I grew up in Nampula, Mozambique’s third-largest city where 80 percent of the population is Muslim.
I didn’t feel comfortable with the faith of my mother, who got divorced when I was small. Something in my mind kept telling me that I should examine Christian denominations to find peace in my heart.
One day, I told my mother about my desire.
“Mommy, I want to be a Christian,” I told her.
My mother said, “If you want to be a Christian, don’t call me ‘Mommy’ anymore. Your whole family, including your grandparents, belong to another religion. If you want to be a Christian, you will no longer be my daughter.”
Her words frightened me. I remembered that she had given birth to me and raised me. The thought of being disowned by my own mother scared me. I stopped going to my parents’ place of worship. I didn’t go to any place of worship. I wanted to see how my mother would react.
When my mother saw that I wasn’t worshipping at all, she said, “Fine, you can go look for a Christian church.”
I was so happy! But I didn’t immediately start looking for a church because I was caught up in the world.
One day, a young man approached me on the street, and I was impressed with the way that he spoke to me.
“I think you aren’t feeling well,” he said.
“You’re right,” I said, surprised. “I feel a little ill.”
“Do you know that God loves you?” he said.
“Yes,” I said.
“You must leave all your sins,” he said.
Those words bothered me. I was drinking and going to parties.
The man introduced himself as Armando and invited me to his church nearby.
But after we parted ways, I couldn’t remember the name of the church. A month later, I decided to try to find the church. I looked around the area where I had met the man and learned that the only church was Seventh-day Adventist. So, I went to the church and met pastor Abrao Mututu.
“How can I help you?” he said.
I asked the pastor whether he knew a young man named Armando. He didn’t and asked why. I explained that Armando had invited me to worship in his church.
A few minute later, another pastor showed up. I told pastor Eleuterio Marage about my upbringing and asked, “What do I need to do to become a real Christian woman?”
The pastor said I needed to study the Bible and learn about God’s character.
“Tell me about the Bible and about God!” I exclaimed.
The pastor gave me Bible studies and, three months later, I was baptized on July 25, 2016.
Life became difficult immediately after the baptism. The restaurant where I worked scheduled me to work on Saturday, and I thought, “If I don’t work on Sabbath, then I won’t have any work. If I don’t have a job, how will my mother and younger sister survive because I am the only one taking care of them?”
I reached the point where I had to decide what to do. I weighed working on Sabbath and being lost with choosing to follow Jesus and being saved. A month after my baptism, I decided the only right way was to follow Jesus.
Then I read Jesus’ promise in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (NKJV).
I quit my job.
My mother was upset. “You are the only one supporting your family,” she said. “How will we survive?”
“I believe that God will provide a way for us,” I said. “He won’t leave us emptyhanded.”
God has provided. After I left my job, one of my three older brothers stepped in and began to support my mother and sister.
But what has impressed me the most is how drastically my thinking has changed since joining the Adventist Church. I have a peace that I never had before. I thank my Lord for changing my life. I am now 22, and I haven’t been able to find a full-time job. But by God’s grace I have led four people to baptism over the past year.
There are many young women like me in the world. They are dying because of a lack of knowledge of Jesus, the Lord who saves people in and from their sins. This is the Lord who has taken me from the darkness into the light.