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WATCH: How God challenged one woman to forgive Muslims for vicious attacks and share the gospel 

Photo Credit: CBNArticle By Brandice Hudson // CBN News

Share Esther Ibanga pastors a church in Jos Nigeria. She remembers the day in 2010, when Islamic militants set fire to her mother’s home. “It really hurt me because it was like my whole childhood just went in the flames.”

That same year, less than five miles away in Dogo Nahawa, more than five hundred women and children were slaughtered by Islamic militants. 

“The Christian women leaders in the city began to come to my house. They said to me ‘Pastor Esther, what should we do?  This cannot go on.'”

Esther says they dried their tears and organized a protest. Thousands of women marched and petitioned the government to end the corruption and violence.  Shortly after, women from a nearby Muslim village responded with a march of their own, for women and children killed in an earlier attack by Christian militants.

“So I decided to reach out to the Muslim women and I said ‘Listen, you’re not my enemy and I’m not your enemy.”  She called Kadijah Hawaja, a Muslim community leader to help her come up with a solution, but Esther had to give her own anger and bitterness over to God.  “And I told the Lord, No. I’m not going to forgive because I was hurting so much. I just did not want to have anything to do with any Muslim.”

Then she heard Kadijah’s story. “Her personal house was set on fire by Christian youths. And when she said that, I just stopped right there in my tracks because she understood what I felt and I understood what she felt. And we just realized we needed to come together and help these kids. And so that healed me and that brought me to the point of actual forgiveness.”

Watch Esther's remarkable story and see how God is working through her ministry efforts.

RELATED: Serving others and four more things Christians should do

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