A teenager whose father was murdered at the hands of Islamic extremists last year has revealed that, despite watching her father tragically die in her arms, her Christian faith has grown exponentially.
Marian told Open Doors USA, a group that monitors persecution across the globe, about what unfolded after the Islamic State killed 25 people at Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s church in Cairo, Egypt, on Dec. 11, 2016. Her father, Nabil, was among the victims.
Marian, 15, noted that the day of the attack started out quite calm.
“We had breakfast together, and we were joking with each other,” she said. “He was exceptionally happy that day.”
Hours later, though, tragedy struck. After the first church service, Marian said she went home to get her dad some tea. As she put the water on she heard a massive explosion and immediately thought of her dad. So, she rushed back to the church and that’s where she found the unimaginable.
“There was white smoke everywhere, and people were running around in panic. I was in shock, but I managed to run outside,” she said. “I started asking everyone if they’d seen my father.”
She soon discovered her father on the ground outside the church and quickly realized that she would need to say goodbye.
“He was just lying there, still holding tight to the keys of the church, even though the explosion had blown him meters away,” Marian recalled. “I put his head on my lap. He gave me the keys and asked me to take care of my younger brother and sister. Then he closed his eyes and smiled peacefully, his face shining.”
She added, “Then, he went to heaven.”
Nabil was just 45 years old when he died. While Marian told Open Doors that she asked God why the horrific event unfolded, her faith has grown immensely in the wake of the tragedy.
“I go to church now each Sunday; my faith has grown. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that God will take care of me,” she said. “God takes, but He gives back more. I can’t repeat it enough, and I want the young adults around the world to know it as well.”
Marian concluded, “God is love. God is kind. God is merciful. I have experienced this in my most difficult hour.”
Read more about what Marian had to say here.