The Story of Aisha

12 Jan 2021

Living as a believer in a predominantly Muslim country in West Africa came with numerous challenges. She had experienced rejection by family and friends. She had experienced persecution several times and understood well the risk of holding on to and living out her faith daily.

It was a bright sunny morning when Aisha set off for the market. It was in the middle of Ramadan, and she was looking forward to an amazing day. At the market, Aisha entered a store full of men; an elderly Imam (Muslim clergy) surrounded by a half dozen young men talking about their faith, for sure.

Aisha greeted politely and started asking about the items she intended to buy in the store. She was however quick to notice with concern the look of surprise and disappointment and rebuke on the faces of the Imam and some of the men with him. “What’s wrong?”, she thought to herself. “Why are you not wearing a headcover, my daughter?”, the Imam asked. “Are you not one of us?”, he continued. Then she realised she had forgotten to cover her head on leaving the house. This is a bad situation indeed. It was the middle of Ramadan, and as a member of the tribe, her behaviour was unthinkable. These men could easily harm her for betraying the clan and faith, without any consequences. What to do?

With her heart racing and her mind praying, her lips uttered the dreaded response, “I am a Christian.” The silence was deafening, and she wished the floor would swallow her up. The Imam, obviously disappointed and surprised asked her why and how could she be a Christian? Having gone over the first hurdle, Aisha grew bolder and spoke up to explain her position.

“I had these dreams repeatedly, in which I saw a man in all white calling me to follow Him. He introduced Himself as Jesus. Is it my fault then that I have these dreams?” Another round of silence followed. The Imam asked to hear more, and Aisha took the opportunity to explain the Christian way of salvation to the Imam and the group of young men who in turn listened with rapt attention. “I have never heard it explained like this. I would like to learn more”, the Imam concluded. He accepted a New Testament Bible from Aisha and she was heartily greeted by all the young men present.

Aisha reported later that she had no idea where the courage to stand up for her faith came from, even though it did not seem prudent at the time. And more, her joy was boundless for the opportunity to share the faith with a group of young men and an Imam, right in the middle of their fasting during the month of Ramadan…and walk away in one piece.

-E. Y., MBD Pioneers-Africa.

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