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Friday, December 23, 2005

Maria Cecilia

"I was born into a wealthy Muslim family in...Malawi...I was sent to a Christian boarding school in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). At school I read the Bible and various Christian books - at home I read the Qur'ran and prayed in Arabic.
Gradually my feelings about religion began to change and I asked if I could attend Sunday worship at school. It was at this time that I felt called to be a follower of Christ, and one midnight I was secretly baptised. When the next school vacation came, I told my father about my decision. I explained that when I went to the Mosque and prayed I felt nothing, but when I was in church I felt I was communicating with God, and my conscience told me to follow Christ. My father replied that I was too young to have a conscience and that I should pray to Allah for guidance and forgiveness.

He cancelled the education of all 10 of us (myself, my siblings and cousins) at the school in Rhodesia. All theothers lost their education because I had become a Christian. I was Maria Cecilia, the rebel. I was thrown out of the family home...to live with a Christian aunt. It was a difficult time...I was frightened and sad but in an odd way very happy. The reason is simple: my strong and true faith in God told me that I wasnow in His hands and would be loved and cared for wherever I went...
(parents) arranged for the Muslim Mwaleem-mullah to re-convert me to Islam...The men who were to perform the cleansing ritual wore white outfits that made them look like the Ku Klux Klan...They surrounded me and asked 'Halima,' (my Muslim name), 'Do you denounce and repent to your father Gulam and declare that you will give up Christianity?' My reply was 'No!' spoken with calmness and serenity...I felt as if there were arms holding me up in a warm and comforting embrace...After the ceremony my uncle intervened and said 'This girl has seen something which we do not see, Gulam let her go and I will care for her.'....
I shed no tears and felt no sorrow. they could not understand how I underwent that ceremony and still emerged smiling. Of course, I did not do it alone."

Maria Cecilia eventually decided she had to leave home...she earned enough money for a one-way ticket to Britain...she trained as a nurse, married and raised a family. In 2003 she returned to Malawi to visit her widowed mother, was was aged 93 and very sick. Through Maria's prayers her mother washealed and then decided that she too would follow Christ, who had healed her. Many other family members have also become Christians.

Excerpts taken from Maria Cecilia's testimony printed in
Barnabus Aid Magazine, January-February 2006 (page 11).

1 Comments:

Anonymous jardima kroeker said...

Hello, my name is Jardima Kroeker, am I the daughter of Habiba Halima Osman (Kroeker) who is the cousin of Maria Cecilia from Malawi. Habiba has also been a Christian for many years and would like to be in contact with her cousin who she has not seen for 25 years. If someone out there can contact me, I can be reached at jardimakroeker@aol.com

God bless us all!

9:01 AM  

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