STATE OF ORIGIN: ADAMAWA
I grew up as a Muslim. My parents didn’t enroll me to any school. I was just helping my mum to sell some snacks. One day there was a program in the church in my village. I went there to sell the snacks, and I heard the preaching of the gospel, and I was touched in my heart. The preacher made an announcement for everyone who wanted to give his life to Christ to come forward, but I couldn’t do that because I was afraid. I have a Christian friend and I told her my intention. She told me that she will introduce me to the pastor after the program. I left and the next day I came to see my friend. She asked me whether I am sure of what I want to do and I told her yes. From there she took me to her pastor and the pastor asked me several questions so that he will be sure of my intention. He then led me to Christ and prayed for me.
That moment, I felt supernatural peace: I couldn’t explain the feelings. My pastor, because he was afraid, took me away from my village to Yola. I was in Yola for some months and my parents eventually got to know about it. They seized my friend and they beat her, together with one of the leaders of the church. My friend and the church leader called me to tell me what happened to them. My parents insisted that they should bring me back or else worse will happen to them and the church. They came and took me back home and there I also received serious beatings from my parents. I was locked up for four days, denied food and water all those days. I was forced to tell them that I will continue in Islam, although I was doing that only so that I could escape. Then they allowed me out of the room, releasing me. I stayed with them for some weeks and then I escaped back to Yola. Immediately my pastor arranged for me to come here (CFM) for discipleship.
Since my coming here my parents still don’t know I am here. I am happy for being here. I am learning the ways of Christ, also learning how to read and write. In vocational training I am learning fashion design. My life has changed seriously, for the past five months that I have been here. This center takes care of everything concerning me, which includes, feeding, medical, toiletries, etc.
My desire one day is to be a preacher of the gospel and to reach out to my family with the love of Christ. One of the things that I struggled with before coming here was unforgiveness, especially toward my parents. But I thank God because here I learned how to forgive and I was able to understand that my parents don’t know what they were doing to me. The Lord bless my teachers and daddy and mummy (Hodge).
STATE OF ORIGIN: KATSINA
I grew up in Islam and all that I was told about Christianity was hatred. I hated Christianity to the point that I didn’t want to see any Christian anywhere. One day, after coming back from our work on the farm with my father, I was sitting outside. A Christian brother came and sat near me and asked me, why did I hate Christians so much? I told him that it is because that’s what I was taught. He told me that I will become a Christian one day. I was very angry with him, and I told him to leave me alone.
Later in the evening as I was about to observe my Islamic prayers, I found myself calling out in the name of Jesus. People thought that I was possessed by demons. They took me and carried me by force to a spiritualist, a native doctor. He told them that my case is beyond him, that what he saw terrified him, that he saw a man whose name he cannot mention. They returned me home. I told them that nothing is wrong with me. I told them that I just want to be a Christian, but they said it is impossible. From there they locked me up again, beat me and refused to give me food for 5 days. Then they released me and told me never to mention the name of Jesus again, but I told them is not in my power to do that. They were planning to take me to Borno, but I heard them discussing it and I ran away.
I came to Barkin Ladi, close to this place (CFM), near Jos, from Katsina State, because my mother is there. She married a man in Barkin Ladi after my father divorced her. I told her all that happened, and she told me to be very careful. I didn’t know how my father got to know my whereabouts, but he sent some people to come and take me home, dead or alive. The next day my mother, learning this, told me what was happening. She gave me N1,000 and said I should just go. I immediately escaped through the window, and I took transport to Bukuru, and found my way to B-Division police station. I told them what was happening, and one police officer helped accommodated me. She gave me food and took me to her church, to the pastor. From there I stayed for 4 days with them, and I was finally brought here (CFM) a month ago. I really appreciate God and this ministry for everything.
STATE OF ORIGIN: ADAMAWA
I grew up as a devoted Muslim. I was married with three kids. My younger sister, who was eight years old, dreamed about someone who appeared to her in white clothing, and he told her that she should follow him. She started going to church and she told me about it. I was very angry with her: I beat her and tortured her seriously. She was admitted in the hospital because of that, and in her sick bed she asked of me and when I came, she asked me to give her the clothes of hers that were stained with her blood, because she wants to show Jesus how she suffered because of him. All this happening was a big surprise, even a big shock for all of us, because we knew she never went to any church more than once, but she still knew a lot about Jesus. She also told me that this name of Jesus, that I hated so much, that one day I would follow him and use that name. All this wasn’t making any sense to me util my little sister died in that hospital. We angrily brought her body to the church and told the pastor all that happened. We told the pastor that we have nothing to do with her dead body. The pastor and some elders buried her.
From that time her voice kept echoing in my heart. I couldn’t sleep: her voice kept disturbing me. Sometimes I would dream of her repeating the same words. I had to run to that pastor, and I told him that I want to follow Christ. My family and my parents were not happy about it. I was arrested, beaten, stabbed with a knife in my legs, and locked inside a room for more than two months. After refusing me food for a week, they gave me food once a day.
They collected my shop, where I was selling food stuff, my motorized tricycle, and a lot of my farm produce. My wife and my kids were taken away from me. They sought to kill me, but I ran away to Kano state. It was there that I was able to meet with a pastor whom I stayed with for four months. One day I went out and my family members found me! They arrested me again, took me home, and beat me again and again, for over 40 days. From there I was able to escape, and I called the pastor in Kano. He told me we should meet in Jos. He met me at the public transport depot in central Jos and brought me here (CFM).
Indeed, what my younger sister told me has come to pass. I am now a Christian and I am happy. I pray that one day I will reach out to my family with this salvation. Right now, I have learned how to forgive them. It is not easy, but I know I have no option than to do so. This place has changed my life and taught me the life and teachings of Christ as I see it daily in the life of my teachers. I forever remain grateful.
STATE OF ORIGIN: BORNO
I was born in a Christian home in Maiduguri. There are 8 children of my father. He grew up as a Muslim but when he wanted to become a Christian, his first wife refused. She left my father, with her first son. From there, my father married my mother, and then she gave birth to us. When I was in Senior Secondary School Grade 2, I got involved in an ungodly relationship with a Muslim boy. My parents refused to allow the relationship and warned me several times to stop the relationship, but I refused. From there I wanted to be a Muslim and I told my boyfriend. He took me to one of his Imams, he led me to Islam. My parents are not aware of it at first, but after one month my father learned of it and he was very angry. He didn’t want to lose me, so he was gentle enough to encourage me and he prayed with me.
He took me to several prayer ministries, but from there I became sick. It was like a spiritual attack. I became like an insane person for several months, but after several prayers and bibles study with my father I was healed. From there one pastor suggested that I need a change of environment and he suggested that I should be brought here (CFM) for discipleship. When I was at home, I was disrespectful and proud. As a young girl I thought that this world is everything. But coming here has changed me totally. This place has taught me patience and self-control. I am always learning from the word of God. I can hear God speaking to me through his word and all of this is because of this school. I really appreciate God and this ministry.
STATE OF ORIGIN: GOMBE
I was born in a Christian home and my father is a pastor, but I was influenced by some male friends, and I was converted to Islam. I left home and after being in a Muslim compound with some other girls, also from Christian background, the people we stayed with wanted to marry us out. They kept us in a hidden place for 11 months. Many of the ladies there were being forced to become Muslims.
My parents were very disturbed about my leaving home. They were looking for me, while I was there in that compound observing all the Islamic rites. Then one day I told the gate man that I am not longer interested in Islam, and he helped me. I gave him my father’s number: he called my father and told him what happened. From there, the gate man allowed me to go, even though it was against his job description and could bring him trouble. Coming back home was not safe for me because the same people who persuaded me into Islam and kept me in that compound were still looking for me. From there my father opted to bring me here (CFM) for discipleship.
Being me here has changed my life. I became sorry for my actions in the past, for the pain and disgrace I caused my parents. Staying here in my first month I came to the office and called my father. I apologized to him, and he was happy. I could hear how he was happy over the apology and that I have come to appreciate God for all that he is doing in this place. In vocational training I am learning hairstyling.
STATE OF ORIGIN: BORNO
I grew up in Islam and later in my life I went to further my education in an Islamic school, where I obtained my degree in Islamic studies. With my zeal for Islam, I was trying to work against Christianity, so I went and bought a Bible. I wanted to study it so that I could attack every Christian that came my way, but when making my study I started seeing the reality of Jesus being God. I continued with my research until I was convinced that Christ is the way to the Father, and he is God. I looked for a church in Jalingo, Taraba State, and I told them what happened to me and they led me to Christ.
My family persecuted me because of this. I was beaten several times. They burned all my property and collected all my farm produce. They locked me in a police station for three days. At some point my wife, with my little baby, wanted to follow me: she also was seriously beaten. She was rejected by her family and my family also. They locked her in a room for three days without food. They wanted to take away the baby from her, but they couldn’t. My wife returned to her parents, but she had to agree that she will continue in Islam: she agreed for her safety.
I ran from my family back to the church and the church provided accommodation for me. I stayed there for a while until they made arrangements for my coming here (CFM). When I came here, I was so concerned about my wife and my little son, that I was not concentrating in class. I went to the office and told Pastor Jibrailu about it, and he encouraged me. He also told me to go back to God in prayer and tell Him everything, since he is the one that called me, he had a solution to my problems. I did just that and to the glory of God my wife was able to escape through the help of the church in Jalingo. She was brought down to Jos and the church is providing accommodation for her and the baby. She is doing fine and has fully accepted Christ as her Lord.
I am here (CFM) and am receiving training and discipleship. It has been a time of learning and unlearning many things. I really appreciate God for such a privilege. I also appreciate all my teachers and mummy and daddy Hodge.