GOD HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME
(By: Paul M. Nzau)
I was one and a half years old when my mum passed away due to witchcraft at home. I come from a polygamous family and enmity was rife between our families. My mum was educated and working unlike my stepmothers. She was also the latest of the wives and so received closer attention from my dad hence the hatred towards her. Word has it that she was threatened that she wouldn’t see the light of the following day and for sure she was dead by the evening of that day.
My father was a police officer living in town while we stayed upcountry. After mum’s death we became the targets with the killers boasting that the “chicken was dead and the chicks would follow.” My dad carried us to the town and then followed the usual rituals of going from one witch doctor to another for protection. I still have marks of tiny incisions on my body due to these rituals.
Due to the nature of his work my dad was always out, so with time, the task at home became too much for him for he was supposed to being father and mother at the same time. After much thought he reached a conclusion: eliminate us all plus himself. We are six in our family, five boys and one girl, so he went to the police armory and took an automatic loaded with seven bullets. One for each of us, and the last for himself.
It was lunch hour when he started moving from his office towards home with the weapon. As he neared our compound he saw me get out of the house crawling, then lifted up my eyes and saw him. I stood and then made a step towards him smiling. I stumbled and as my head hit the ground he rushed and picked me up. I started laughing and speaking in a language he couldn’t understand and as I spoke the spirit of death disappeared. He then came to his senses and realized the magnitude of what he was about to do. After lunch he returned the weapon to the armory and decided that he would bring us up however hard it would be.
He later got married to a new wife with whom he stayed a distance from home.He started some businesses and with time he had risen to be one of the richest people around. Because he stayed away from home we were brought up by housemaids and with time we got into drugs and theft. At nine years old I was taking drugs and smoking. We started stealing from our neighbors and motor vehicle parts of vehicles impounded by police or those involved in accidents. At 12 years old I was drinking heavily and breaking into houses – I remember breaking into a pastor’s house. My dad had a bar, so due to theft he kept us away from it. But I took a bar soap and engraving the key to the soap made my own key for use when my dad closed for the night. At this time we were always in police cells and the neighborhood couldn’t understand why we stole yet we were by their own eyes rich.
Then it happened: my father resigned from the police force to manage his business, and then a series of misfortunes started. Our vehicle was involved in a road accident and within a short time all the businesses were wound up and the remaining properties taken by my step mum. We still don’t understand how the empire crumbled and how she managed to take my dad's properties.
The struggle started and we had to shift to an abandoned house since we couldn’t afford to pay any house rent; we then became the talk of town. It was not unusual to find my dad with his hands supporting his head with tears rolling down his cheeks. We became the scapegoats; any theft in the neighborhood was blamed on us and would be picked by the police to confess to crimes we had not committed. By God’s grace, one of my brothers was rescued from a bloodthirsty mob baying for his blood. They had already poured petroleum on him and placed a tire round his neck with the intention of lynching him. We now had to leave home due to police invasions and hunger. My dad was receiving a paltry 20 dollars a month so this could not sustain us. We struggled to complete secondary education, some did, others didn’t.
I was bright in class, so friends and relatives organized a fund raising for me when I was in secondary school. Unfortunately after the fund raising I wasn’t told how much had been raised and therefore I was given only a small portion of it as later told to me by one of the organizers. I managed to complete school due to government bursaries awarded to me and I passed well. Our well doing relatives didn’t want us so we moved to the city and started living in road side structures usually used as tea kiosks and leaving in the morning to look for odd jobs like unblocking sewages, etc.
By God’s grace I was admitted to college. My hopes started rising once again, but one day as I was walking in town, I was crushed in between two vehicles, a lorry and a bus. Though I was in the middle and the bus in front of me was damaged on its body, none of my bones were broken nor was I bruised. A crowd that had gathered at the scene was surprised to see me get out alive and so was the driver of the lorry. I was not born again but it clicked on my mind that there were some high forces that were fighting for my soul with some trying to kill me with others protecting. Sudden fear came upon me for I wasn’t sure which side would prevail at the end. Several other attempts were made on my life but none succeeded.
I traveled to another city where some of my relatives were staying. I found a lady cousin whom I fell in love with and started living together as husband and wife. She was equally spoiled as I was so we were smoking marijuana and taking other drugs together. With time I realized that she was getting sickly every other day with diarrhea, skin boils, sores, stomach-aches, etc. I was afraid of what to make of it but I was not surprised when word started getting round that she was H.I.V positive. When I asked her she told me it was true and she had known all along yet she had not told me.
All hell broke loose and I started drinking heavily and contemplating suicide. I didn’t see any reason to live, the grave appeared peaceful and quiet and hence the perfect place to be. When I talked to my people about my situation, which they knew so well, they told me to wait and die since there was no known cure for it. I became the subject of gossip.
I thank God for some brethren who were praying for me. A conviction grew in my heart that the God who had saved my life numerous times in the past from death was able to save me from this predicament. When I shared this with my relatives they told me it was impossible for there was no known case of somebody who had gotten out of such a fix before.
One Sunday morning I gave my life to Jesus promising that I would serve him for the rest of my days cured or not cured - I would remain faithful. Again attempts at my life were made through accidents and robbers but I remained strong. I started sharing to my lady about Jesus but she totally didn’t want anything to do with me; she was by now living with another man with her health deteriorating fast. I left the city and went back to college to complete my studies. Lecturers and students could not believe I had actually given my life to Christ but the good Lord gave me grace and sustained me under the watchful eyes of the critics.
While in college I started getting reports that she was admitted in the hospital and was about to die. In fact one of my brothers traveled to come and laugh at my face that my girlfriend was dying of Aids. I was so devastated that my prayer life was hindered and so was my bible studying. None could encourage me and I knew it was time the Lord spoke to me. That Sunday service we had a visiting speaker who said that the Lord had spoken to him about somebody in the congregation who was depressed because he had Aids or his spouse had it and people were expecting him to die. The Lord was saying that that person would not die but would live to glorify the name of God. He quoted Acts 28 where apostle Paul was bitten by a snake, and when the people expected him to drop dead, he shook the viper into the fire. After they had looked at him for a while they changed their minds. He said they would change their minds concerning me. When he called for whoever it was that the Lord was speaking to, I stood from my seat and walked to the pulpit where he prayed for me. My relatives did change their minds later after seeing me grow in blessings and health.
After completing college was sure, I would seek audience with my former girlfriend and witness to her so that she would give her life to Christ. I was so excited that I immediately rushed to the city where she lived but I was too late. I found her alright, but she was a week in the mortuary. I had the word but it couldn’t help her; she was so near yet so far away. My newfound faith was shaken with a voice telling me I was next. But God had other plans for me. After the burial I got a job and started working while gathering courage to go for a blood test. These were some of the most trying moments in my life but one way or the other I knew God was in control. When the results came out I was H.I.V Negative. I felt like a new lease of life had come into my life. I could now look at the future with hope. We do serve a God who heals (Exodus 15:26) and loves us. If he could forgive and deliver a wretch like I was, nothing is impossible with Him (Matt 19:26).
We serve a wonderful God and I lack words to express my thanks for his love towards me. Many of my friends died in prisons while others were shot or died in mysterious circumstances. My sister is now born again and so are two of my brothers. My father also gave his life to Christ and is now doing well in business with most of us working, and stable. Praise be to Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.