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Sun, Dec

“Nobody Preached To Me. But God Got Hold Of Me And I Couldn’t Resist Him”–Brother Mahmood Ali-Balogun

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I would trace the beginning of my encounter with Christ to 1995. One of my friends lost his father; so a friend and I travelled in my car to Sabongida-Ora for the funeral. Somewhere after Benin, and at a speed of 120-140 KM/Hour, a trailer appeared ahead of me while trying to overtake another one. On a narrow road and faced by an onrushing trailer, I pressed hard on the brake.

How I managed to escape the collision, I really could not explain. On our way back from the funeral, we saw the mark my tyres made on the road when I forcefully applied the brakes.

I decided to stop over at Benin to see my sister- in-law. When we drew close to her place, my car suddenly stopped and all effort to make it work proved abortive. I had to leave it in Benin and returned to Lagos by air because I had a live TV program that I was producing at the time. My mechanic who later went to pick the car informed me that nothing was wrong with the car. He didn’t fix anything in it, he just started it, and it worked!

Few days after I returned from Benin, I had a serious disagreement with my wife and we were not talking to each other. My father and my mother-in-law came to visit us. My mother-in-law came with a priest to pray with us. We went into my dining area where I normally observe my prayers. My wife prayed there as a Christian while I prayed at another corner as a Muslim.

During the prayer, I had a strange encounter which I could not explain. I was crying, vibrating and sweating profusely for about 1hr/30mins. Everything on me was wet. After this I felt refreshed. A feeling of relief and calmness took over me, I felt like a new being. I uttered the words ‘I think I am a Christian now’. I didn’t know where those words came from but I uttered them. Throughout this period, my father and mother in-law didn’t know what was going on as they were engrossed in conversation in my sitting room.

The amazing thing was that as I slept that night, my wife told me that I was levitating, vibrating and uttering words. The next morning my wife asked us to pray and I prayed with her. When I got to my office later in the day (a Friday), I didn’t go to the Mosque where I used to pray. I just stayed back in my office and felt good.

Few days after that experience, my wife travelled and I prepared to go for a wedding ceremony. Someone knocked on my door and after attending to the person, as I turned back to continue what I was doing, I fell on the couch and started speaking in tongues for like one hour. I became perplexed because I didn’t understand what was happening to me.

When I got to the wedding, I realized I couldn’t control myself as I was just singing, dancing and lifting my hands in an uncontrollable manner. I got embarrassed and ran out of the church to the reception venue as I thought people would have wondered about my behaviour being public figure from a different faith. At the reception, I was just praying and speaking in tongues throughout and I just couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even eat the food served neither did I wait to meet the couple because I was embarrassed.

This kept on recurring as I would speak in tongues while driving from my house to the office every day. So I started praying and reading the Bible in the house because I didn’t want to be associated with any church. I finally decided to go to church one day and my choice was a Catholic church due to little knowledge about its history. I felt that was the best church to attend.

I left my house at Opebi and drove towards St. Leo Catholic Church on Toyin Street. Somehow and unexplainably, I found myself at Fountain of Life Church. Less than five minutes after I got to the church, Pastor Bimbo (of blessed memory) made an altar call. She said “there is somebody here that God is asking what else do you want Me to do and for how long do you want Me to prove Myself to you?” Biola Segun-Williams and my wife urged me on to the altar. They believed the message was for me but I told them off!

Suddenly, I don’t know how I found myself in the front of the altar. I was very angry as I just wanted to live a quiet life as a Christian and didn’t want any uproar knowing my background as a Muslim and public figure. When the new converts were being prayed for, one of the pastors laid hands on me and I fell to the ground repeatedly.

I got so embarrassed and angry that I went to meet the Senior Pastor and told him that “I wasn’t the one that didn’t want to come to church; I came on my own volition’. Pastor just looked at me and threw up his hands smiling.

My conversion process started in my house. Nobody preached to me but God got hold of me and I could not resist Him. Christ did all that was necessary for me. Issues bordering on my conversion within my family and coming from the tradition of Imams were miraculously dealt with.

I was scheduled to go on Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca the following February, but God knew everything and perfected His work in me. Today, when I pray to Him, I could boldly declare that the difference indeed is Jesus Christ.

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