Guinea Bissau, Africa
Reported By David Witt
Zareb is 25 years old from the Fula Tribe in Guinea Bissau, North Africa. Historically the Fula’s are fierce warriors and are responsible for bringing Islam to this area of Africa. Zareb comes from a line of devout Muslims. His grandfather is an Imam and Zareb was studying to take his grandfather’s position. He became the Qur’anic reader for the mosque and loved reading the Qur’an because it was Allah’s word. He tried to be a good Muslim by consistently performing his daily prayers and avoiding bad deeds. Sometimes he found it very difficult to keep up all the demands of Islam. He wanted to please Allah with his whole heart so that he would be blessed.
Two years ago Zareb met his friend Ali, who was also a Qur’anic reader in the mosque. Ali, now a Christian, explained how Jesus has power over evil spirits. Zareb was mad that Ali had accepted “the white man’s religion.” Zareb asked him, do you think Mohammad was a prophet? Do you think all of your friends and family follow a false religion? Ali said, “I do not care about those things, I just care that my sins are forgiven and Jesus is my way to heaven.” Ali then said, “Let’s pray that if I am wrong, God will show me and if you are wrong, God will show you.” Zareb began to think about what his friend shared.
Six months later as Zareb was walking to the city with some friends, he became very ill. He told his three friends to go on ahead of him, since he was walking so slowly. He was able to hitch a ride to town and visit Ali. Ali gave him a New Testament Bible and read to him John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Zareb had questions about this verse and since he was by himself, he joined Ali and visited a Fula Christian Pastor. After the Pastor heard Zareb’s struggles with faith in believing that Jesus was God, he told Zareb to “pray to God to show you personally what is the truth.” That night Zareb decided to follow the Pastor’s suggestion. He prayed, “In the name of Jesus” even though he did not believe Jesus was God.
That night he had a dream of other African people in his village singing and praising Jesus under a giant tree. The next night he dreamed again and this time Jesus was in the sky and he could tell that Jesus was controlling everything. On the third night, Zareb dreamed of Jesus coming to him. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, if you follow me I will take care of you.” In the morning he woke up and knew in his heart that Jesus was God. He also had fear of what his family would think. Ali told him, “You must fear God and not your family. God has revealed Himself to you. You must decide.” Later that day, he was on his way to have a Bible study with the Pastor. He passed a mosque and he had no desire to enter the mosque or fear. He told his friend Ali, “I am now a Christian.” Ali was surprised and replied, “you can deceive me, by not Jesus.” Ali did not believe him. The Pastor asked Zareb three times about trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior and all three times he answered, “I have accepted Jesus into my heart. He is my Lord.”
Today Zareb continues to study God’s Word and is serving the Lord full-time. He has been able to share his testimony and lead many other Muslims to faith in Christ. “Only God can save someone and it is a real miracle that I am saved,” exclaimed Zareb. Zareb sees how God orchestrated every step of his sickness, not having money to continue travelling in to the big city by himself and his friendship with Ali.Recently, his friend Muhammad asked Zareb, “Why do you believe Jesus is God.” Zareb said, “Do not believe it because I say it or Christians say it, but I want to show you…the angels proclaimed it.” Zareb then showed him the account in the Bible, “But the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you…’ ” (Luke 2:10-11) Zareb knows Jesus is sovereign and in control over all things and that He brought “good news of great joy” to his heart.
Recently, Imam’s from this area of Africa met to discuss the problem of “so many Muslims coming to faith in Christ in Guinea Bissau.” One Imam shared, “The Christians are like a virus, if we do not stop the Christians here, then like a virus, Muslims will continue to convert to Christianity everywhere.” Even though Guinea Bissau is one of the smallest nations, the Christians there believe that God will use them as a great tool to bring the Gospel to Muslims in North Africa.
Zareb has been threatened even with death from other Muslims for his witness of Christ. He has been rejected by many, but he continues to love others and faithfully shares that Jesus is God and that your sins can be forgiven through Him.
Spirit of Martyrdom helped train Zareb using an inductive oral Bible study program. SOM continues to partner with Simply the Story ministries in sponsoring workshops throughout North Africa. Thank you for your faithfulness in serving our family in North Africa, like Zareb with your prayers and support. Together we are serving the living martyrs around the world.
(Names have been changed for security reasons: Zareb means “Guardian” which is appropriate as he is a faithful guardian of the Word of God.)
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