Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jihad Could Not Quench Their Love

Adel and her husband Methu lived on the island of Dodi in an Indonesian village where nearly all of the residents were Christian. Adel's grandfather had been a preacher, and now she enjoyed reading Bible stories to the neighborhood children. At their wedding, her pastor told her, "Adel, only God can separate you and Methu now."

But on September 9, 1999, there was a commotion outside. About 30 men, women, and children from a Muslim village named Dahma, had come to Dodi carrying a banner with two words printed on it: "Cinti Damai," or "Love Peace."

One of the men in the group announced, "People of Dodi, we are your neighbors, and we should commit to each other to live in peace." Their children played together cheerfully that day, but just a few months later the men of Dahma, including many of those who had come in September chanting, "Peace to the island of Dodi," returned and burned the village. Adel's little boy, Christiano, his grandmother, and numerous other villagers were murdered with machetes.

Adel was forced to be the wife of Almin, one of the Muslim men, even though Methu was still living. Many months later, she wondered if her husband could ever accept her after she had been with Almin against her will and had his child. Her young daughter, Christina, had encouraged her while the baby was still in her womb.

After Adel escaped and Methu saw baby Sarah for the first time, he smiled and said, "So this is our new daughter." He had written a letter to Adel while she was still in captivity:

"Adel, you could have ten children by ten men, and you would still be my wife. Don't you remember what the pastor told you? Only God can separate us now. I love you."

You can read the rest of Adel and Methu's story in Hearts of Fire from The Voice of the Martyrs.

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