How do you become Christian? This is one of the question a lot of Christians ask their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The reason I find that many Christian ask these kind of questions is to determine the reason why certain individual have made a personal decision to follow Christ.
And, most of these famous stories are inspirational stories about forgiveness, love, hardship, trails, wisdom etc. It is one of those classic questions where we get to share our story and inspire or change others. And, this is my testimony.
I grow up in a Christian home. My parents are both believers however, only by name. We went to church every Sunday like most Christian family because it was the norm. I never really wanted to go church or Sunday school like the other kids. However, like most African parents, if other kids are doing it than you are expected to part take. As a young boy to me that was enough to assured my salvation.
At the age of 13 my parent got divorced. I was living with mum at my grandfather’s place. The separation caused a lot of anger and frustration in my life. I blame God for everything and lost the little faith I had. Life became hard for us and we had to move from house to house. We often got kicked out and had to keep moving.
In 2008, things got even worst when my father passed away. I was so angry and could not cry at his funeral. I guess like most people at the time you may think that I’m heartless. However, as a young boy with everything that was going on I was lost and looking for someone to lean on. And, when my father failed to be that person I detested him for it.
Things began to get better when a Muslim man, Alias offered us a place to stay. Furthermore, he also fed us and send us to school. After a year of what was luxury living, the place offered to us and the school was taken by the government.
So, we were back to square one. After what seemed like forever our family managed to find a land next to the mountain in Gudele area (Juba). However, not enough money to build a house. So, I began to steal money from Alias to build a house. Although, I knew it was wrong I felt like I had no other options. I remember vividly my pastor teaching against stealing however, as a young boy in that circumstance salvation was something of a far concern.
After few months, the little money we managed to gather we built a house.
One day as I was working as usual at Alias’s shop, I took some loose change from the shop as I have done before. However, this time he found out and fire me. At the time, I was living at his house because it was close to the shop and my school. When I got fired I moved to my uncle’s place and continued to attend school.
Since my uncle and his wife were religious, so, I had to attend church every Sunday. As a young boy, that was a waste of time for me. Since I had no choice I continued to attend church but lacked understanding and interest.
As time passed, I still lacked understanding and interest so, joined a group of young boys. The reason why I joined the group was because they offered me security, examples and alternative.
And, although I was the youngest in the group I felt a sense of belong and equality. We protected each and did everything together. Sometimes like every group of young boys we got bored and got up to no good. We visited clubs on Saturdays and Fridays then on Sunday hit the church. With the lack of understanding and maturity, I was living recklessly and following all the negative examples that were being thrown at me.
As I grow older, I felt like I was serving two different masters or being two different persona, one for my boys and the other for my family. The one for my family went to church and attended school and the one for my boys went to clubs and undertook activities that were no beneficial in the long run.
Some years or so my uncle in Australia decided that it would be beneficial to move us from the negative environment. Therefore, began the process to move us to Australia. The process was successful and in 14/04/2010 we left Juba and moved to Australia.
During the journey to Australia, plane being unfamiliar species to me it terrified me and so, I asked God if he could do me one thing (get us safe to wherever we were going) and I would give my life to him.
When we finally made it to Australia (Sydney) after what seemed like a life time, I forgot about my promise to God.
In the beginning, I though what a land? I was excited and amused by everything. As I got used to few things I finally thought that things were going to change for the better. And, I was hopeful but without Christ.
Few months to our arrival the real struggle began. Although, it was no longer about house, money or food, it was more profound. I had to learn a new language, culture and way of living. There were things that I did and were frowned upon which were normal back home and other times there were things the people in Australia did which made me shook my head. Essentially, it was a different world far from the one I have known.
I was enrolled in Tyndale Christian school and began to learn about God. As I continued to learn about God I was intrigued and wanted to know more about him. And, it was during this time I finally decide God is the way for me. Hence, become a believer. I realised that God has been looking after my needs ever since and feel like there is no one who will have my back like he has done.
In 2013, I lost my little brother who was living back in Sudan. With this new grieve, the struggle of school and integrating, my new-found faith shattered. And, I asked him the question we all ask him ‘why God?’
As time passed, the grieving and anger become too much so, I started to read the book of Job. As I was reading the book of Job I realised that job and I share similar struggle. These new- found relation and understanding lead me to read the bible more and more. It gave me new perspective and strength so, I decided to fully be immersed in Christ and was baptised at hope Chapel Church. And truly, it has been the best decision I have ever made.