John is from a predominately Muslim village in northern Mozambique. His mother was the daughter of the local king and imam of the area. His father came from a different area and was a Catholic until he converted to Islam in order to get married. John grew up as a Muslim and studied the Qur’an for three years with his brother, who is now the imam at the mosque of their village.
It is common in the area to go both to the mosque and to witch doctors and John was no exception, though he commonly found answers elsewhere. “For me, fighting was a solution,” admitted John. “It was the base of my life.”
In 2008, a visiting Christian shared the gospel with John. “The verse that touched me was John 8:30-32. That verse saved my life,” John remembered. Though the Scripture deeply touched him, John continued going to the mosque and living his worldly life. Six months later John came to a breaking point after getting into a fight.
“I started remembering what the man of God spoke with me. I had nothing, I had to run, [I had] a need for God,” said John. “I received Jesus.”
John left his old life behind and changed dramatically. “Now I am free, I say thanks to Jesus,” John said. “Even the people ask, ‘Which kind of charm or juju has this guy taken?’ Because [who I was before] was so bad, very bad.”
It hasn’t been easy, though. “In our tribe there is no one that is a Christian,” said John. “I am just one person. Many people used to come to me and try to counsel me, saying this thing that I am doing, it has never happened in our family. Some other people used to come and offer money: ‘You don’t have money, take this money and do whatever you feel to do. Leave this Christianity, you are putting us to shame.’ I am separated. They are not looking at me as family. …They talk to me, but there is no trust anymore.
“The same verse that saved my life [keeps me strong],” John said. “Jesus is the only way.”
“Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:30-32 (NIV)
Source: Operation Mobilisation