THIS IS MY STORY My name was Imran Mubarak (now is Imran Abiathar). I was born into a Muslim family.
My father was an Alfa and the Imam of the local Mosque. My father was very religious, gentle, honest and very upright.
He brought us all well in the Islamic way with good morals with sincerity in his heart and I longed to be like him. I being his last boy, was close to him.
I also was religious and loved Islam. I prayed five times daily with extra.
I did not like Christianity because Christians said a lot of blasphemies. They said Jesus was the Son of God, making God like a man who would marry a wife.
They even said Jesus was God! With passage of time, my father died. My eldest brother (an Alhaji, who did Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia) picked me to stay with him.
He used to move a lot because he worked with a federal establishment. He moved to a city, and enrolled me in a secondary school.
In that school, I came in contact with Christianity face to face for the first time in my life. Everybody there was a Christian.
I heard more blasphemies, I was vexed in my spirit and vowed to God to convert all of them to Islam. I went to the Islamic Propagation Centre in that city and obtain materials.
At any given opportunity, I would argue about Islam and Christianity using the Quran and the Bible. I seemed to be winning because most of the students did not know much about the Bible.
Then something happened. One day, during one of those arguments, I met a student called Samuel.
He said he was born-again. What! What is that? I had never heard those words before.
“You mean you have died before and now you were born again?”, “even an ‘abiku’ would not be bold to declare this. ” I asked him.
From here, he went on to explain what he meant. This guy was good and thorough and made good impression on me.
He said Jesus was Lord, the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one could have a relationship with God except through Him. Even though I did not seem to bulge at his assertions, I was thoroughly shaken.
After this argument, the day went on like any other. In the night that same day, in my room I was going to do my fifth and last prayer for the day.
I had performed ablution, spread the prayer mat and thrown the bead on the mat. I was to lift my hands and say “Allahu Hak Bar”.
I lost my voice and could not speak. I could not lift my hands.
I forgot the prayers I usually said five times a day. I felt very cold all over my body.
I thought I was dying. Then Samuel’s assertions came to my spirit very loud and clear: “Jesus is Lord, the Son of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can have a relationship with God except through Him”.
This came to me repeatedly. I was there standing immoveable, and I could hear the voice.
Then suddenly, it felt like what had kept me standing gave way and I fell on my face. When I found my voice, I heard myself saying “Jesus help me” and I was crying profusely.
In that state and process I slept off. Very surprisingly, no one entered my room even though the door was open.
I woke up early the next morning, but I did not understand if it was a dream or something else. I became very sober and thoughtful, trying to comprehend the experience.
I was prompted to pick the Bible and read. When I did, oh what a joy that flooded my spirit! I had never known this joy before.
I read the book of Matthew and as I read, I cried. In school I told Samuel my experience, he was surprised but happy.
I asked for direction because I did not know what next to do. I joined the school fellowship.
I read every Christian material I could lay my hands on. I read the Bible with Joy.
I would run home from anywhere to read the Bible. I crammed verses and carried a small book of Bible quotations in my pocket.
Soon I was preaching Jesus in the School. What a good twist! Soon trouble landed for me and all my joy turned to depression.
All this while I had never attended a church and I longed to do this someday. So when Samuel invited me to a church programme, I jumped at it.
I went to church from school and came back home very late. While in church I knew that trouble was waiting at home but I did not care.
I had to enjoy this place. I was asked where I was coming from and answered “church” and hell was let loose.
After all the shouting, we all went to bed. In the night, my brother came to wake me up so I could explain my action.
I told him about my new faith, that Jesus was actually the Son of God, not just a Prophet. He did not understand the sudden twist and did not know what to do with me.
In the morning he gave me a lot of Islamic books to read and time frame to finish them. I just dumped them.
I came under constant monitor and was no longer free at home. I would hide in the toilet to pray and read the Bible.
I was forced to join in the Islamic prayers but at a point I boldly refused because I knew I had lost the connection. I became unhappy because no one would talk to me at home and did not what to do or where to go.
At a point I tried to go back to Islam but I could not. The Lord was very real to me now.
I could not explain but I knew that he was always with me. One day a friend who was a Christian visited me at home.
This was the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I was asked to leave the house, and so in bathroom sleepers, a pair of shorts and T-shirt, I left the house.
I did not have where to go, I slept in a school not very far from the house. When I sought for advice telling people my story, most of them advised me to soft-pedal on my new faith since I was under a Muslim guardian.
For me it was a comprise, I did not like to do this. “Why couldn’t I just be free to practice my faith”?, I would ask God several times.
When I saw boys my age who had liberty to go to church I would envy them and wished that I were them. Since then many years and events have passed by, but I thank God that I am now free at last to practice my faith and worship Jesus Christ my Lord and personal Savior.
Whenever I hear Pastor Chris I thank God that such an embodiment of knowledge can be placed in one man to bless our generation and generations to come if the Lord tarries. Thank you Pastor.
I am a partner. JESUS IS LORD.
Many years later we lost contact but I met Samuel again in an Haven Meeting in Port-Harcourt and Lagos during IPPC!!! Samuel is also in Christ Embassy Church and also a partner!!! Jesus is almightily awesome. .