Brent Hail, a Jacksonville resident and Tyler firefighter recently traveled to Nigeria for the first time to visit with missionaries who are supported by Fellowship Bible Church in Jacksonville. He and the missionaries traveled to northern Nigeria to pick up Musa who was allegedly prosecuted and almost killed after converting to Christianity. Read his story beneath:
"The day started pretty early because we had a long way to go. We were going to pick up a man in a town in northern Nigeria. The story had gotten back to us of an amazing way God had delivered him at his village from being killed for his faith. As the van left with me and five other travelers, I wanted to see God in an amazing way. I wasn’t disappointed.
This story is about a man named Musa, who, this past January, almost lost his life for converting to Christianity. As we headed northeast in northern Nigeria, I could tell that we were heading into areas that were almost completely Muslim. We were traveling to the village where it happened. I had heard about Musa and his incredible story through one of the missionaries our church supports.
Four hours later we finally pull up to the spot where it all happened. Musa walked us to the mud house where it all took place. He began by telling us that two years ago he became a Christian as a result of one of the outreaches to his village.
Most of the village was either pagan or Muslim, so when he converted he was seen as an outsider of sorts. Let me say quickly that Islam is not the enemy here. There is a much bigger enemy who uses Islamic radicals to carry out horrible things against people.
After his conversion, Musa told people in his village that he was a Christian and that he wanted them to know that Jesus truly cared and loved them. The leaders of the village didn’t like that, so they were going to make it difficult for him.
They took his wife and married her to another man in the same village. They then approached him with a large sum of money wanting to denounce his faith and come back to Islam, but Musa refused. They then brought him several women for the same purpose, but he still refused.
One night, two people from his village came to his mud hut at midnight, kicked in his door and told him that this was going to be his last night on earth. One of them had a gun. As the man fired, Musa reached around to feel the exit hole from the bullet, but it wasn’t there. The man was standing approximately five feet away, so surely he couldn’t have missed.
As Musa was crying out to Jesus to save him, the man then swung a machete. Musa put up his left arm in defense, and the machete cut off his left hand. The man swung again, this time cutting off his right thumb. Musa said he suddenly felt a surge of power come over him, and he was able to punch the guy with the arm, which was missing his hand, knocking him down.
Musa ran to his neighbor’s house where the wife answered the door, and fainted after seeing what had happened to him. The husband then took him to the Christian church that was about a half mile away to seek help from the pastor. They carried him to the hospital, which was an hour and a half away, where they finally were able to care for his wounds. From the time his hand was cut off, to the time he was sewed up, sixteen hours had transpired.
At times, doubt creeps in to invade my faith. I don’t want it there, but it still manages to make its way in. I believe God understands this, and allows amazing stories like Musa’s to cross our paths to let us know that there is a God who truly loves and cares for us. It strengthens my faith all the more from seeing the way that God delivered Musa.
I was able to see the amazing power of God work through Musa, because he told us that he loves and forgives the men. He also has had four men from the village come to him secretly, telling him that they had placed their faith and trust in Christ because of his witness. It has opened my eyes to see that God cares as much for the Muslims as he does for me. I thank God for allowing me to see this personally and to meet Musa. We can all learn a lot from his story."