Kidnapped by ISIS, three year old girl's prayers answered
By Marvin Schrebe
A story that began tragically three years ago now has a miraculous happy ending. Three year old Christiana Abada, the three year old who was kidnapped at gunpoint from her mother’s arms has been safely returned to her family. Christina was kidnapped by ISIS militants three years ago. ISIS at the time was just beginning its reign of terror and targeting religious minorities, mostly Christians and Yazidis in Mosul and Qaraqosh. Those who didn’t escape were given a choice: convert to Islam, pay a protection tax, or die.
Christina’s parents were Christians in Qaraqosh. Her kidnapping fueled international outrage and became a focal point of the levels of persecution Iraqi believers were facing at the hands of ISIS.
Christina’s mother met with Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs Canada few years ago in Erbil, Kurdistan and was able to tell her story. “They were preparing to leave that part of Iraq and go into Erbil, into Kurdistan, which was a safer area. While they were on the bus, Christina was in her mother Ayda’s arms, and an Islamic soldier came onto the bus and started looking around. Ayda was telling us she got very scared, and this particular Islamic soldier…came up and took Christina away from her mother Ayda. Ayda ran after her daughter, of course, as any parent would do, and was told that if she didn’t get back on the bus, she would be killed right there.”
After Christina’s kidnapping, her traumatized family joined the rest of their children who had already fled to Kurdistan. They never stopped looking for her. A network of friends persisted in searching with them over the next several years.
They then received the phone call that would change their lives. Christina had been found alive and doing well in Hayy al-Tanak, a neighborhood in Mosul, Iraq.
According to Fox News sources, Christina had spent the past three years with a Muslim family who had allegedly found her alone in a mosque. Her family says it seems like she was well taken care of.
Musselman says Christina is being reintegrated into her parent’s lives but will need a lot of help.
“The little girl, as you can imagine, is totally confused. She doesn’t even know who these people are, or the fact that they’re her parents…. She’s traumatized, and she’s going to need counseling and she’s going to need help. Ministries like VOM and others will be there to help her out.”
For now, says Musselman, Christina’s safe return is a miracle. Many other stories like hers never get any closure, or when they do, it’s usually not a good outcome.
“To be honest, when I was involved in this story, in interviewing [Ayda], I remember it was a very dark room in this unfinished mall and as Ayda was giving us her story, in the back of [my] mind going, ‘You know what, this is probably not going to have a good ending.’ And I don’t know if it’s a lack of faith, but these girls just disappear and they’re never heard from again. But in this case, she has been reunited.
“I admit, even now, I get emotional about it because it is an answer to prayer.”
Photo: Christina Abada reunited with her family; mother, Ayda, in the backseat. (Photo courtesy of Steven Nabil via Twitter @thestevennabil)