Mark Allen, Project Nomad Coordinator
The title of this story sounds like a sermon title or the latest faith-based blockbuster, doesn’t it? After conducting Project Nomad training in Tamale, Ghana, I learned the amazing story of one of the attendees that sounded like it could have come from a Hollywood movie.
Musa was the eldest son of the Imam of the largest mosque in Tamale. When he was a boy, Musa would diligently make the call to prayer daily each of the five times, in Arabic, over the mosque’s loudspeaker system. His young voice reached thousands in his community. He assisted his father in leading the prayers while learning the duties of an Imam, and his father hoped that Musa would one day stand in his place.
As he grew older Musa’s love of the technology in the mosque led to his job as a dance DJ at a local bar part of a large hotel in the same neighborhood. Musa enjoyed this lifestyle, occasionally “partying” with friends to the point of excess. Though his lifestyle didn’t conform to the Muslim way, his status as the Imam’s son gave him a pass among friends and others in the community.
Musa also worked in the hotel as a bellhop to make extra money. One day two Christian missionaries from Accra stayed in the hotel and befriended Musa. They visited him at the club and watched him DJ, and he talked with them during his breaks. When the time came for the missionaries to leave the hotel, Musa helped them with their bags, and they gave him a parting gift they weren’t sure he’d take, a new Bible. They suggested that he read the first four books of the New Testament.
Not long afterwards, Musa did read his gift, and he made a discovery when comparing the Bible to the Quran. The prophet Isa (Jesus) is mentioned 25 times in the Quran, while Mohammed was mentioned, by name, only 4 times. This changed his perception of Christianity. He continued to read and to study.
When his father, the Imam, saw his eldest son reading the Bible at home, he warned Musa to stop or to suffer the consequences of death. His father saw the reading of a Christian Bible as an affront to the Quran and Islam. Musa could not stop reading what he knew to be the truth. He continued to study, but only when he was at work or when his father was not around. Eventually, Musa made a commitment to Christ.
One day when Musa was studying in his room, his siblings began to shout a warning. His father was coming to kill him! Before Musa could leave his room, his father appeared at his door with a pistol in his hand. When the Imam pulled the trigger “something” made Musa lean out of the way, the bullet whizzed by and shattered the window behind him. Then the gun jammed. Before his father could clear the weapon and shoot again, Musa escaped by throwing himself through the broken window.
Musa left Tamale by hiding aboard a freight train bound for Accra that night with only the clothing on his back. He arrived early the next morning, found his way to the seminary school where his missionary friends were from, and slept on a bench outside the school’s closed gates.
When the school opened, Musa met with the headmaster and asked if he could attend the school to become a missionary like his friends. The headmaster said he would have to pay the tuition, but Musa had no money or even extra clothing. All he owned remained in his father’s house in Tamale. As a consolation the headmaster offered him breakfast.
The school had its own cafeteria. Musa felt obliged to help the elderly woman who ran the kitchen after his free meal. As he helped her clean up, he shared his story. The woman told Musa to return for the evening meal, and she would make sure he was fed. When he arrived that evening, the headmaster was waiting with the elderly lady and her husband, the cook. Musa thought he was in trouble, but in fact, he learned that God had a plan for him. The elderly couple wanted to fund Musa’s tuition, so he could become a missionary.
Click here to find out how the Lord used Musa in an incredible way in his own community.