Samuel* from Eritrea, East Africa, tells of a very special day in his life.
My brightest day
When I was growing up, my sister took me to Christian meetings. I did not understand the words that were spoken, but I liked the singing. The time came for me to prepare myself for our national exams. I studied hard with my friend Isaac*. He was a good friend to me, and a follower of Jesus Christ. One day, we were on our way to study at the library when Isaac began to tell me about Jesus Christ. Something happened that day as he spoke to me. I felt as if I was coming out into bright daylight from a dark room where I had lived for years. It was something I had never known before. It was the brightest day of my life. From that time, I began to read the Christians' holy book, the Bible, and to talk to God (pray). My life began to change.
Things did not become easier for me, but I knew Jesus was helping me. Some of my old friends began to hate me, but I prayed for them and learned to love them. This was one of the ways God changed my life that day. After my exams, I had to go into the army to do national service. We went to a new area to learn how to be soldiers. It was 300 km away from my home. This was a hard time for me, but I learned that the more difficult life is, the more God helps me.
*This is not his real name.
Peter is a SOON reader from Plateau State, Nigeria. He tells how, with God's help, wonderful things can happen.
I lost my family
On Friday 7 September 2001, in my part of Nigeria, a gang of unknown people attacked many markets, villages and people in their homes. Many people were killed and buildings destroyed. I was at my school in the city that afternoon. We all heard a loud bang outside the school gate – it was a gunshot. Teachers and students ran away. All of us in my class ran too, trying to find a place to hide. We hid until night when things became quieter. The army and police came to find us and help us. It was not until next morning that I walked home to my village. When I arrived, I found many people dead and their homes and farms burnt. My home and family were gone. All I could do was cry.
I met some villagers who had escaped into the bush. They gave me a little food and water. One of them told me not to fight back because the government had stopped the fighting. I knew of only one thing I could do – I asked God to help me. A week later, I was taken to a small refugee camp where we were given food and clothes. Suddenly, I met my mother and the rest of my family. I was so happy. We hugged each other, thanking God for saving our lives. He heard my cry for help when I had no-one else to turn to.