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Desta is a SOON reader in the Konso area of southern Ethiopia. He tells his story of how God helped and healed him even at a time when he did not want to know God.

My name is Desta. I was born in 1980 in a village called Olanta. My family were Christians and I learnt about Jesus Christ from my mother and father as I grew up. I was a good student in school and had good exam results. Everything seemed to be going well for me.

I was often drunk

But in the year 2000, I stopped believing in God and went my own way. I made new friends who were not good for me. We stayed in the town at night and did bad things. I no longer respected old people, I drank a lot of strong drink, often becoming drunk.

One day I had an accident. A stick went into my right leg. I had to go to the health post for two weeks. Then a piece of glass cut the same leg. I was very ill for two months. After this a sore came on the same leg again, and then on my hip.

Last of all, I had a very bad accident. I was riding on a bicycle when, after five kilometers, the brakes on the bicycle came loose. I could not control the bicycle. Suddenly I saw a deep valley in front of me. I could not stop. I jumped from the bicycle and fell down into the valley. I do not remember what happened next as I was unconscious.

Bad spirits came to me

Some people carried me to a health post – I do not know how they did it. I woke up at the health post after an hour and felt a great pain in my right leg. I did not have any money to pay the doctors. What could I do?

But my uncle, Mr Mashola, who paid for me when my leg needed treatment before, helped me again. He paid for all my treatment.

As I thought about his kindness, I realised that he was showing the love of God to me, even when I did not want to know God. I asked God to forgive me for turning away from him.

One day I had a dream that some bad spirits came to my house. One said to me, "We want to visit you. We have come from the valley where you fell off your bicycle."

I told them that I was a follower of Jesus Christ and wanted nothing to do with bad spirits. At once God gave me his peace. From that day I have known that God is the greatest of all. I want to thank God who heals me and helps me. I know Jesus Christ will be with me all of my life.