Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Miracle in Ethiopia

God has a way of turning the deepest pain into victory. Because Ethiopian Christians faithfully ministered to a convicted murderer in jail, God brought salvation to Mohammed Ahmed, who was convicted of killing an evangelist named Tulu on February 2, 2005….

Tulu was the fifth eldest child of eight, but suffered from an unidentified disease that made him physically weak and a slow learner. During July 2001, Tulu accepted Christ and experienced God's healing hand. Tulu's health improved to such an extent that he was able to attend secondary school in a predominantly Muslim area in southern Ethiopia.

Tulu devoted time to prayer and studying the Word of God. He became known for his warmth and affection when witnessing about God's love to the community. However, some Muslim extremists did not appreciate the change in Tulu's life and attacked him with a spear five months after his conversion. Even though the spear penetrated his skull, after intensive treatment he miraculously recovered.

"During this time," recalls his mother, Lulit, "there were only four believers in our area, but through Tulu's persecution, God saved 50 people, including his father and me."

Mohammed confronted Tulu at a secondary school on that tragic day in 2005…Mohammed swung his machete and hit Tulu's throat with a single blow as he shouted the Jihad (Islamic) war cry: "Allahu Akbar!"…The family tried to rush him to a nearby clinic, but the young evangelist took his final breath and died en route. He was 19.

On March 9, 2005, local police authorities imprisoned nine of Tulu's family members for allegedly demolishing property belonging to another tribe. … They were imprisoned in the same facility as Mohammed. …

Two local church leaders in southern Ethiopia have permission to visit prisoners at least once a week. During such a visit, the church leaders approached Mohammed with a few words of encouragement. Though at first he was not receptive, the leaders continued to demonstrate God's unconditional love…As the leaders continued to invite him to follow Christ, he started to show interest. Because of their patience in sharing the gospel and their reassurance that they held no grudge against him, God's grace broke through and Mohammed accepted Christ as his Lord.

Although local authorities attributed the cause of Tulu's murder to a disagreement between the two families, Mohammed confessed religious fanaticism, fanned by Muslim extremists, was the real reason for Tulu's murder. He sincerely regretted what happened.

The two church leaders discipled Mohammed and three other Muslim-background believers while in prison. On March 5, a little more than two years after the murder, Mohammed was baptized in the name of the God he once persecuted. The prison authorities escorted him and the other three prisoners to the church compound and witnessed their baptism.

When the excited converts were asked to give their testimonies before being immersed, Mohammed made sure all the witnesses understood that he was being baptized in the name of the Almighty God, testifying of his redemption in Jesus Christ. After the converts came out of the water, they prayed, sang hymns, and celebrated Holy Communion.

Condensed from our sister publication Today's Christian, © 2007 Christianity Today International. For more articles like this, visit Today's-Christian.com

Related Sermon Illustrations

Blind Man Ministered to Thousands

My Uncle Greig suffered from diabetes. Diagnosed as a youngster, the disease progressively worsened until he lost his sight as an adult. At the time he became blind, Greig had been ...

[Read More]

"The Power of Forgiveness": Beyond Human Evil

The Power of Forgiveness is a collection of seven short stories that, taken together, reveal the limits, difficulties, healing qualities, and unforeseen effects an act of forgiveness ...

[Read More]