Fatima Olayemi Obe (Ola), a graduate student at Illinois State University, shares her testimony telling of her conversion from Islam to Christianity.
Ola was born in Nigeria where there are two major religious groups, Christianity and Islam (Muslim religion). Ola’s father was a Muslim, and by the virtue of his religion, was permitted to be a polygamist. Ola’s mother was the first wife and had six children, that of which Ola is the youngest. Her father was very caring and loving and very devoted to his religion. She states, “He made the religion so interesting to us children. We were taught the rudiment/doctrines of Islam right from our cradle.” One of the major doctrines was that “God was not given birth to and never had a child.” By implication, Jesus Christ was never the son of God. Muslims believe there was someone called Jesus, but they never believe he is the son of God and they say Jesus never rose from the dead. The community where Ola grew up didn’t help matters. Sin was the order of the day. Even those who claimed to be Christians were just nominal. No one ever preached Jesus to her during her childhood. She was only six when her father passed away. Due to the struggle her mother had caring for the children, Ola found herself staying with different people. Two family members she stayed with professed to be Christians but never took her to church, simply concluding that since she was a Muslim, she would not attend church. She was left at home while the rest of the family would attend. Later she would stay with a neighboring relative that would take her to church; however, this church did not preach the gospel. As Ola was entering into her teen-years she returned to her hometown and saw the full-blown lifestyle of sin. She states, “I held on to the doctrines father taught us, yet I was a sinner.”
Ola was finishing her education so that she could join a Fuji Music group. (Fuji music is a traditional Islamic type of music played by the Muslim children to wake the faithful for fasting during Ramadan period.) Her intentions were to live in the city with an aunt to pursue this dream, unbeknownst her mother. Her mother however, had other plans. Ola was to stay with a half-brother. Initially refusing, she heard a whisper in her mind that said she should obey. She agreed and quickly found out that her half-brother was not just a Christian but a member of a Bible-believing church. He insisted she attend church and for the first time in her life she heard John 3:16 read. “For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” To her surprise she never knew that was written in the Bible but thought it was just a quote used. Though she continued to follow her brother to church she believed Jesus was not the son of God. Many times, the preacher mentioned words that would touch her life and would return home and cry, yet found it hard to believe on Jesus and let go of sin.
Ola had all her exams finished, except those using the English Language. She struggled with her education and felt very poor, academically. She outwardly agreed to attend the annual church program called “Youth Success Camp” but did not really plan to attend until she heard another whisper asking if she did not trust God for success in the exam. She felt should attend the annual program. The day the program was to begin she heard the same voice asking if she knew what she wanted God to do for her or if she was just going to follow them? She decided to fast and pray. She prayed in her normal Muslim way asking God for various things. Before completing the prayer, she suddenly paused and asked “God, why do I even hate this Jesus?” She then said “God, I believe Jesus is your Son. By the time I come back from this program, I want to love this Jesus.” She continued to fast and pray, and God touched her life. At the program, she answered the alter call and surrendered her life to Christ.
Ola sings a song that says “I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, I am so glad that Jesus loves me, He loves even me”
Ola tells how Jesus loved her even when she never knew him. He loved her even when she rejected his identity. He has turned around her academics and touched her mind and now she is in the United States doing master’s degree in Chemistry. The journey has not been smooth, and she has experienced many ups and downs wanting to give up on her faith but still, this loving Lord would not let her go.
Posted on Friday Apr 3
by Sara Anliker