Feature

It Will Cost Your Life

Moise Mamy is a C&MA church planter and evangelist in

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I come from a pagan family, so I grew up worshiping the “grisgris” [magic spells] and our ancestors’ tombs. In 1968, when I was 10 years old, my parents enrolled me in the school in N’Zao, Guinea. I pursued my studies until 1974, reaching the seventh grade. I was my grandmother’s favorite grandson, and since the teacher was strict, my grandmother advised me to quit.

At that time, I thought about getting married. So, without telling my family, I got engaged. Some time later, my uncle entrusted me to a truck driver to learn how to drive. While I was learning my fiancée, Nowei Male, was injured and was hospitalized for two months. When I realized that by being a driver, I couldn’t see her anymore, I decided to become a mechanic.

When Nowei healed, her parents asked her to live with her older sister in Liberia. A week after she left, I told my uncle that I wanted to continue my apprenticeship in Liberia. He entrusted me to his brother-in-law in Monrovia. After 18 months, I signed a four-year contract, and Nowei and I got married. During the first year, we had a daughter, who died three days later.

A TROUBLED MARRIAGE

I was paid $75 every two weeks. When I got my salary, I would buy one bag of rice and give $14 to my wife. Then I would take the rest of the money and live with other women. Often, I stayed away from home several nights in a row.

In 1977, we had our second child. Since Nowei was nursing him, I would drop by during the day but spend the night elsewhere. When she asked about it, I would answer, “You are nursing, and you are not supposed to know where I am sleeping.” In our custom, a nursing woman is not allowed to sleep with her husband, because it is believed that if she has sexual intercourse, the child will die. I used this to justify my relationships with more than five other women.

When Nowei told me this was not how married life should be, I answered, “You shouldn’t tell me that! You have a bag of rice and the price of sauce on top of it.” “Take your rice and your money,” she said. “I did not get married for these things—it is you I want.”

I did not care about her advice, and I continued my wanderings. Sometimes I even brought women home and slept with them in the same room as my wife. She was forced to accept it because I was very strict with her.

A CALL IN THE DARKNESS

When the four-year contract was over, I stayed in Monrovia to look for work and sent Nowei back to N’Zao. Alone, I had even more freedom. I started going to different churches just to find girls. When the pastor was preaching the Word of God, I listened but did not understand. Yet God was looking for me, and a voice started speaking to my heart, “Moise, Moise, I need your life.”

I moved to another city to find peace, but it was impossible. One day, a friend gave me an English pocket Bible. Little by little, even though I did not understand what I was reading, my heart was warmed. I could still hear a voice saying, “I need your life.” I thought about going to a church but did not know which one. Then this voice inside said, “Go back to your family.”

When I arrived in N’Zao, I was happy, but the peace still wasn’t there. I lit two candles and told my wife, “Come, let us pray.” Nowei laughed and asked me if this is what I was doing while we were apart. I told her, “No, but there is something that speaks into my heart and tells me to pray. I have seen people do this in churches, so come. We will do the same.”

That is how we started. Nowei would sit next to me, and I would read the Bible. I did not understand anything and did not know how to pray either. One day I said, “Come, let us enroll in a Catholic church.” She accepted, but I did not have time that day.

GOD’S SPIRIT AT WORK

Soon after that, a relative died. On my way to visit the family, I met a man by the side of the road. As he shook my hand, I heard a clear word in my heart saying, “Ask this man what he does.” He told me he was an evangelist and asked me if I was a believer. I told him no and asked him how much I should pay to become a Christian. He told me it would cost a lot, but it wouldn’t be money I would have to give—it would be my whole life. Then he told me that God loves me. This was the first time I had heard someone say that.

I spoke with him for a long time, and he asked me if I was ready to give my life to Jesus. Since I had promised Nowei to enroll in a church, which for me would mean becoming a Christian, I told him to come to my home so we could discuss it with her. A few days later, he came with another evangelist, and I was very happy to welcome them.

That evening, he started singing in the village, and many people came to listen. When he finished preaching, no one accepted his invitation to follow Jesus. Afterward, he asked me why I did not go forward. I did not tell him I was ashamed, so I said, “You came for me, so let us go home.” Nowei and I became Christians that day, August 11, 1984, at 11:30 p.m. I received a New Testament in Mano (my mother tongue). For the first time I had a book that spoke about my life.

UNDER ATTACK

First Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” After I had been a Christian a year and a half, my relatives decided to send my sisters into the sacred forest for initiation into adulthood. I told them my wife and I would not take part because we had become Christians and the Bible tells us not to do this.

They did not understand what I was talking about, so the initiation began. Since we were not participating, the devil used my family to tempt us. My sisters spent two months in the forest, and every day someone needed to bring them firewood and meat. But we refused. This was the beginning of great discord with my family. The day my sisters came out of the forest, Nowei and I did not join the family but worked the fields. Then the devil changed his tactic and sent illness.

Early one morning I begin having extreme stomach pain and could not get up. For one hour, I was in agony while my wife sent word to my father. He came with a piece of kaolin [a clay mineral] in his pocket. He told me, “It is your ancestors who have taken your stomach. You need to eat the kaolin to take the pain away.” I told him, “God lives in me, and the ancestors have no more power over me.”

My father said that I was denying the truth. He and some boys carried me to the village in a wheelbarrow. There, everybody came to look at me as if I were a criminal. My mother started to cry, saying that I had disobeyed their god, who was taking me back.

My family members told me they would do everything so I could be freed. I answered, “Let me die. I will go to my God, but I will never ask forgiveness from the ancestors. I am now following GOD.” Everybody started to cry.

I told Nowei to ask Nicodeme, a Christian villager, to come pray for me. After he prayed, I asked my wife to find a nurse to give me some medication. The treatment worked, and God saved me from the illness. Today, I praise the Lord because my father and mother have become Christians.

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