BARELY OUT ALIVE: ABUBAKAR’S STORY
Abubakar arrived in a large port city in southern Nigeria, a long distance from his home in northern Nigeria. He had traveled there for his Discipleship Training School at YWAM—not out of preference but necessity. He was a Muslim and he had barely made it out of northern Nigeria with his life.
Raised in a Muslim family, Abubakar was a devout Muslim, but his story took a dramatic and unexpected turn one night. While he was sleeping he encountered Jesus in a dream, a story that is not uncommon to hear in Christian circles in Africa that include converted Muslims. Being a devoted Muslim, he thought perhaps it was a spiritual attack and tried to ignore it or pray it away. But, night after night, he had this dream. As Jesus became a more and more consuming thought in his mind he finally decided to learn more about this Jesus, so he searched to find a pastor within his city who could sit with him and tell him about who Jesus really was.
Although there were churches in his city, Abubakar only received a swift closed door at each location he went to. The pastors, upon seeing him, were too afraid to speak with him. He was not only a Muslim but was also affiliated with Boko Haram, an organized Islamic extremist group focused on the preaching of Islam through jihad and terrorism. Eventually, one brave pastor took the risk of inviting him into his home and shared the gospel with the Muslim man. Abubakar was very receptive and was given a Bible by this pastor which he kept with him in a bag. He began to read the word, and faith in Jesus grew inside of him.
One day, Abubakar was attending a Boko Haram meeting when one of the leaders stood up and said that there was a traitor among them and no one was allowed to leave until they were searched. It was at this moment he remembered that he had foolishly left the Bible he was given in the bag he had with him at this meeting. A great amount of fear came over Abubakar. Finding an opportunity, he snuck out the back of the meeting and began to run. He ran and ran, with no destination in mind except further south—away from his family, away from Boko Haram, away from the Muslims who he knew would kill him if they discovered he had become a Christian.
He didn't make it far before he was picked up by his father and brothers who immediately took him home and locked him in a closet until they could decide what to do with him. He was no longer their son and brother, but a traitor and prisoner. While he sat for days alone in this room he could hear his family fighting outside the door. His father and some of his brothers wanted to kill him while his mother and the rest of the family desired that he be given a second chance. One night, while his father slept, he convinced his mother to come and open the door so he could go and relieve himself. As soon as she opened the door he ran again with southern Nigeria as his aim. He knew that the further south he went the more Christians he would come in contact with, as Nigeria had become a country religiously divided between north and south.
Along the way, he was able to meet some Christians whose ministry was focused on moving Muslim converts from the north to the south for their own safety. With their help, Abubakar was able to make it to southern Nigeria and attend his Discipleship Training School with YWAM. He had already counted the cost for following Jesus, but his journey with the King of Kings was only beginning.
Be encouraged! Jesus walks right alongside you, every step of the way. Pray for us as we sort through all of the details for our next course. Pray that Jesus meets his people here in powerful ways. And let us know if there is any area of your life right now that needs prayer, and we will gladly pray for you every day.