When you follow Jesus He will bring you to places you never thought you would go and you will see things you never thought you would see. You will meet people the likes of whom you never thought you would meet. They are most courageous, incredible followers of Jesus and ministering in dangerous places. Here’s the story of one:
I can’t share this church planter’s name so let’s just call him “The Lion”, meaning strong man. We met in Eastern Ethiopia near the Somalia border.
In 2004, the Lion had a dream in which he saw a man dressed in white (didn’t see his face), but this man told him he was Jesus.
Later he went to a church with three friends to cause trouble and the pastor was preaching from Matthew 3:16
Jesus was baptized by John. All at once, as he came up out of the water, suddenly the heavens were opened, and he saw God’s spirit coming down like a dove and landing on him.
17 Then there came a voice out of the heavens.‘This is my son, my beloved one,’ said the voice. ‘I am delighted with him.‘
After the service He’s asking the question of the Pastor, “Why do I care?” The Pastor prayed for him and he fell asleep. After waking up he felt a great peace and repented of his sins, his use of Chat (it’s a drug), and other things.
He ran home to his mother and father who were chewing Chat; when they saw him they ran away from him in fear; he begged them not to run and told them he loved them.
That night he went to sleep and the Spirit of the Lord fell on him. He began to speak in tongues. His father and mother, being Muslim could not explain it.
His father called the elders of the Mosque, and shared that “The Lion” spoke in tongues. “What’s the explanation?” the father asked. The elders had no answer. Next, they called the Orthodox priest. He didn’t understand it either. They called the protestant pastor and he said, “We will ask God”. But The Lion knew it was the power of God.
For one year he was persecuted. His family threw him out but the Lord gave him a job and asked “The Lion” to serve Him.
The Lion said, “No.” He got sick with dysentery and said, “OK, I will serve you”.
He went to Addis, Ethiopia for training and than returned to his home town in Eastern Ethiopia.
Leaders in his home town called a meeting to kill him because he was preaching the Gospel. The Lion struggled as God told him to purchase a gun and be ready for the confrontation.
At the meeting they offered him 15,000 bur ($700) and a beautiful girl to not convert but to remain a Muslim. He says “I saw the devil in her eyes” and told the leader that I didn’t want the money or the girl. “I will follow Jesus.”
To which they responded, “Then we are going to kill you.”
Saving his life, he pulled the gun out from under his belt and said, “Leave me alone.” Then he ran. I met him a few weeks ago. He sat on the front row of the training, taking it all in and is now serving the Jesus as a church planter, sharing the love and grace of God.