In northern Cameroon, Abdias* (22) grew up as a proper Muslim. He was the pride of his distinguished Muslim family until July 2016 when he decided to follow Christ. His decision earned him physical injuries, separation from his family, and the loss of his personal belongings. His family is leaving no stone unturned in their search for him, so that they may do all in their power to get him to renounce Christ.
His parents were so proud of Abdias when he decided in 2004 to become a marabout (Muslim hermit). But during his training, a Christian neighbor, Fadi, incessantly witnessed Christ to him. At first he did not make much of her reverence for the person of Jesus he saw as a mere prophet. However, one night he had a dream in which he heard a voice saying, “Abdias, you know Jesus very well. If you do not repent, you will go to hell.” Abdias woke up in great fear, trembling and sweating. He quickly ran to Fadi and asked her to tell him more about Jesus.
When his parents heard he had accepted Christ, they were deeply shocked. His mother rushed over to see him and was so upset and ashamed about his decision that she fainted. His family accused him of putting a spell on her and trying to kill her, since he was now part of a “sect.”
Abdias was summoned three times by his uncle, the sultan of one of the towns in the Far North region. During those meetings, they beat him. The last time he went there, his uncle kicked him so hard on the chest, it landed Abdias in hospital. Abdias’ family also forbade him to enter his mother’s house. They seized all his belonging and he suspects they even tried to poison him. “My sister brought me milk in a cup and before drinking, I prayed for it. As I put the cup to my mouth, it fell on the ground. My sister was furious, and that made me think that they had poisoned the milk.”
They did all of this because they hoped he would give in to their demand to return to Islam. But he was adamant to not give in. Abdias could not be swayed.
Today, he continues to follow Jesus, but cannot fellowship openly with other Christians for fear of endangering them. The first time he tried to go to church, his mother heard about it and sent youths into town to search for him in all the churches.
A Christian brother welcomed Abdias into his home, but like the apostle Paul, he had to flee at night when things became too unsafe. Today he remains in hiding while his family continues to search for him, eager to fulfil their obligation under Islam to do all in their power to get him to turn back.
*Name changed for security
Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for Abdias today. As he hides from human enemies, we give thanks that You see him. We take comfort in the words of Psalmist in Psalm 139, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” We pray Your protection over his life, that he might continue to serve You many years among his people. We pray Your protection over his soul, that his faith may grow strong in the midst of persecution. We lift before Your throne those who are providing safe harbor for him; protect them, too, and grant Your wisdom, provision and strength. In the name of Jesus, who has promised never to leave or forsake us. Amen.