By Philip Baptiste
Amina is serving a five-year prison sentence in East-Central Africa after being arrested as she headed to India to blow up a large facility.
But persistent visits by a Seventh-day Adventist pastor resulted in her discarding her fundamentalist understanding of Islam and being baptized into the Adventist Church several weeks ago.
“I just praise God for the Adventist pastor who consistently prayed for me and visited me in my time of great need”, Amina said.
Adventist Mission is not disclosing Amina’s full name or her location to protect her safety.
Amina was in solitary confinement, in an isolated cell, because of the nature of her crime when the pastor first came to visit. She had plotted the attack after being taught by fundamental Muslim leaders that she would attain righteousness and live in paradise if she eliminated evil.
Initially, Amina rebuffed the pastor, whose counseling visits were arranged by the prison warden. But when the pastor kept returning, she relented because the counseling sessions would be held outside her cell and she missed the sunshine.
Amina refused the pastor’s first request to pray for her. She told the pastor that he should pray for himself instead. The pastor prayed for her anyway, and he kept on praying.
After a few counseling sessions together, the pastor had to take care of business elsewhere for a few weeks. Amina began to miss the visits. When the pastor did not return as soon as she expected, she started reading a Bible that he had left in her cell.
A few months later, the Adventist Church organized a camp meeting at the prison, and Amina was invited to attend. Amina agreed to go for the sake of socializing with the other inmates. To her surprise, when the pastor made an alter call, she went up to surrender her life to Jesus. Not long after, she was baptized.
Amina said she does not understand how, during the counseling sessions, she lost interest in her former faith. She believes that God used her imprisonment to reveal His truth to her, and now she is anxious to reach her friends.
“When I get out of prison, I will spend all that I have to reach them”, she said.
Philip Baptiste is special assistant to the president of the East-Central Africa Division.
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons