Dear Pastor, Thank you for providing me with this beautiful platform to share my salvation story. I first came in contact with Jesus in 1997 in the city of Jos, Plateau State.
Nigeria. Before then I was what you would call a drifter; born into a “Chrislam”[sic] home where my mother was a Christian and my father a Muslim.
I remember as a child; my mother would every Sunday take us to her family church – Celestial Church of Christ – I was baptized there and because I was a child I never really could make any positive or negative meaning of the loud cries and exclamation of holi holi, jaaaah!!! But I used to love going to the church because of the long pure white ankle dress we used to wear; this dress made me feel very holy and pure and like one of God’s angels My father on the other hand was ‘a sit at home’ Muslim who never went to the mosque but celebrated all the Muslim festivals with his siblings at their father’s house. My grandfather was an Alhaji who used to kill lots of ram during these festivals.
My father was a very hardworking graphic artist who took great care of his family; one time during the course of our good lives he lost his job and he became despondent; he made several decisions during this period not only regarding his finances and career but also his FAITH. He began to practice the religion he was born into.
Before this time I and my sister had become hungry for some religious practice because my mom had stopped going to her church. We started to join our friends to go to the Koranic School and then to the mosque; thinking about it now, this was purely out of peer pressure because as kids we were surrounded by Muslim children and we wanted to feel some sense of belonging I know this is my story but it cannot be separated from that of my family.
Like I was saying about my father; he began to pray 5 times a day like every Muslim and also participated in the fasts and all. But I came to understand that he wasn’t satisfied as he later resorted to herbal practices.
He had become ill apparently and he was told by the Herbalist that a witch was after his life and asked to do certain things otherwise he would die During this period; we had moved from our home to living as co-tenants because things had gone from super to sour. Life continued but I remembered it was very hard and depressing and our days were filled with fear; there was just no hope, I mean how can you hope for something you don’t know about!!! But thanks be to God Almighty who sent his son to deliver us from our afflictions…the time came and I was standing face to face with destiny.
In a small church, I heard the altar call again; I had heard those words so many times and they had become like a poem but this time; it was different – I knew all I wanted and craved for was in this God that was being spoken about – He sounded so different and more exciting than the God I had to pound my forehead on the floor to and the one whose mother was engraved as a big statue at the primary school I went to. Just prior to this time; In the University that I was; I had been a very lukewarm person; I made so many bad decisions and got into a lot of trouble because there was just no spiritual guide; I used to enjoy being on my own because I suffered from inferiority complex and when I eventually got to make friends they were just the bad ones on campus.
During our hang outs I would get this feeling of longing for a higher force, a higher companion and communion; I didn’t understand and thus would say it out like “hey guys I'm really missing someone” until one day I blurted out “I'm missing God” of cos they burst out laughing and I recall I also laughed hard about it cos it just didn’t seem to make sense [I thought how can someone miss God?] but this innocent confession marked the beginning of my fruitful search during which I experienced several unforgettable encounters with Jesus. One tangible experience that I would never forget is the day I met the Holy Ghost – I didn’t know then that it was Him; I had thought it was angel Micheal; but now I know – I had gone to sleep while there was electricity but woke up during the course of the night in this utter darkness and as usual FEAR came and laid with me on the bed; it was dreadful! I quickly looked for and lit a candle and because I was too scared to go down for a candle stand; placed it on a board that felt and looked like steel but was actually solid plastic I then went back to my bed and started counting the ceiling boards.
I knew the light wouldn’t come back until in the morning and I was ready to keep awake but of cos I slipped off into oblivion and then suddenly in my sleep I felt this gentle but firm hand on my shoulder shaking me and there I was surrounded by fire that had started from the candle – the curtains and the carpet had caught fire – my response was a side flip from the top of the bunk bed I was on; I grabbed a blanket and started beating the fire until it was completely out, where the strength came from then I didn’t know but I know now. On 2 occasions I was miraculously rescued by God; one from being raped and the other from running mad from smoking weed.
My most special visit was on this particular night; It was so unbearably cold and I just wouldn’t get warm so I cried out “Jesus please warm me, I need you” and all of a sudden I felt these torrents of hot breath all around me; it was utterly awesome, I mean I got so warm that I started sweating. So back in 1997; I answered to the altar call and for the first time confessed Jesus as my Lord, I was elated but my joy was short-lived; I wasn’t satisfied and thought there must be more than what I got in that church, so my search continued but this time for the body of Christ whom I had received.
There I was on this sunny day; taking a stroll and minding my business and who did I see! A guy i knew some years back and we got talking. I really didn’t want to talk to him because I now had this “holier than thou attitude” which came basically from lack of knowledge and understanding which only comes from studying God’s word which I had not cultured.
As we chatted, I noticed he had changed tremendously; his speech was clean and fresh - no rude innuendos. Then he told me about his being born again and the church he goes to - Christ Embassy - He invited me and I was excited; this excitement came from his own excitement and passion as he talked about his church, it was so contagious So on the 28th of November in the year 1999; I attended for the first time a Christ Embassy church and I was completely transformed.
I had found home, a resting place for my weary soul, a nest. .
. I gave my life again for the second time [laughing… I thought i just had to rededicate my life] I received the Holy Ghost and I got baptized by immersion.
One majorly distinct change I observed during this period was that FEAR suddenly disappeared; fear of the unknown and of the past left; I just couldn’t find him. Thoughts of Witches, wizards and their wicked spells/acts just seemed to melt away; it was instantaneous!!! And then HOPE came and resided with me; I now had something to look forward to and thus FAITH joined her to concretize my expectations for the NOW.
Then the poems and spiritual songs came; I was ecstatic. All of these came from a deep understanding of God’s personality and my spirit had become alive to Him through the word that I was being taught; it was like nothing I ever heard before As I write this story; I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and my heart brims over with thanksgiving for God’s mighty deliverance and restoration.
Light has come into my home. My father is very much alive and completely healed; he was miraculously delivered on a pilgrimage to Mecca [regarded as the holiest city in Islam], he just couldn’t travel though everything was ready.
That same year he gave his life to Christ. Hallelujah! My entire household is also saved.