Young woman from Mozambique shares testimony at WYD: “We never lost our faith”

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The second testimony at the WYD Vigil in Lisbon was from 18 year old Marta from Mozambique. 

She described how she had to flee from her home with her family after their village was attacked twice by terrorists.  

My name is Marta, and I am 18 years old. I am from Mozambique, from the province of Cabo Delgado, where we are facing a war that has been going on for five years. I belong to the district of Muidumbe in a region called Planalto do Povo Maconde. I used to attend the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also known as the Nangololo Mission. I come from a simple and poor family. I lost my father early when I was only seven years old. After my father died, my mother, with her four daughters, continued our mission. I studied at the community school and participated in parish life, where I was an altar server and also participated in Confirmation meetings.

In the northern region where we lived, we had heard about the terrorist attacks that had occurred in other places near our district, but I had never imagined that we might also be attacked us. On the morning of April 7, 2021, terrorists attacked our village. Our whole family escaped to the forest. There, we remained in hiding for four days. When we learned that the terrorists were gone, we returned home. We would spend the day at home and at night, out of fear, we would go back into the forest to sleep. We prayed a lot asking God to deliver us from all evil, and for the Lord give us the strength to overcome that difficult time. We would not sleep the whole night, but we would began to pray the Hail Mary and the Lord's Prayer, asking the Lord not to let bad things happen in people's homes. After the April attack, we continued our life in the village, but on October 31, 2021, terrorists attacked again. And this attack was very violent. We ran away back to the forest. We walked for a long time without knowing what to do. We had neither food nor water. We were so hungry. The terrorists found us in the forest and fired their guns into the air. They did not hurt our family, but we were very frightened and ran quickly.

After a long struggle, we managed to reach the Nampula province where we were taken in by some family members. When we were in the forest, we prayed a lot. At no time did we lose our faith. I asked God to help us and to remove all evil from the world and that the people who were causing this war would change their lives. The people in our villages all scattered. We were welcomed in the parishes where we went to live, but we miss our village, customs, songs and dances. But in the midst of so much suffering, we have never lost our faith and our hope that one day we will rebuild our lives again.


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