Nigeria: Bahdri’s Story
Bahdri learned to hate Christians from an early age. “My father was the leader of a radical Muslim group that taught young people about Islam,” Bahdri said. (Islam is the religion of Muslims.)
“I was told that Christians were infidels,” Bahdri continued. (“Infidel” means “unbeliever.”) “Sometimes at Christmas we were given presents of food by Christians in the neighborhood. My father said we were not allowed to eat it. He would flush the food down the toilet.
“Hatred of Christians began to grow in me. I didn’t even want to shake a Christian’s hand.
“There was one Christian boy in my class at school. He was clever and friendly. So I sometimes asked him questions. I had been taught that Christians were bad, but his actions did not prove that to be true. He began telling me about Jesus. My father thought he was a bad influence on me, so he took me out of school.”
Bahdri had a dream one night about a man in white clothing. “Leave the path you are now following,” the man told him. Bahdri’s father told him that the man was a demon. But Bahdri kept having the same dream over and over. Bahdri’s Christian friend from his old school took him to see a pastor. The pastor said Jesus was speaking to Bahdri. After a time, Bahdri placed his trust in Jesus as his Savior. The pastor gave him a New Testament.
A Difficult Future
When Bahdri’s family found out about his new faith, they treated him rudely. Then he was kidnapped by radical Muslims and taken to a training camp for terrorists. The Muslims at the camp convinced him that he had made a mistake in becoming a Christian. Bahdri began to believe their teachings and to follow their violent ways.
But nightmares often disturbed his sleep. And he did not have peace about the way he was living his life. Finally he threw away his gun and uniform, and he ran away from the terrorists.
When the Apostle Paul left his violent ways and followed Jesus, Christians feared that he was still violent. Acts 9:20 (NIV) says, “When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.”
That’s what happened to Bahdri. Christians still fear him. Bahdri said, “My prayer is, ‘Lord, forgive me, be merciful to me, and if it is possible, use me.’” But he knows his future will be difficult.
(Source: SDOK, The Voice of the Martyrs’ sister mission in the Netherlands. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)