ROAD TO RECOVERY
Kelly* is from South Asia and when she was younger, she suffered from mental health issues which caused her to hurt one of her brothers. Her parents had taken her to the doctors but the visits never helped. One day, her mother’s Christian friend suggested taking Kelly to church to seek help. Kelly’s mother decided to take the leap of faith. Kelly was prayed over by the priest and she felt peaceful after the prayer. They continued this every day for six months until Kelly completely recovered. Since then, Kelly religiously went to church every Sunday. In 2000, Kelly became Christian.
Her parents were overjoyed by her recovery but her father was against her going to church. She continued to do so and even preached Christianity at her home village; whenever someone fell ill, she would encourage them to go to church.
Kelly’s conversion to Christianity was not welcomed in the family and it affected their relationship. The villagers disliked her for preaching Christianity. They wanted her to either stop preaching or leave the village. They threatened to kill her if she did not stop preaching.
In 2001, Kelly left her home village to protect her freedom in pursuing Christianity. She lived and worked at many different places until 2015. During this time, she still visited her family regularly. One day in June 2004, she rode a scooter from her village after her family visit to her friend’s village. Kelly noticed that she was being followed by a car when she was a distance away from her village. There were 4 people in the car. The car hit her scooter and then fled the scene. She lost her balance and fell off her scooter hitting a tree. She fell into unconsciousness and later woke up in a hospital. Her mother told her that she was brought to the hospital by some villagers.
The fall broke four of Kelly’s front teeth where she had to have replacements. Her eyes were bleeding and her skin peeled from abrasion. She was hospitalised for five days but it took her nine months to fully recover from the incident. Kelly recognised the driver of the car that hit her. He was an international smuggler from her home village.
She believed that the incident was a planned attack since she used to preach Christianity in her village. The four people in the car had threatened her before for her faith and her preaching. It was the first physical attack that occurred to Kelly. However, her parents forbade her to report the incident to the police to avoid creating bigger problems.
In 2007, Kelly was baptised. For three years, she stayed in another village. She would pray for the sick over the telephone. She continued to receive threats from other villagers that were against her praying for the sick. One evening in 2012 while she was riding her scooter on her way back to the village, two motorbikes appeared suddenly. There was a driver and a passenger on each of the motorbikes. The motorbikes came in front of her scooter causing her to lose balance and fall.
The assailants said nothing and left immediately. Kelly did not go to the hospital as she was not seriously hurt. She went to the pharmacy for ointment for her scratches and minor injuries. She recovered after a month. She also believed that it was a planned attack as she recognised the two drivers, they were not only farmers but also international smugglers from the village. Again, she did not report this to the police fearing that they might harm her family or kill her since these men were rich and powerful. The police would not have favoured her case anyways due to the men’s status.
Upon her departure from South Asia, there were no further physical attacks but she was continually threatened to stop preaching Christianity. She was warned that previously, she had only suffered injuries, but now the assailants would kill her.
Kelly used to work as a sports teacher at an academy from 2003 to 2008. From 2008 to 2011, she worked as an informer for a Special Narcotic Cell.
*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals