By Mike Parker, May 2018
Help, I’m on Fire!
Upon my arrival in Jos, Nigeria, I was greeted by my friend and the General Secretary of New Life for All, Nuhu Dauda. He had the most amazing story to share with me. I was there to teach the second session of intensive evangelism training to Nigerian evangelists and pastors. Our first cohort meeting was in February.
Nuhu shared with me an incredible story of God’s grace and protection! One of our students never made it to Jos for the Forum. That’s because while traveling to Jos his vehicle was overtaken by two trucks of armed men. After one truck pulled in front of the pastor’s van and the other behind it, they forced the van to a stop. The heavily armed gunmen, who did turn out to be Muslim terrorists, pulled the pastor from the van and took him to their jungle camp. The gunmen stripped the pastor of his money and possessions then gave him his cell phone. He was forced to make one call—to his family informing them they must pay a ₦500,000 ransom for the pastor’s safe return. 500,000 naira is the equivalent of a year’s salary for most people in Nigeria and is an amount many can scarcely afford!
On day four of the pastor’s captivity, the Muslim leader of the kidnappers shouted in terror, “Help, I’m on fire, fire is everywhere.” He screamed and rolled on the ground. Members of his gang couldn’t see any fire and they wondered what was driving their leader mad. The leader ordered them to bring him the pastor. The pastor knelt over the leader, placed his hand on him and began to pray. The leader’s agony was relieved, and his vision of flames went away. He then admitted that while on “fire” he also saw a lion amid the flames, looking at him angrily, as if in warning. It was then that the Muslim leader declared he was releasing the pastor without any ransom payment because, “his (meaning the pastor’s) God would not allow us to eat the money.”
Amazing! After four days of captivity in the jungle, the terrorists released this pastor, gave him back his possessions, and even gave him money so he could return safely to his family! But that’s not even the best part! Before being release, the Muslim leader quietly told the pastor he was very different than others they had kidnapped in the past and that as a result he now knows he must follow the Christian God! This shaken terrorist leader told the pastor he would convert once he figured out a way to leave his men without them killing him. The Amazing Hand of God on one of his servants! Please pray for this gang leader that his conversion is genuine and God that shows him the path to safely proclaim his faith!
“Traumatized by men yet finds forgiveness in Christ”
Addicted to drugs, Felicia left her husband and ended up in the worst slum of Jos. Falling into prostitution, for a long time Felicia battled alcoholism, drug addiction and physical abuse at the hands of the men she crossed paths with. Then Felicia heard the message of the cross as Forum students shared the Word in the slums. In that moment, although “traumatized by men, Felicia found forgiveness in Christ.”
One of the Forum evangelists, Mallo, counseled Felicia after she prayed to receive Christ. He was able to tell her the story of Mary Magdalene. Today, Felicia knows the experience of forgiveness, removal of sin and the purity that comes with Christ!
NOTE: Next week, in part two of his report from Nigeria, Mike shares some incredible stories from Jos and updates us on some young men who came to the Lord during ETeamGlobal’s initial Forum street evangelism outing two years ago.