Abubakar, a muslim student and freshman in high school, had a life changing experience in April at our retreat. Below, we get a glimpse of the life change that God brought to Abubakar through the different experiences he had with several of our volunteers and staff members.
Visitor Mark’s Experience
I sat next to Abubakar at one point when Allison was talking about freedom in Christ. When we got called up to do the career panel, he asked me if I would come back and sit with him after I was through. When I came back, he asked how he could overcome an addiction. I asked him specifically and he told me but I didn’t understand what it was. It was something he smoked, but it didn’t sound like marijuana. When I was younger, I used to smoke pot, so I shared my story and how Christ delivered me and set me free when I surrendered to Him and how He had removed my desire for it. He alluded to the fact that he didn’t think he could stop. I encouraged him that it’s not about our own power but the power of Christ living in us when we are surrendered to Him. I shared Ephesians 3:20 and some other Scriptures, and we talked more about freedom in Christ. He then shared that his biggest obstacle was that all of his friends do it. I gave him some practical encouragement and told him that if his friends try to influence him to do that, then he should stop hanging around them. I shared with him that if it is in your heart to do what is right, Christ will give you the power to do the rest but it all starts with surrender and the desire to be obedient. We were wrapping up and trying to get to dinner so I showed him my Bible and some of my favorite Scriptures that I had highlighted. I told him I would be praying for him and gave him the Bible, and we said goodbye.
U.S. Staff member Kelly’s Experience
After Michael (Ndoto’s pastor) was finished speaking to the secondary Ndoto students about bondage, he said that the Ndoto staff and volunteers would be up at the front of the room if anyone needed to come up for prayer or to turn his/her life over to Christ.
I remember seeing Abubakar be one of the first students that came up and that Allison was speaking to him and praying for him. She was with him for a long time. I went over to pray for another student while the worship was happening, and when I was done, I went back to the place that I was originally waiting at the front. I saw Allison leave Abubakar, but that he was still kneeling there, so I decided to go pray over him as well. Not knowing what Allison and Abubakar were discussing or praying about, I began praying out loud for God to bring Abubakar nearer to Himself, that He would protect and guide him, that he would reveal Himself, and be near his struggles and difficulties. While I was praying these things aloud over him, he starting saying “Jesus, I need you, and I give my life to you.” In all sincerity, I was a bit surprised. I’m not sure what he and Allison had been discussing or praying about previously but he was turning his life over to Christ in faith in front of my eyes, which was exciting and awesome to witness!
He was in front of the group this whole time, and, after that, while the group was still singing, I wanted him to read Scripture about what Christ has done for him and what it means to now be saved and have peace with God. We read passages such as Romans 8 and Ephesians 2 for probably a good 20 minutes, and he wanted to read each passage for himself. I would turn to passages in my Bible, and he would read it out loud. We read verses still in the kneeling position in front of everyone else until they were dismissed, and then we went to one of the desks where his brand new Bible was that had been given to him just the day before by visiting missionary, Mark H. Mark gave him the Bible, which had little bookmarks in them to highlight certain passages, and we read some of those passages. I gave him a small booklet that highlighted his decision to trust Christ and what to do from there.
We prayed that Abubakar would come to the Ndoto Community Church on Sunday morning, and, sure enough, he was there and had a good seat meaning he must have arrived early!
I gave him a hug and said I would be praying for him and his relationship with Christ. I encouraged him to speak to Michael and Moses (Ndoto staff members) and to keep coming to the Ndoto Community Church where he can discipled and encouraged in his faith and be around other believers.
Kenyan Staff Moses’ Experience
Each April brings retreats, and with it spirals of beautiful experiences unfold. As a new Ndoto staff member, I met many of the children for the first time with so much enthusiasm and joy. On one particular day, the older high school and college students had a worship time, and up stepped a rather familiar face. It was Abubakar! He came up to be prayed for, and I was overwhelmed with joy seeing a young Muslim come to Jesus for help!
A week and a half later, Abubakar visited the office to turn in his first term results. His facial expressions said it all. “I am not happy with my grades, Moses,” he said. I went through his grades, and at that moment he interrupted me, explaining his disappointment in his results. Abubakar stared into my eyes and said, “I tried my best, and I know I can do better.” He paused and with a serious but rather inquisitive expression, showed me his Christian Religious Education results, a subject in which he didn’t expect to perform well. I expressed my joy at his good performance in C.R.E, and he stared at his results and back at me and asked, “I have done so well in a subject I put so little effort in; what is God telling me?”
I explained to Abubakar how God has made the study of his ways simpler for him to understand and apply in an exam paper compared to all the other subjects, because God loves Him and desires His Word to be the foundation of his studies and education. I assured him of God’s love for him. Abubakar started to explain how he spends time reading the Bible and has been able to go as far as discussing the Word of God with another young man just after the retreat. I sat there taking in all that he said, thanking God for the great work He has started in Abubakar, for He is sure to bring great fruitfulness in his life.