As he preached about the joy in Jesus and living with the awareness that we can be called home at any moment, Pastor Phillip Musasa had no idea he would be shot and killed within ten minutes of his prophetic sermon.
Seated at the front, 39 year-old Denis Nicholas miraculously survived the terror attack and knows well the truth of Pastor Phillip’s words. “May we always keep our priorities right,” he declared to Open Doors.
Suspected al-Shabaab gunmen entered the morning church service, spraying the congregation with bullets. Pastor Phillip was among seven Christians killed and Denis among the many more critically wounded. Surviving multiple gunshot wounds, Denis and his wife, Ruth, recount his extraordinary story:
“I heard what I first thought was a tire burst, but the next moment, I saw Pastor Philip fall. Before I knew what was happening, I too felt like I had been punched off my chair, I was thrown to the ground and tried to stand up, but felt something powerful hit me again. I tried getting up when a third one hit. Only then did I realize they were bullets.”
“I could feel life draining from me, but I was determined to forgive the person who had shot me before I die. I remember whispering or thinking, ‘Lord, I forgive them, I forgive them… please forgive them, also…’, then I lost consciousness.”
“It was a while before one doctor, moved by the fact that Denis was still alive, tried saving him. He was wheeled into theater and there they found that one bullet had stopped millimeters from his heart, another had missed his lungs by less than an inch and yet another barely missed his spinal cord. It was a miracle!” Ruth exclaimed.
Denis continued, “After the surgery I took a turn for worse. They declared me dead, and I was covered with the white sheet awaiting removal to the mortuary – but on the way there, I sneezed! They rushed me back and reattached the oxygen etc. I am alive because of God.”
“But what blessed me most was that at the hospital, I was able to lead a young man to the Lord. He had been stabbed in the stomach. The wound kept opening up and doctors were not sure he would survive. He too lost hope and started weeping. I pushed my wheelchair to the side of his bed and talked to him about Christ. We did this again the next day, and the third day he accepted Christ as his Savior. Miraculously, his wound started healing and he was discharged a day after I too left the hospital. If it was just for him that I was shot then it was worth it.”
“Please pray for our children; they are young and were traumatized, but are now doing well. I desire to see them live for Christ all their lives.”
*Representative names and photo to protect persecuted Christians