News & Stories “Our Souls are Free” – Surgery Brings New Life to Three Sisters

“Our Souls are Free” – Surgery Brings New Life to Three Sisters

Safaatou, Inaya, and Farida are sisters who share wide smiles, a love of sewing, and big dreams for their future. Safaatou, the oldest, wants to become a teacher. Her younger sisters want to become tailors. 

But in their small Nigerien village, it was the genetic disease they shared that most defined them. 

The sisters inherited osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, which causes bones to become soft and prone to frequent bends and breaks. Their condition kept them from their community, their school, and their dreams. They were viewed as cursed.

Their community told them they were cursed because of their disability. Safaatou, Farida, and Inaya (pictured left to right) before surgery at CURE.

“We were not able to walk or play like other children,” said Safaatou. “We always stayed at home and didn’t want people to see our legs. I would ask, ‘Why are my legs like this?’ And people would say, ‘Your legs are this way because a demon has spoiled you.’”

Lifting a Curse

After their mother died and their father remarried, the girls were sent to live with their grandmother, Rabi. She saw the isolation and pain they felt every day. “Sometimes I would hear Safaatou say she’d rather die than live a life like this,” she recalled. 

Without access to proper medical care, the family sought help from a traditional healer. It left them with no money, no cure, and no hope for the girls. 

They did not yet know that more than 120 miles away, a team at CURE Niger—in the capital of Niamey—had learned about the girls’ condition from a partner organization and was sending a mobile team out to meet them. 

When CURE visited their village, Safaatou and her family got a glimpse of the hope and transformation that awaited them. Grandma Rabi says, “The Christians at CURE are the only people who ever visited our home and have eaten with us.”

That day, everything began to change. Safaatou remembers, “When we heard about CURE, we were very excited to be healed.” 

What awaited Safaatou and her sisters at CURE would end up being not just a physical change—but an eternal one too.

Experiencing New Life

When Safaatou, Inaya, and Farida arrived at CURE, they were immediately scheduled for surgery. Over the coming year, they would undergo more than a dozen procedures to straighten their legs, spending months at a time recovering with other long-term patients at the hospital’s guest house.

After undergoing multiple surgeries, the three sisters were able to walk.

During that time, CURE’s spiritual ministry team had many opportunities to tell the girls about God’s great love and the hope of the gospel. The sisters made a decision to follow Jesus and put their trust in Him. As excited as the girls were to have their mobility restored, they were thrilled at how Jesus was already transforming them. 

“It is unbelievable to see how the doctors did a great job in repairing my legs, and it’s more unbelievable to see how Jesus Christ has changed my life!” said Inaya. “My legs are straight, and I know Jesus Christ; He is my Savior and friend.”

CURE provided the girls with Bibles, and Safaatou loves sharing what she is learning with the other children in the guest house. Many have come to faith through her. As for Safaatou and her sisters, a new life has begun. 

“Every day is a new chance for me to give thanks to Jesus for my healing and the miracle He has worked in my life,” Safaatou says. “CURE changed the way we think and gave us hope. Our souls are free now, and we are healed!” 

Safaatou (right) often leads prayer with her sisters, Inaya (left) and Farida (center). She says, “We pray for ourselves, our family, CURE, and all those supporting and encouraging us.”

All medical and ministry care is provided at no cost to children and their families, and made possible by the generous support of CURE partners and donors.

Learn how CURE provides surgical care to children made vulnerable by their disabilities around the world.

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