms,” he said.
Thankfully, with support from among others Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend the human rights of persecuted Christians, Susan’s medical bills were fully catered for.
The organisations provided funds that enabled her to travel to a hospital in Kenya. VOM also provided living expenses for her and her Christian caregiver, Dreda.
Following the heartless incident, Suzan and her care taker Dreda were relocated to another village, where she (Suzan) is protected from her father.
Last year, Suzan developed an infection in her thigh that required another immediate surgery. Through all of her difficulties, Susan has held onto her faith.
“This girl has gone through a tough time,” the worker said. “She has, however, stood firm no matter what she had to go through, including rejection by her father and subjection to walking with crutches. She has pulled through and is growing stronger in the Lord every moment.”
According to VOM, those who have cared for Susan have helped her realise that God will never leave her in her time of need.
Susan shares her story in churches around the country and encourages other believers to continue to help, and pray for persecuted Christians.
She hopes to someday be able to share the Gospel with her father and others who hurt her.