A ten-year old girl who was left hospitalized and unable to walk after her father tortured her for becoming a Christian, has shared how her faith allowed her to forgive those who caused her harm.
According to persecution watchdog Open Doors USA, six years ago, Susan, a young girl from Uganda, was locked in a dark room by her father for six months after she converted to Christianity.
Her brother Mbusa kept her alive by slipping roasted bananas through a hole under her door and by pouring water through it as well. Despite the torture she endured, Susan refused to turn her back on Christ: "I cannot leave Jesus. I decided not to leave him because he has given me eternal life. And, even if I died there, I was sure that I would go to him," she said.
At the time of her rescue in October 2010, Susan was unable to walk or talk; her black hair had turned yellow and she had long fingernails, sunken eyes and weighed about 42 pounds. She spent nearly a year at a hospital, where she was regularly visited by local Christians. Open Doors also stepped in, taking care of Susan's needs such as food, clothing, toiletries and reading materials.
Recently, the outlet shared an update regarding Susan's health, revealing that the young woman, now 16, is unable to walk without crutches but nevertheless remains optimistic about her future, revealing she hopes to one day become a doctor.
She is also facing corrective surgery and physical therapy that will delay her education for two years. However, Susan said her faith has allowed her to forgive her father for his horrific actions.
"I forgive my father because he did not know what he was doing," she said, quoting Jesus' words in Luke 23:34. "Please pray for my healing. I want to walk without the crutches."
Open Doors is asking Christians worldwide to pray for Susan as she fights to regain use of her legs and for her continued spiritual growth.
About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. While the country's constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, Christians in eastern Uganda suffer continual attacks by non-government figures and Muslim extremist groups like Al-shabab. Numerous reports have also emerged of Christian converts being killed and others ex-communicated by their loved ones.