It hasn’t been an easy journey, but God had it all planned. When I converted to Islam it was all about Allah… and that is where it started. We prayed and fasted as we were trying to get somewhere. We got married, and life began. Most of our needs were met, but the situation soon changed, and things went downhill. We lost our jobs and life was very hard, so we sold everything, gave away what we couldn’t sell, and left Johannesburg for Durban.
The struggle really began when we reached Durban. We approached a family member to accommodate us for a few days while we looked for a place to stay. But she couldn’t assist us, and we knew no one else in the area. She was, however, kind enough to book us into a place in town where we spent the night. We ended up staying at a place where rent was paid weekly. Life was very hard. We approached our fellow followers of Islam for help, but they rejected us too. It seemed like doors were closing everywhere. I remember Roy (my husband’s brother) encouraging us to come to Church. He even gave me a Bible which I packed away as I had no time for it.
I walked into a restaurant one day, looking for a job. The lady I handed my CV to told me that I needed Jesus in my life. I thought she was being nasty because she didn’t want to give me a job, but that was just one of the signs that Jesus was calling our names.
Again, God used Roy. He suggested we move to Umkomaas to be near the Church there. We had tried some other areas but found they were not suitable for us. Our bank accounts were empty, and we had not a cent on us, so we were planning to move on the same day our rent was due. We waited, hopelessly, for my mother-in-law to deposit R700 into our bank account. We were in tears – it felt like it was over for us. We were planning to go and live in a bush next to the ocean. But God had better plans for us!
Finally, we made a decision to move to Umkomaas. We arrived in the village, not knowing anyone. But even without us knowing, God was helping us, and we managed to organise a place to stay. And all the while, Roy still kept pushing us to get to Church. We intended to keep lying about our religion. We had been taught that Jesus is the Messiah, but not the Son of God; therefore, whoever called on Him would be punished by God. But God was planning to make His truth known to us.
Eventually, we went to Church for the first time, intending to get help somehow. WOW! Friendly people stood at the entrance to the Church and gave us a warm welcome. That made it easy for us to venture through the doors. The service started, we looked at each other – I think we both felt scared. The sound of worship was too much for me, and I got irritated and emotional.
When James, who had shared the morning’s message, called for those who wanted to put their faith in Christ to come forward, I found myself there. It felt like my heart was fighting me, and a voice behind my head was harassing me. I felt ashamed. As people prayed for us, I suddenly felt weak, and my body went numb. The next moment I was on the floor, which was embarrassing for me as I did not know what was going on. But deep down, I wanted that feeling… I wanted to know how it feels to have accepted Jesus into your life… It felt amazing, but, more importantly, everyone was still so friendly towards us.
God has done countless things for us since that special day. I cannot begin to explain… how we’ve gone from nowhere to somewhere. God has moved mountains for us; we are a living testimony to His grace and believe that we are where He wants us right now. God is using the people of CityHill in Umkomaas to give us hope and help us to heal.
We have since been baptised and have started anew. Even though we still face obstacles in our lives, we have nothing to fear because God is with us. I know it is not always easy to believe that, but seeking God’s face is still the answer through it all.
God is alive! God is for us all! There is power in His name, ‘Jesus’. A power that can radically change things.