Testimonies from Africa
When we receive the life of Jesus, a living hope is born in us, with our desires turned toward what does not perish: eternal life with God. This new life is constantly being tested in various ways. This is the story of a young Fula (a person from the semi-nomadic Fulbe people) from Burkina Faso who converted from Islam to Christianity.
This happened at the start of terrorism in a Fulbe village in northern Burkina Faso. The muezzin (the person who calls people to prayer) of the mosque gave his life to Jesus to obtain salvation. The imam and all the Muslim community were not happy with his decision. They accused him of treason.
One day, the imam summoned the muezzin before several Muslim followers. He was placed in the middle of the circle, and the imam asked the audience, “If one of your oxen gets lost from the herd, and you find it, what do you do?” The Muslim faithful answered firmly, “we bring him back and we tie him well so that he does not get lost again.”
The new convert asked for the floor to give the answer he had in his heart. “In my humble opinion, if your ox goes astray and you find it in a green pasture grazing fresh grass, you leave it there, and with a happy heart you go to lead the rest of the herd to him so that all your oxen may also benefit from this green pasture.”
The imam and his retinue became angry and withdrew.
A few days later, unidentified gunmen broke in the new believer’s home in the night. Because of the heat, he and his family slept in the yard outside the house on mats. The attackers kicked him awake and ordered him to follow them. He obeyed without flinching. As they moved through the dark night, one of the attackers fired a shotgun at him but did not hit him.
In a spirit of survival, the new believer fled and hid in a friend’s kitchen until dawn. Sensing the danger had passed, he came out of his hiding place and showed himself to his friend. The friend went home discreetly to check if his family was well, and to bring him some clothes. The new believer left the village to save his life.
Jesus is our hope: even if we go through the valley of the shadow of death, he is by our side.