For a young Muslim woman who grew up in a life of privilege in the Horn of Africa, enduring hardships in order to find Jesus Christ was a risk worth taking as she found new hope from the Christians who helped her and her sister on their journey of faith.
According to Open Doors, Hawa shared a life changing experience in which she dreamed of a man smiling and crying for her when she fell ill and was hospitalised.
"I had a dream [in which] I saw a man who was smiling and crying at the same time. I somehow knew he was weeping for me. I read the Bible continually, and little by little, I learned about the love of Jesus for all men. It changed me from the inside," she said.
With her life already planned out for her - she was on her way to an Arab country for spiritual instruction and was engaged to a Muslim man in America - it came as no surprise that her family reacted strongly to her change of heart, and it eventually resulted in Hawa being disowned by her family.
Hawa was not the only one who had a change of heart while learning about Jesus Christ as her sister Zulfa also joined her despite being disowned by the family as well. To make matters worse, Hawa broke one of the discs in her spine when she fell in a ditch in an effort to flee the rage of her uncle.
The sisters were left homeless and penniless but still they tried to push on – Zulfa by baking and selling halfbreads from smoky fires that eventually damaged her eyes. But it managed to keep her and her sister alive.
It was during this challenging time that the sisters found new hope with the help of fellow Christians who belonged to Open Doors. The organisation helped the sisters with their medical needs and supported them in starting a small business for income.
"The light is increasing day by day. I thank you for your help. God bless you," Hawa said.