Naija’s family lived in a small remote village that was Christian in name only. She did not know Jesus personally, nor did her family attend church. “Christian” was just a word without meaning to Naija. Sunday School, VBS and Bible stories—so familiar to most Christian kids—were completely foreign to Naija.
Naija grumbled as she worked in the field. All her friends were hanging out and having fun during their school holiday, but, as the oldest of eight children, she had to work to help support the family. Her grumbling fueled the growing anger in her heart. Life was so unfair.
Once home for the day, Naija released her anger toward her parents, complaining about the hardness of her life. She knew how her parents would respond—scolding or possibly even a beating—but she couldn’t hold her frustrations in.
Being the eldest in her family was a burden Naija resented. All throughout her childhood, she missed out on fun with friends, while she watched her siblings or worked in the fields. By the time she was 13 years old, Naija hated her life and felt unloved and uncared for.
Standing at the Crossroads of Love and Hate
School was Naija’s escape from family responsibilities. She started lying to her parents, saying she had to stay at school longer to work on projects, while she was really having fun with friends. She never thought of the moral implications of her actions. In fact, being unchurched, she never thought about spiritual things at all.
Then, one day, one of her classmates invited her to a Vacation Bible School organized by a GFA-supported congregation. Naija was hesitant, but her friend pleaded until Naija finally gave in.