A staunch Muslim in a 90 percent Muslim area of Nigeria, Idris* was so opposed to the borehole and other services local missionaries provided that he ordered his wife not to drink the new well water.
According to Christian Aid Mission, Idris had opposed the efforts of Christian workers for many years. A local ministry leader said Idris believed he had a divine mandate to stop all efforts to lure people away from Allah and his prophet, and he told local missionaries to leave the area.
Idris pressured landlords not to rent homes or facilities to them. He told neighbors not to listen to them or accept their help. When an area Christian donated land for a church building, Idris found a way to block its construction and built a mosque on the property, the ministry leader said.
“He was extremely hostile to all efforts and to our missionaries, leading to the persecution against all of our converts there,” the leader said. “Idris even promised to kill our missionaries if they would not stop reaching their communities and preaching the Gospel.”
Recently his pre-teen son was hit with rashes, vomiting, and pain in his eyes, joints, and bones. Idris rushed him to a medical clinic but in that area of Nigeria, hospitals do not admit patients who cannot pay beforehand. At that time he had no Nigerian naira to his name, the ministry leader said.
“No one was willing to loan the money to him,” he said. “Our missionary heard the news that Idris was stranded and that his son was dying, and our workers went straight to the hospital and gave him the equivalent of about 40 dollars.”
That amount was enough for doctors to treat symptoms for a few days, keeping the boy alive until the illness ran its course. His son returned home and recovered after several days’ rest.
The genuine concern for him and his son’s welfare from Christians he had hurt changed Idris’ attitude, the ministry leader said – they would have no illusions about him leaving Islam, Idris thought, yet they had gladly helped an enemy.
As grateful as he was astonished, Idris began to research Christianity; he had to try to find out what was behind such bizarre behavior.
“He turned into a Paul from a Saul of Tarsus,” the ministry leader said. “He has accepted Christ whom he so hated, and his whole family accepted Christ. Now he is so committed he wants to go to school as a missionary to his people.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
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