‘Amisha’: The Heroic Housewife
Editor’s Note: Following is the story of a 24-year-old Indonesian Christian whose Muslim husband attacked her when he found her reading the Bible. A few days later the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) air-lifted her to its medical base. There she told her amazing story, which we’ve excerpted. She is now home and VOM’s Indonesian staff supports her work in ways it cannot disclose. (Used by permission of The Voice of the Martyrs, www.persecution.org.)
I had never seen a Bible or even touched one. In 2001 I was living with my uncle who abused me and threw chairs at me. I went to a friend’s house to watch DVDs about Jesus. I had read a few lines about Jesus in the Qur’an. My friend finally gave me a Bible. It was amazing. It gave me peace. I kept it at her house and read it every day for two years.
I moved back to my own island with my family but read the Bible secretly for five years. My family arranged for me to marry a Muslim man, but even then, I was secretly baptized in the ocean. I would slide the Bible out from under the bed and read it in the dim light, lying on the floor. My husband would hit me when he found me reading it. He kicked me until I bled and called me a kafir, or apostate. When he slammed my head into the wall, I would become dizzy.
One day I met five ladies standing outside the market. They looked confused, lost. I said, “Where are you from?” They were from out of town. They invited me to their home. My husband was at work.
The first time I visited them I did not share about Jesus. I had to be home before my husband got back. He beat me at night; I visited the ladies in the daytime.
I have been a school-teacher and noticed they could not read well, not even the Qur’an. I used a small, simple booklet, The Way to God, to introduce Jesus mentioned in the Qur’an, then as our Savior revealed in the Bible.
I always prayed before I took the bus to see them. I asked the Holy Spirit to open their eyes so it would be easy to teach them. God answered my prayer. One of them asked, “What does a Bible look like?” I had made six visits to them by this time.
I went back to my house and took my second Bible out of hiding. My husband had taken the first one out in the yard and poured gasoline on it. He had burned it while the neighbors watched.
The next day I took the second Bible and presented it to the ladies. On this day of the seventh meeting, we had grown to 10 women. All 10 of them wanted to be baptized.
One week later, five more women wanted to be baptized. Now we were 15 women. After my husband went to work, I bought some chicken so it would look like our group was going to have a picnic. When we got on the bus we did not carry towels, so no one would know where we were going.
When we walked across the beach, they looked at the water. No one else was there watching us. I baptized them. We did not yet know anyone who would risk baptizing a former Muslim. In the water I asked each one, “Do you believe in Jesus?”
They said, “Yes!”
I asked about their salvation then said, “After this you will be a follower of Jesus.”
They were so happy coming out of the water. One said, “The Lord is so refreshing!”
I asked her, “Is it because of the water?”
Another, shaking the drops off her head, said, “No. It is because we have a new spirit.”
We sang songs learned from Christian cassettes I had taken to the house meetings. Without towels we laughed, drying off in the breeze. When we climbed back on the bus, we were almost dry.
I have given a few small gospel books to two of the women who can read. Now I also have a second group of women closer to my house. We are planning to have a baptism in a few months. I thank God my husband does not come back from work before I return home. I pray for him.
I am completely surrendered to Jesus. He was crucified for me, so what I suffer is very little. I pray for Christian women in Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria whose husbands are not yet Christians.