From the beginning of this letter to the end of this letter I pray and hope that my life’s story will speak hope, peace, and love into your hearts.
I am a Somali Christian man and I am living in Canada. I was in jail a few times in my life. Once while incarcerated I started reading the Holy Bible and some Christian books that some people gave me. These people had given their lives to Jesus Christ.
Once while in jail I was in lock down (solitary confinement ) for 23 hours a day so I had lots of time to read the Bible. I just couldn’t put it down. It was like God put me there to read His Word. I got deeply involved and was in love with the Holy Bible. But, my Islamic beliefs were still there.
My life was messed up at that time. I was drinking alcohol and was having sex with anyone I could. And, I thought about killing myself. I had a lot of other problems which I cannot talk about in this letter. Some of them will be secrets with me forever.
Anyway, while in my cell I had all the “red flags” telling me that something was not right in my life. So I came to the realization from the Holy Spirit that I was indeed serving Satan.
One day I wrote and requested that the chaplain of the jail come and visit me. A man came to see me. He suggested I pray the following prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and I ask for Your mercy. I believe Christ died for my sins. I repent of my sins and my old way of life, and I am willing to live for You. I now invite Jesus to come into my heart as my personal Saviour.”
I began asking myself some very important questions. I know that God uniquely created me. But I was aware of areas of my personality and background that I was struggling to accept.
Why am I allowing the expectations of my parents to control my beliefs? Why do I worry about what others might think?
I don’t know all the answers to my questions, but I knew that if I tried to please everyone else and be controlled by the opinions of others, I was guaranteed of missing God’s purposes for my life.
So I began taking the time to write down answers to my own questions with the help of the Holy Bible. From the Bible I learned that it is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ, He had His eye on us and had designs on us for glorious living. I became as compulsive about Jesus as I had been for Allah.
In Islam I had been preached to, analyzed, cursed, and counseled. But no one ever said, “I can identify with what is happening with you because it happened to me.”
I am so lucky and so happy to be a believer in Christ. One of the rewards of my being a Christian is being released from the prison of my uniqueness and the realization that my identity is in eternity and my homeland is in heaven.
My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, I have no other choice. Jesus is the way and the light. No one can come to God except through HIM.
A Somali brother in Christ