Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group, kidnapped 110 school girls in the town of Dapchi around February.

According to reports, many of the terrorists dressed as soldiers during the raid of the school and confused the students. Recently the same Boko Haram group returned most of the girls, except one who is still in captive as she refused to convert her faith and belief from Christianity to Islam. The father of the girl speaks….

Nata Sharibu, father of the only student of Federal Government Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state who is yet to be freed, says Boko Haram insurgents decided not to release his daughter because she refused to denounce Christ.

In a surprising manner, Boko Haram fighters returned the girls to Dapchi on Wednesday. The Cable had earlier reported that Liya Sharibu did not make it back to Dapchi apart from the five schoolgirls who reportedly lost their lives.

Speaking on RayPower FM shortly after the students were released, the girl’s father said he learnt that the insurgents gave his daughter the option of converting to Islam but she rejected it.
He expressed delight over her stance but prayed for her return.

“All of them were released. They said some were dead there and my daughter is alive but they cannot release her because she is a Christian,” he said.

“They gave her the option of converting in order to be released but she said she will never become a Muslim… I am very sad but I am also jubilating too because my daughter did not denounce. People of God, please let us raise prayer for Liya Sharibu that the hand of the Lord will be upon her, that the Lord should deliver her from the den of lions and bring her back safely without being molested. Pls let us arise and pray for this girl.

If you are a true Christian send this message to other Christian and dedicate at least 3 minutes to pray for this girl till she’s released. God bless you.

The Ugly Truth About Addiction


This young lady’s story is really inspiring to social media addicts or to lady’s who are hungry for social media fame.

Alanna Ketler in November 3, 2015 shared to the whole world this deepest addiction and sacrifice to success story.

Essena O’Neil is a 19-year-old Australian Instagram star and she recently opened up to reveal the truth about her life and the shots that made her famous on social media.

She began her blog and YouTube account when she was in high school, and it wasn’t long before they completely consumed her life. She became a widely known online sensation, garnering over half a million followers on Instagram and over 250,000 YouTube subscribers. “I fell in love with this idea that I could be of value to other people,” she wrote. “Let’s call this my snowballing addiction to be liked by others.” Soon she was getting sponsorship opportunities and was able to support herself entirely through this work. She was also offered to model in L.A.

Many young girls looked up to O’Neil and were even obsessed with her. Little did they know that behind that pretty face was someone miserable and exhausted.

“Yeah 16-year-old Essena would have been like ‘WTF girl you have the dream life,’” she wrote. “So why did I feel so lost, lonely and miserable?”

O’Neil eventually decided she had had enough after realizing she wan’t living an authentic life. She then decided to make a drastic change in her life and announced to her followers that she was quitting social media, and has already begun editing all of the captions on her photos to tell the truth behind the pictures.

“I was addicted to what others thought of me, simply because it was so readily available,” she wrote. “I was severely addicted. I believed how many likes and followers I had correlated to how many people liked me. I didn’t even see it happening, but social media had become my sole identity. I didn’t even know what I was without it.”

Not only has she deleted her Tumblr account, but she plans to stop posting on YouTube as well. She has also deleted over 2,000 pictures from her Instagram account; she says they served no real purpose other than self-promotion. She also went as far as to admit that her “hot body” shots were the results of unhealthy habits…

“A 15 year old girl that calorie restricts and excessively exercises is not goals. Anyone addicted to social media fame like I once was, is not in a conscious state,”

“…Stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs,” O’Neill wrote. “I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. Its contrived perfection made to get attention.”

“Without realizing, I’ve spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance,” she wrote. “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real.”

She also opened up about how she was making money from some of her posts and was completely honest about how there were no actual “candid” photos; they were all staged and photoshopped.

Essena O’Neil Is Being the Change

What this young woman is doing is absolutely incredible. Having the courage to open up and be honest about everything she was doing is an amazing feat in itself. She is now able to be an excellent role model for all of her younger fans and they will know the truth and the true cost of this “success.” Some of her more recent posts are geared toward exposing the lies behind what you see on social media.

O’Neil has also started up a new website called LetsBeGameChangers.com to tell her full story, and is challenging her fans to give up social media for one week. She hopes to encourage others to be present and live life, authentically.

“The more you engage in any type of emotion or behavior, the greater your desire for it will become.

Around The World: Pastor’s Family Assaulted in Southern India #news

When will this persecution end? When will freedom of religion be honoured and respected? When will people acknowledge the fact that religion is a belief? I urge the United Nations and Religious organizations around the globe to come together and thrash this horrific act.

On a recent Monday at noon in southern India, a pastor’s family in Telangana state noticed motorcycles parked outside their church gate and a gang of young men loudly reading the church banner.

The banner of the church in Ramachandrapuram village, Karimngar District, included 2 Cor. 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you” in Telugu, the language spoken in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, along with a name and phone number, the pastor told Morning Star News. “We thought the youths had come to quench their thirst at the hand-pump,” Pastor Kolhapuri Lachaiah Moses said. “The youths started shouting, ‘Where is the pastor idiot? Who gave you Christians the permission to set up a church here? You Shudras! Idiots! How dare you do Christian activities here?’”

Shudras are a low-caste group in India.

“I came out running and asked, “What happened, babu ? Why are you shouting?” said the 52-year-old father of three. “I could smell the stink of alcohol. They were drunk.” He told them he was the pastor and politely asked them what had happened, he said, but they continued making derogatory caste remarks. His son, Kolhapuri Prabhakar, came out, urged them not to shout and asked what was the matter. “But they became aggressive, and started hitting my elderly father,” Kolhapuri Prabhakar told Morning Star News. “When I tried to stop them, they punched me too. My mother and sister also rushed to help us, only to be pushed away by the drunk men. They yelled, ‘We have been looking for you for the past six months, we got you today. We will not stop now.’”

Pastor Moses said his youngest son, 20-year-old Kolhapuri Immanuel, insisted the assailants be handed over to police and dialed the police emergency service line, and then family members tried to confine the six young men until officers could arrive. Before police arrived, one of the young men picked up a large boulder and threw it on Kolhapuri Immanuel’s right foot, and two of the young men escaped, Pastor Moses said. “He howled in pain, but they did not stop there,” he said.
Kolhapuri Immanuel, who underwent foot surgery for a fractured fifth metacarpal, said they continued beating them.

“Two of them held me by my hands, while the other threw that huge stone on my foot. I could not bear that pain,” the 20-year-old said.

Counter Case Filed against Christians

Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Abdul Kareem told Morning Star News that officers identified the drunken young men as members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a Hindu nationalist student group affiliated with the Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Kolhapuri Prabhakar filed a complaint at the Ramadugu Mandal police station and rushed his younger brother to a hospital. Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Kalikota Sai Krishna, 20; Kanaparthi Sai Sunil, 19; and Chaviti Sathya Shiva and Edavelli Karthik, both 20, under sections of the India Penal Code (IPC) prohibiting trespass, voluntarily causing hurt and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, among others.

A counter FIR, however, was filed against the Christian family under IPC sections against intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, public nuisance and voluntarily causing hurt, Sub-Inspector of Police Naresh Reddy told Morning Star News.

A police official who requested anonymity added, “In the pastor’s family’s attempt to catch the culprits and hand them to the police, two Hindu youths also got injured in the scuffle.”
The police source said officers came under strong pressure from higher authorities to register a counter case against the Christians.

“The accused ABVP youth have connections with the political leaders at state and central levels,” the source said. “We came under severe pressure and registered a counter case against the Christians, but only as non-cognizable offenses [wherein no arrest can be made without a warrant]. The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] politicians are trying their best to bail out the [Hindu] accused.”
Kolhapuri Prabhakar said he had no idea how the sections of the law filed against the Christian family members can be applied to them. The assailants did not register the FIR against them, he said.
“It was the police who registered the FIR, and they now are pressuring and threatening us that we made false claims,” he told Morning Star News. “Now the police are threatening us that we filed a false case to seek vengeance for the attack. It is not true. That is not our intention. It was the police who levied the sections; we forgave our attackers and are ready to withdraw the case also.”
Police officers insulted him as a lower-caste Dalit, he added.

“The police called me and asked if I am human or animal,” he said. “They asked why am I unable to submit the medical reports, but the staff at Karimnagar General Hospital are refusing to issue the reports.”

After many requests, the hospital staff finally wrote on a small slip of paper that Kolhapuri Immanuel had a fifth metacarpal fracture and gave it to him, Kolhapuri Prabhakar said. After surgery on March 7, doctors advised complete bed rest for three months.

Kolhapuri Prabhakar said he is devoted to Bible reading, prayer and ministry work and has no knowledge of legal cases.
“But look at what God is bringing us through,” he said. “My Lord gives me the courage and strength to talk to these police. They are threatening, abusing, calling names, but I have been patient and will continue to be so. It is pure joy that the Lord chose me for this battle.”
The family requested prayer for healing of Kolhapuri Immanuel’s foot and their ministry work.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist BJP, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 11 on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the most persecution, up from 15 the previous year, and ahead of Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Egypt.

News: Authorities In Sudan Demolish Church Building In Khartoum

Authorities in Sudan yesterday demolished a church building in North Khartoum, sources said.

The 64 members of the Evangelical Church in Al Haj Yousif in the Sudanese capital will have no place to worship next Sunday after land officials sent a bulldozer accompanied by police to tear down their building without prior notice, according to one of the church’s leaders.

Police on three trucks arrived at the church compound accompanied by a bulldozer just a few hours after the end of Sunday worship, the leader said.

“They took everything from the church,” she said.

Officials told church leaders that the church was demolished because worship created public disturbances, but Christian leaders said the church sat on land that the government is helping a Muslim business interest to seize.

Leaders of the Evangelical Church in Al Haj Yousif said the Muslim who claims ownership of the church property has forged documents showing ownership.

They said the church has owned the property since 1989, and that a judge last year verbally confirmed its ownership.
With police at the ready in case of potential confrontations, the bulldozer began demolishing the structure by noon.

Eyewitnesses said police confiscated chairs, tables and Bibles before the demolition.

One Christian called for rights organizations to pressure the Sudanese government to return the confiscated items.

“We urge all activists and human rights supporters around the world to denounce this move and demand for the return of the confiscated property of the church,” Christian activist Samaan Mahajoub wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday (Feb. 11).

A court dispute about ownership of the church site is still pending in court.
The Rev. Yahia Abdelrahim Nalu of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) confirmed the demolition.

“These crazy actions will not stop us from praying and praising God!” he told Morning Star News. “God is Almighty.”
The incident has attracted widespread outrage among Christians in Sudan, with many saying it directly shows hatred of Christians.

In its campaign to rid the country of Christianity, Sudan has designated at least 25 church buildings for destruction , claiming they were built on government lands, Christian leaders said.

On Feb. 5 a court fined seven Christians for defending church properties.

Harassment, arrests and persecution of Christians have intensified since the secession of South Sudan in July 2011. The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced in April 2013 that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population.

Sudan since 2012 has expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

Sudan fought a civil war with the south Sudanese from 1983 to 2005, and in June 2011, shortly before the secession of South Sudan the following month, the government began fighting a rebel group in the Nuba Mountains that has its roots in South Sudan.

Due to its treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. State Department since 1999, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended the country remain on the list in its 2017 report.

Sudan ranked fourth on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians face most persecution.

Happy New Month Guys

Am happy am celebrating this month with you guys. When you look back and see His goodness, mercy, and grace. I can’t keep shut but thank Him. Am alive, healthy and kicking. We entered the New Year with some friends and family, but most of them did not make it. God I thank you as I pray:

I prophecy into your life that the Lord God will arise from His throne and bless you. He will bless you with what you have been praying for. He will reward you a million fold with what you work for. He will grant unto you all your aspirations and surprise you with what you have not asked for. He will visit your home with good tidings and put a new song into your mouth. Any wicked person that has vowed to waste your efforts, your time, your resources, and glory, shall be wasted in Jesus name. As you set your feet on today’s activities, Heavens shall step out with you. All your missions shall be accomplished to the glory of God. 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
The Heavens will favour you.

The Earth will yield it’s increase for you. Everything God created in time, space and eternity will cooperate with you and work in your favour henceforth.
As you lift up your eyes to God in expectation this morning, your nakedness shall be covered, your shame shall be wiped off, your reproach and failure are ended and your testimonies shall abide and abound in Jesus name.

As it is impossible for the Sun not to rise each day, this year and beyond, Jehovah EL-SHADDAI shall surprise you, fast track your progress and your joy shall be full, in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.

The Lord will set you free today in the name of Jesus. Every negative thought, plan, device, suggestion, or idea, that is not for your well-being is wiped away today in the name of JESUS. Colossians 2:14 “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”. Halleluyah!.👍 👍

🗣God will water your ground. Your trees would bear their fruits bountifully. There shall not be scarcity of good things in your life. Till drought ended in the land of Israel, Elijah did not suffer or starve once, because God used ravens and a widow to feed him. I pray that the Lord God Almighty will feed and satisfy you and your family with good things. The blood of Jesus will speak for deliverance and breakthrough for you and your family in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!!

This is your day of mercy and favour, you are blessed.

Overcoming Anxiety With Truth

When I stopped running from God, I found a love so pure, so real and so true,  that it filled something in me that was lost, empty and scared to death.  When I embraced Jesus Christ as my saviour and thanked Him for dying for my sins- and believed, truly, that He died for me- I realized there was no turning back. 

The truth is, God is in control. It starts with Him;  it ends with Him. 

He goes with us into our darkness hours. We have someone to turn to, someone more powerful than anyone and anything on earth.  Whatever we fear, whatever we’ve done and whatever has been done to us, we have a place to go and seek wisdom. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you;  He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Overcoming anxiety in a given moment means facing fear with truth, especially we admit ultimate truths and pray for help to go from there. Pray for truth to rule your life in the name of Jesus Christ. It’s not always easy because we live in a world of lies. 

Most of us don’t know what to do with the situations we find ourselves in. We get stressed, and the truth gets fuzzy. James 1:5-8: if you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to God. He loves to help. You will get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask bodly, bekieveingly, without a second thought. People who worry their prayers are like wind -whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. 

Overcoming Anxiety With Faith

Trusting God with your life is not as easy as it sounds. Once upon a time, i had no idea it even meant. I thought it was enugh to go to church sometimes and pray, even if i wasn’t sure my prayers were being heard.

But putting total faith in God requires us to let go of what we think we know and let Him handle it.

Once we desire a spirit of truth, we trust that He will steer us in the right direction according to His will. In faith we know that God’s will is the best way for us, even when we do not understand it.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

I can look back at some negative situations in my life and see good in them- God was refining me. At the time they felt excruciating, but now i see the error of my ways. When we don’t have God at the center, the world competes for that spot,  and that’s when we become deceived. More light of this can be read in (1 Peter 5:7)

My brethren,  when troubles come your way,  consider it joy for you know that when faith is tested,  your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow,  for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete,  needing nothing. 

If You Trust God, You’ll Never Be Afraid: Repost

By: Rania Naim

If you trust God, you’ll never fear the unknown because you know that his light will guide you through the darkest nights. You know that his wisdom will help you when you’re lost. You know that his way may not be the easiest way but it’s the best way. It’s the only way that will protect you from what could hinder you and the only way that will protect you from what could harm you.

If you trust God, you’ll understand that you didn’t really ‘lose’ anything or anyone. God took things and people away from you for a reason. He knows when certain things have served their purpose. The messengers he sent you have taught you the lessons you needed to learn. Your mistakes made you a stronger person. The pain you went through brought you closer to him. You never really lose because God only takes away what could destroy you. He takes away what could break your heart even more.

If you trust God, you’ll never lose hope. Even when your whole world is falling apart. Even if you feel like you can never get anything right. Even if it feels like everyone is abandoning you. God is always with you. God is making room for something bigger in your life when he closes so many doors at the same time. He’s telling you that you need to change your path and your life and he will bring you this change. I learned that a lot of things in life will make you feel that God is not fair but if you look back on all the times you thought God was being ‘unfair’ you will realize that he was actually preparing you for something wonderful. Every time he made life harder, he was preparing you for something that will make your life significantly easier.

If you trust God, you’ll never question him. You’ll always have faith in him even when you don’t understand him. You’ll have faith in his timing even if it’s been years and the clock is ticking and you just can’t wait anymore. You’ll always know deep in your heart that you’re not ready for what you’re asking for.

You’ll understand that the universe is not working against you but is working for you because you know that the universe doesn’t just give you what you’re asking for right away. It gives you what you need at a time when you can appreciate it and love it. At a time when you won’t take it for granted. At a time when you’ve healed from your past and your pain and you’re praying for all the right reasons.

If you trust God, you’ll be happy. Happiness won’t be such an elusive concept. It won’t be something you have to chase. It won’t be something you have to work that hard for. You’ll simply be content and happy with his plans. You’ll be happy that you don’t have to worry about everything because you believe in his mercy and his power.

You’ll be happy once you stop getting so attached to life and start getting more attached to God because with God by your side, there’s really nothing to fear. There’s nothing to worry about. You’ll never be alone. You’ll never be sad.

Overcoming Anxiety With Thanksgiving 

Feeling thankful during a flash of anxiety sounds counter- initiative, but it’s exactly what allows us to embrace the truth (God is in control) grow in faith (I’m giving this to You, Lord. Please help me) and remain joyful in miserable moments.

Philippians 4:6 states that be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Back then when I get worried about something, it would get me down a drainage, sinking in my worries and anxious state. Still in progress in conquering the spirit of worry because it gets to.me some times, but have learnt how to overcome it, by praying and leaving all to God to handle.

God works in our lives and does miracles. I have prayer about situations and have seen God change the outcome- prayed for help in times of tension and have seen God clear the air. I pray for my family, friends and see them receive breakthrough.

God is faithful and He wants the best for us. When we trust that, we don’t need to fear evil. Jeremiah 29:11 states that I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God offers the kind of healing that goes to the soul- it goes straight through us into the darkest of the dark.

For anyone who has ever dealt with stress, worry or anxiety, you know how tormenting it can be when it grabs hold. Without God in control, we are left feeling vulnerable and unprotected. Let Him be the one who grabs hold. I’m praying to die to myself day after day. Sometimes even moment after moment, so that God can prevail in my life.

We turn to Him and say “I need you Lord” He is there, holding us as we manage to put one foot in front of the other and make it through another day.

True peace, true courage and true love comes from God. The Lord Jesus Christ  died for us so that we would be set free from the evil of the world. Nothing can win against the one who conquered death. Keep in my mind.

  • Psalm 56:11 says, in God i trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
  • For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, Love and self- discipline. (II Timothy 1:7)
  • And if you’re still worried about what tomorrow could bring: therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Mathew 6:34)

Testimony: Praise To The Glory Of God’s Grace

​This is the story of my salvation, of how God called me out of darkness into His glorious light, that I might proclaim His praises. Many miraculous things have happened to me since becoming a Christian, but this story focuses on the events surrounding my salvation.

As a little girl my mother would tuck my sister and I in at night and pray the Lord’s prayer with us every night. My family was not really religious and we probably attended church less than ten times as a family throughout my whole childhood while growing up. Though I remember desiring to go to Sunday school, but never went as we did not attend church either. My mother attended church briefly in my very early childhood and took me with her, and my gran told me about the power of the blood of Jesus. Most of my religious exposure came from school – schools in South Africa in those days had special times for bible classes as well as time for prayer in the mornings and assemblies.

Growing up I always believed in God as well as in Jesus and often prayed – mostly before an examination, but I also remember always saying sorry to God when I knew I had sinned. I always called on Jesus name when in danger. I was hit by a car when I was ten years old, I cried out to Jesus that I did not want to die. As a rebellious teenager I had frightening dreams and would always call on Jesus name to ease my fear.

My family was quite close-knit and ‘normal’. My dad worked a 9-5 job and for the most part my mother was a house wife and was always at home for us children. My parents were stable and are still married today, despite problems they faced as a married couple. I was the middle child of three children. I had an older brother six years my senior and a sister four years younger than me. I had no problems at school and achieved in academics and sports. I was a generally respectful and obedient child and gave my parents very little grief. My childhood was happy though not without hiccups. When I look back, I see God’s hand so clearly in all my affairs, such as a time when I was knocked over by a car and a nurse was on the scene with pain pills and a leg splint for my broken leg, or when my brother rescued me from the swimming pool after falling in as a young 4 year old. I also remember being at one church service when I was about six years old and some people were getting baptized – I remember thinking that I too would like to be baptized, though I did not understand the meaning of it.

Everything began to change when I reached high school. I read a book based on a true story about a young girl who wrote in her diary. She described her experiences with drugs in detail. Instantly I became intrigued and obsessed with the idea of taking drugs. I also read a book about how Satanism was seducing the youth. I started dabbling a little with witchcraft and eventually became a regular drug user. I used Marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, Cocaine and anything else that was on the market. I sold my possessions and lied to my parents to buy drugs.  During this time my father was transferred to a small town on the west coast of South Africa called Langebaan, as he was a civil engineer and did the work of a contract manager. I was becoming very rebellious and demanded that I be sent to the boarding school in my home town, Port Elizabeth. My parents agreed and I was sent to a prestigious all girls school. I had in the previous year won the junior victrix ladorum for being the best all round junior athlete at our school sports day at the same school. In the boarding school I met another girl who was like minded – she also enjoyed drug taking and going to parties. We eventually conspired to run away together to Durban to live it up and do as we pleased. By the grace of God, we only made it as far as the next major city next to Port Elizabeth, East London, before concerned people phoned the police after seeing us hitch hiking on a busy road. We were taken to social workers who called for our parents to fetch us. My mother had spent the previous night driving across South Africa as she had received a call from the school that I was missing. I was relieved to see my mother, though sad and ashamed that I had hurt her.

This incident, however, did not stop me from my ways. A year later, my father was transferred to Pretoria and my whole family was to move up. My older brother had by this time been in quite a successful music band and wanted to stay in Port Elizabeth. I begged my parents if I could stay with him, as I wanted to attend the art college that was close by (and also wanted to be out of their sight so that I could continue using drugs and doing what I wanted). My parents again agreed to my demands. I was enrolled at the art college. During this time I was using cocaine and my parents found out about it as a family friend had noticed something amiss and had phoned them. My parents fetched both my brother and I and took us back to Pretoria. I managed to convince my parents that it was a lie, and that I wanted to go back to the art college. They did not agree. I decided to hitchhike to Port Elizabeth, though ended up in a dangerous area in Johannesburg, Hillbrow, notorious for Nigerian drug dealers. One of these dealers had seen me hiking and had picked me up – he took me to KFC and offered to pay for a flight to Port Elizabeth for me. As young and as naïve as I was I believed him. Fortuanately, God protected me even in that dangerous area and no evil happened to me. I had managed to phone a young boy that I had been seeing and who loved me (he is today my husband)

– he pleaded with the man to not hurt me. My brother had friends in Port Elizabeth who knew this Nigerian and told my brother there were plans to ship me out of the country and use me as a drug mule and sex slave. Thus my brother found my whereabouts and my parents arrived to fetch me. I shudder to think what could have happened to me as an ignorant and foolish teenager. This incident convinced my parents to allow me to return to my home town and live with my boyfriend’s family and continue attending the art college. Three months later my brother and sister were in a serious car accident. My brother died six hours later from internal injuries and blood loss.

During this time, I did go for two or three visits to my family in Pretoria by bus. On one visit I asked my mom to buy me a book for the bus ride back as the ride was over 14 hours long. I chose a book called, “He came to set the captives free.” Since then I have learned that it is quite a controversial book, however the Lord used it to open my eyes to my bondage to sin. On another visit I read a number of the “tribulation force” books about the rapture and coming of Jesus. I continued in the same lifestyle – drugs, partying, aimlessness, though something was changing inside me. I began to be convicted of my sins and a number of times felt as though I was dying while on drugs and cried out to God to forgive me, as I knew my life was not right with Him and did not want to die in my sin. I also prayed for a bible and soon enough a friend of mine gave me a mini new testament. I however continued to abuse drugs and live a sinful lifestyle, though my conscience was bothering me. When my parents visited they told me they and my sister had been baptized. I was interested, though still enjoyed taking drugs, particularly ecstasy and cocaine and did not really want to stop. While they were still in town I had a dream of my deceased brother. In my dream he was being pulled on a stretcher. He suddenly sat up and looked at me. Blood was pouring from his nose and he said, “My only advice to you is to get out of the drug world now.” When I woke up I decided it was time to get baptized and turn my life over to God. I told my parents and soon arrangements were made for me to be baptized by the same person who had baptized them. They were also getting ready to move back to Port Elizabeth. I drove to Pretoria with my parents and read another book that was in the car called “The Call” by Rick Joyner. Jesus was beginning to be more real to me.

Finally one of the most special days of my life arrived, the day I was to be baptized. As we neared the man’s house, I was overjoyed and overcome first by tears and then laughter. I just knew that my life was about to change. When I entered the house I sensed a Presence – a loving, holy presence.  The man explained to me that I was going to be purchased by the blood of Jesus and that God would be my Father and that I would belong to Him. I prayed to God and confessed all my sins to Him while the young man anointed me with oil and prayed for me. Thereafter he baptized me in the swimming pool in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When I came up from the water I felt as though I were a new person. I had such an indescribable peace within me. I was instantly set free from my smoking and drug addiction. I had a new hunger in my heart – a hunger to fellowship with other Christians and read the word of God.

A week later we had arrived back to our old home in Port Elizabeth that my father had built for us. I was so excited to attend a church. Where would I go? How would I get there? I had already told my boyfriend that I had been baptized and had accepted Jesus as my savior – I told him that I now only wanted to be friends with him. He decided to take me to a church that my mom had suggested (though they still did not attend church even though they had been baptized). That night as I walked into the church I again sensed the same Presence – I can only describe it as a holy, loving presence that was like the sunshine, but my heart was drinking in the warmth. The service began with praise and worship. I was amazed as the people sang, clapped and worshipped the Lord Jesus with such enthusiasm. I joined in, singing with all my heart to the Lord Jesus. Suddenly the most amazing thing began happening to me. An electrical current raced though my entire body, increasing in intensity and it felt as though Someone was holding both my hands tightly down at my sides. My whole body was shaking. My heart was bursting, and from deep within me I was communicating with God with groans that words cannot express. As the worship ended, I opened my eyes and was just bursting to tell someone what had happened to me. God restrained me until the service had ended. I was filled to the brim and overflowing with intense love, joy, peace, contentment. On the way home I couldn’t help but sing and praise God. Later I learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is promised to all who will repent of their sins and receive Jesus. My young friend became upset as I told him what had happened to me during the service. He had been uncomfortable in the church as he had been raised in a conservative Dutch reformed church. However, that night when he got home, he told me that he went down on his knees alone in his room and repented of his sins. Three months later he was also baptized and was given the gift of speaking in tongues immediately aft After experiencing God so intimately I was a completely new person. I was so in love with Jesus and passionately on fire for God, witnessing to anyone who would listen and attending church as often as possible to learn God’s word and worship Him. My whole appearance changed, my eyes were bright and there was a smile on my face! I could look people in the eye, and no longer walked with eyes downcast, looking at the ground. I no longer dressed only in black or wore too revealing clothes. My desire for drugs, cigarettes and partying was completely gone. I decided to return to high school to finish my schooling. I was enrolled at a private school that would allow me to complete my final year, even though I had not completed grades 10 and 11. I worked hard and finished my schooling as the second top student – all to the glory of God. Through God I also started a prayer group at the school and another young boy accepted Jesus as his savior and experienced God in the same way I had. He is still serving God today in the field of medicine. My dream was to experience a Year of your Life programme done through a bible school after completing school, but it did not work out. Instead I was accepted into University to study to become a teacher. I desperately wanted to do good and make a difference in the world and serve God with all my heart.

After the first year of being a Christian I suddenly began to experience many trials and felt as though God was withdrawing His presence from me. My young friend said that the “honeymoon” was over. I was very saddened and began to seek God wholeheartedly. I learned scriptures such as the parable of the sower and was determined to not be as those who quickly receive God’s message with joy, but then fall away soon after when tribulation arises because of the word. I memorized encouraging scriptures about God never leaving, nor forsaking me and read the bible and prayed every day. I began to mature in my faith – though was by no means perfect. I had to daily confess my sins, cast down thoughts and discipline myself. I learned how gracious and compassionate God is, and also developed a healthy fear of God as the one who would judge my works. I once again began to feel secure in my position in Christ Jesus as the one who saves us.

I was baptized in November 1999, it is now August 2011 and I am still free of drugs and cigarettes. I am now married to my young friend who experienced salvation with me, and we have two beautiful daughters. I give God all the glory and praise for the wonderful work He has done in me, as well as for all the wonderful works He is doing throughout the earth.

I wrote a poem about the wonderful grace of God a number of years ago that I hope can encourage others, too .

Praise To The Glory Of His Grace

A righteousness of my own I cannot achieve

For in my sinful nature nothing good lives

Humbly I come to God to receive the righteousness which through Christ He gives.

My nakedness I cannot hide from God

Nor whiten my filthy ragged array

By grace He clothes me in a shining white robe

And washes all my sin and shame away.

This grace is given to a sinner like me

Not through any good deed of mine

The Son of God hung on a tree

As the ultimate sacrifice of all time.

The righteous God sits on His throne

And the resurrected Christ at His right hand now alive to Him

I am not my own as a new creation before Him I stand.

Now very soon, Yes it’s at the door

Jesus will return in great power and glory

The dead and alive in Christ will meet Him in the air

We will further be clothed with immortality.

A heavenly city God has prepared

Where righteousness, holiness and peace abound

This is where He will bring all His heirs who once were lost but now have been found.

Jesus did it!!!

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