MY JOURNEY TO SALVATION Pst. Oluwafemi James
I was born a Muslim, I finished the Quran, and was a very serious and devoted Muslim.
My salvation story started one afternoon, after my Arabic Teacher(Alfa) came to Arabic school with anger, and asked all of us to stop what we were doing.
My Alfa told us that their were some Christians around our environment having a crusade, and for Allah’s sake we were going there to stop them. He asked us to pick stones and canes, so as to stone and beat them out of the crusade ground.
We were taught that every form of Jehad has a blessing attached to it, for those that will go without being afraid to die during the fight.
So, I thought it an opportunity to fight for Allah, and if I perish, I perish.
We all gathered, I personally picked 5 stones, and my intention was to stone whosoever it was on the pulpit by the time we got there… My mates can stone the congregation.
We got there, and the ministration was ongoing by an evangelist. As my mates started stoning people, I faced the preacher, threw the first stone which he dodged, as I threw the second, it hit his forehead and by the time I released the third, he said “the person that threw that stone at me will not be at rest until he becomes what I am”. Then he dropped the microphone and ran away.
Humm… I said; “me, Alfa Sodiq will be a Pastor?” (by the way, my name then was Sodiq)… I laughed… And we left the place… Humm.
I didn’t know that the man had released something powerful upon my life by that declaration.
We got back home that night feeling fulfilled… 😄😄😄.
But little did I know that a time bomb has been set upon my life.
That same day, in the middle of the night, I heard my name being called.
I was afraid, I thought it was a ghost.
I asked him who he was.. He said “A Friend and helper”… Humm… I can’t forget that reply.
He told me not to be afraid, that he’s a friend not an enemy. That night, I started a journey of friendship with this calm and gentle unseen personality…💞💞
To cut the story short. The unseen voice continued to speak to me like people talk to one another from that day on.
I got used to the voice, he tells me things before it happens. He became my closest friend. Humm.. 😭. I can still feel the impact of the voice during those period.
One day at Arabic school.. He said to me “Sodiq, You don’t belong here”.
I asked him where I belonged,.. He didn’t reply me.
There was a blind man that was our neighbour then who was a Christian, every Sunday he needed someone to take him to church, because his Children didn’t have his time.
One Sunday he pleaded with me to take him to church, I took permission from my Dad, and promised him not to listen to whatever they will say at the Church.
I took him to church that Sunday, dropped Him at adult church, and went to children’s church.
On getting to children’s church, I saw the way they gave children biscuits and sweets as they read the bible. I was shocked to see people reading the bible and collecting sweets and biscuits for it. Whereas, where I was coming from, it’s cane. I felt this was a good place to be. They even gave me food that day. I saw love. Humm…
My friend that used to speak to me said “This is where you belong”. Humm. That was how my Christian journey started.
After that Sunday service
When I got back home, I was a little bit worried. I discovered that all what my Alfa taught us about Christians were lies.
Humm. I convinced my Dad to allow me take the baba to church regularly on Sundays. I also promised him that I will not give attention to any of their teachings.
Anytime I take baba to church. I was always happy, church was like a place of peace and great calm. I am always happy anytime I’m in church but I didn’t disclose this fact to anyone at the time.
Gradually, the Sunday school teachings started having impact on me. It was difficult for me to do what I used to do, because I desired to please God.
My Dad started noticing this, but he was not talking.
One day, I was playing with some of my friends in the community. I mistakenly threw a stone to the other compound, and the stone hit a boy in the compound. Meanwhile, in the ghetto we usually cooperate 😎.
The mother came to our place with blood on her child’s head asking for the person that threw the stone. Everyone said they don’t know.
I remembered being taught in Sunday school that God doesn’t like people that tell lies. So I said it was me. All my friends were angry. The woman then said she will come to see my Dad when he gets back in the evening. By the time my dad got back, our neighbours had explained everything, and my dad told me that by the time she comes I should tell her that it wasn’t me. Humm.
In my heart, I don’t want to offend God.
The woman came, and my dad asked if I was the one, I said yes 🙃. The woman collected the money for the treatment of the boy from my dad.
Humm. After she left, my dad beat me and said “I Hope you are not into what they call Christianity? I denied.
By the way, my mum left my dad when I was 5 years old and I happened to be the fourth born of the five of us my mother gave birth to. She left the 5 of us with my dad to marry another man. Our Last born was 3 years old at the time.
Because of our last born, my dad remarried, and he married a woman that has given birth to six children, who unlike my mum, came with her six children. My two (2) elder brothers and my elder sister left because they couldn’t cope with our step mom. I was left with my younger brother.
By this time my step mother was happy my Dad was beating me.
After that night, my dad started observing me.
My dad wasn’t that devoted a Muslim but he wanted his children to be committed.
He also believed, in traditional religion, so some times he comes home with fetish things.
Most time he comes home with some soup prepared by his herbalist. In most cases he eats the soup in the middle of the night when everyone would have slept. In case any of us was still awake, he has a powder he releases into the air that will make everyone go into deep sleep.
He came home with one of such soup one night, and blew the powder in the air so everyone will go into deep sleep. Everyone slept but I was still awake without him knowing, (as at this time I was used to Christians ways of praying, I’d given myself to serious prayer) he naked himself and carried the soup on his right hand. He has a pepper 🌶️with him also, and he stood on his right leg, lifting the left leg up.
As he was about eating the soup, the pepper with him fell on the floor, (instead of pretending I was sleeping) I quickly picked it and raised it to him.
He could not talk. He was doing as if he was told not to talk, so I dropped the pepper inside the pot he was carrying, and I went back to sleep.
The following morning he was angry, he told me that I will be following him somewhere. Humm. I followed him.
We arrived at one old building, and I was asked to stay outside, after few minutes my dad asked me to come inside.
As I entered I saw an old man(his herbalist). The man shouted and asked my Dad to take me out immediately, that I was a strange child, that he’s seeing fire all over my body. Humm .
My dad sent me out. I went out waiting for him, not knowing what they discussed after I went out. After few minutes he came out with an angry face. He grabbed my hand and started dragging me towards home.
Later that night he asked me who I was and why have I been behaving strange lately. I didn’t reply.
After some weeks, I lost interest in Arabic school because of the new life in Christ. I was getting used to church, and loving everything about Church. One Sunday I went to one of my Sunday school teachers, told him my story and he supported me in prayer. Especially telling my dad about my new life in Christ.
Every Sunday, we prayed together for my family, especially my dad’s heart, because I was afraid of telling him. All this while I didn’t tell him I had lost interest in Arabic school.
After months of prayer. One Sunday evening I made up my mind to tell him about my new life. I used all my time in Church that Sunday to pray to Jesus to allow my dad allow me to follow Him.
When he came that night I told him about it. My thought was that the highest will be cane and I was braced for it. To my surprise, he wasn’t surprised at all. He said, he knew that my life style had changed since the time I started taking the blind baba to church. And he said. I should start going to church.
It was a miracle! I knew that the voice that used to speak to me will not lie, because he said to me that day that he will make my father allow me to start going to church.
So, I stopped going to Arabic school. When My Arabic teacher heard about my convert he wasn’t happy at all.
He tried convincing my dad, but that voice kept to His promise of making sure that my dad will not listen to my Arabic teacher.
My Dad allowed only me go to Church.
But, I always pray for my family. To cut the long story short, My Dad gave his life too, and the whole family started going to Church!!!
by Pst. Oluwafemi James