Auwalu* had a dark, bitter countenance and a biting tongue, said Resonate Global Mission missionary Donna*.
Donna met Auwalu’s family when she moved to West Africa many years ago to live among people who had practiced Islam for centuries. As she became friends with Auwalu’s family, she committed to praying for them and sharing the gospel with them—but while some family members were open to hearing about Jesus, Auwalu grew up to be a young man fiercely against Christianity.
“[His] people group is very proud of the fact that they are Muslim,” said Donna. “To turn away from that and become a Jesus follower is to bring shame and dishonor to the whole people group. For [Auwalu], it was his responsibility to make sure that others weren’t led astray. He made others afraid to ask questions or participate in discussions.”
Even Auwalu’s younger brother, Zaynabou*, was intimidated by him. When he became a Christian after participating in an evangelistic camp that Donna hosted at her house, he told his mother about his newfound faith in Jesus but was was too nervous to tell Auwalu.
As years wore on, Auwalu continued to practice Islam. He refused to question his faith, refused to listen when Donna shared about Jesus, and refused to accept differing beliefs.
But then his faith in Islam started to break down.
“[He had] been upset for awhile with people being two-faced and not living what they say they believe,” said Donna.
Auwalu wondered if people in other countries followed the practices of Islam more devoutly. When one of his friends moved to another country with a Muslim-majority population, Auwalu asked him if people lived out their Muslim faith differently than people in their village.
“He envisioned that they would be stricter followers of the Quran,” said Donna. “His friend answered that there was no truth in Islam from what he was observing there.”
So Auwalu typed “Is Islam true?” into a search engine on the internet. Most of the responses he read were written by Christians. The testimonies of those who followed Jesus in West Africa convinced him that there was something different about Christianity.
One day, he knocked on Donna’s door. “I have become disillusioned with Islam,” he told her. “Please tell me more about Jesus.”
“Music to my ears!” Donna said. “I noticed it even before he told me about his search for Jesus. His face was brighter. He smiled more instead of scowling. He didn’t lash out with biting, sarcastic responses to everything.”
Donna shared more about Jesus and what it means to follow him. As they were talking, Auwalu seemed to relax even more. He was confident in his new faith in Jesus.
Shortly after, Zaynabou came to him with a problem.
“Let’s bring it to Jesus in prayer,” Auwalu said.
Zaynabou stared at him, speechless. Auwalu had been more approachable in recent months, but Zaynabou still could not believe what he was hearing.
“Yes,” Auwalu said, “I have known for some time now that you are a Christian. You have found the truth.”
Praise God for his work in Auwalu’s heart and those of his family and community! Thank you for sending Resonate missionaries so they hear the truth.
*Name changed for security