Koto’s entire family was animist, so whenever they found themselves in a difficult situation, they took their problems to the fetish priest for help.
Several years ago when I shared the gospel message with Koto, she told me, “Last year when I visited a Catholic church, problems began to arise in my family. My brother, and then my mother, died in the same month.” According to her traditional beliefs, these family deaths were the result of her attending a Christian church. In fact, her husband, who was a military man, threatened to leave her, so she decided to stop attending any church.
I prayed with her, leaving her in the hands of the Holy Spirit and trusting that God would lead her to fully accept Jesus. I attempted to begin Bible studies with her children, but that, too, seemed impossible.
One son, however, who was sitting for his university entrance exams, promised his mother, “If Felix will continue praying for me until I pass my exams, I will accept Jesus as my personal Savior and become a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Of course, Koto was unhappy with her son’s promise because of her previous bad experience when she had attended a Christian church. She preferred taking her problems to the fetish priest.
I earnestly prayed and fasted for Koto’s son. When the exam results came out, he and his mother were overjoyed to learn that he had successfully passed—especially joyful because he had failed that same exam a year earlier.
Koto was unhappy with her son’s promise because of her previous bad experience when she had attended a Christian church. She preferred taking her problems to the fetish priest.
Koto kept the information about her son’s passing the exams to herself. She didn’t want me to hear this news because she didn’t want her son to become a Seventh-day Adventist. She explained the situation to a friend who strongly advised her, “You must share this important news with Felix since he was the one who prayed for your son. You should be grateful to God.”
Koto came to my church on Sabbath. When she discovered the service had already finished, she made her way to my house. My wife and I warmly welcomed her. Koto delivered her message, and as she was about to leave, I asked to pray with her. She consented.
Ever since this experience, Koto’s attitude has changed. Her trust is now in Jesus who answered my prayers for her son.
When her son returned from the school where he had been studying, he saw dramatic changes in his mother’s life. One day, he watched her preparing for Sabbath. The next morning, he asked her, “Why are you dressed up, and where are you going?” She responded, “I am going to the Adventist church for worship.” With a puzzled look on his face, her son asked, “Why are you going to an Adventist church when you had warned me not to attend this church?” She replied, “I changed my mind, because the God of the Adventists is a true God, and He is the One who helped a young struggling student successfully pass an important exam!”
Today all of Koto’s family are members of the Adventist Church, including her husband. I continue to study with all seven members of the family. Please keep this family in your prayers that God will use them to be a positive influence to those around them.
By Felix, Gospel Outreach Worker
Felix works in Guinea, West Africa.