By Mark Ellis –
A Muslim militant named Usama lived among the Fulani people group in northern Nigeria, the home of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
In the last few years, particularly since Boko Haram joined forces with ISIS, the group has killed tens of thousands and displaced 2.3 million from their homes. They are considered one of the world’s deadliest terror organizations, according to the Global Terrorism Index.
Surprisingly, Usama received a Christian worship CD from someone and began to listen to it. “He listened to the album whenever he had time alone,” according to a report by The Timothy Initiative (TTI).
Then something unusual happened. Jesus appeared to Usama in a dream and told him, “Salvation has come to you.”
When Usama awakened the next morning, he was shaken. “He had never had a dream like this before,” according to TTI. He ran to his older brother’s house and described the dream to him.
His older brother, also a Muslim, looked worried. “It must be evil spirits,” he told Usama. “Let’s go to the marabout.” A marabout is a Muslim religious leader, usually a scholar of the Quran.
When they met with the marabout, he gave Usama charms to protect himself from evil spirits. While the dream didn’t seem evil to Usama, he put on the charms anyway.
That same night, Usama had his second dream about the Man in White, whom he immediately recognized as Jesus of Nazareth. The charms were powerless to ward off the dream and Usama began to question the marabout’s advice.
Two days later, Usama had a third dream about Jesus. “This time he found himself crossing a river,” according to TTI. “The swirling waters grew deeper around him with every step. Suddenly Jesus appeared.”
Just as Jesus pulled Peter out of the lake, he called for Usama to come to him and pulled him out of the water.
Then Jesus said: Salvation has come to you. Go and preach this Gospel of mine.
When Usama awakened, he knew he wanted to follow Jesus, but he wasn’t sure what he needed to do.
After Usama told his older brother about the third dream and his desire to pursue Jesus, his brother used his right as the eldest male in the family to seize Usama’s property. “He even took Usama’s children away from him so they would not be influenced by their father’s interest in Christ,” according to TTI.
Then a neighbor took him to court over a disagreement and Usama was thrown into jail. “Usama lost everything and still knew nothing more about Jesus,” according to the report.
But then a church planter associated with TTI named Maka visited the jail and shared the Gospel with Usama. “Usama was overjoyed that Maka could help him understand.”
In response to the power of the Word and the Spirit, Usama surrendered his life to Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was born again. “Usama’s fine was paid and he was released from jail.”
Usama returned to his village, filled with new life and hope for the future, yet owning nothing, because his brother had taken much of what he once held dear.
“Usama knows that he will still face many difficulties in the days ahead because of his faith, but he is confident that Jesus, who revealed Himself to him, will walk with him through it all.”
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