Written by: Open Doors SA
Article source: JOY! Magazine
Church leader, Nadhir*, is a 28-year-old former rapper from North Africa. Before he met Jesus, he led a self-indulgent lifestyle of drugs, drinking, and clubbing. Nadhir would still visit his local mosque in North Africa while indulging in these activities. He eventually stopped altogether and, through a childhood friend, started rapping. Nadhir and his childhood friend ended up facing each other in a rap battle. “During the clash, my friend said many bad things, so I said afterwards, ‘never talk to me again,'” he said.
A life-changing conversation
Three months passed before Nadhir saw his friend again, “He came over to me and asked for my forgiveness for what had happened.” Nadhir had never heard his friend speak in this manner. When they sat down together, Nadhir’s friend began telling him about forgiveness and Jesus, and it changed Nadhir’s life forever.
Christian men are targets for persecutors due to the influence that they have in their communities.
Kicked out for his faith
From that conversation, Nadhir wanted to learn all he could about Christianity. He borrowed a Bible and also read about Christianity in books and on the internet.
Nadhir’s family noticed a change in him because he had stopped drinking and didn’t go to clubs anymore. One day his mother saw the Bible in his room. Nadhir explained to her that he is a Christian. In North Africa, leaving Islam is a shame to one’s family. His mother asked him why he is a Christian when his whole family is Muslim, but Nadhir’s father had a stronger reaction: “Take all your clothes and leave the house. I do not want to see you again.”
Broadcasting the Gospel
Without much money, Nadhir lived on the street, eating other people’s garbage. Later on, he found shelter with another Christian, and soon after he began searching online for other Christians across North Africa. In doing so, he found his calling. He brought Christians together through social media groups, where they could encourage each other in their isolation. Soon he started broadcasting over an internet-based radio station and developed a following of North Africans who are hungry for Jesus. “My relationship with my family was cut off, but God gave me wonderful relationships with new people.”
Life is looking up
Nadhir also has fellowship with nearby Christians in his home, where he leads them in a house church. Nadhir’s main way of reaching new Christians is through his broadcasting. He is confident and articulate, which are the skills that he developed as a rapper. He also met and married his wife during this time. Even though his family did not attend the wedding, he continued to have hope for reconciliation with his family after many years apart.
“My father phoned me after I got married to apologise. We are now friends, we laugh together, and we talk a lot.”
Help from Open Doors
Nadhir is also a lover of coffee, with a purpose. “I have a dream to set up a coffee shop, where I can share with many more people about Jesus.” Through our Open Doors partners, a microloan was provided to Nadhir to help start his dream of opening a coffee shop to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Join us in prayer
Christian men are targets for persecutors due to the influence that they have in their communities. Join Open Doors in praying for and supporting them, so they may know that even though they are persecuted, they are never alone!
Date published: 21/10/2019
Feature image: © 2019 Open Doors International
*Name changed and faces hidden for security reasons
JOY! News is a Christian news portal that shares pre-published articles by writers around the world. Each article is sourced and linked to the origin, and each article is credited with the author’s name. Although we do publish many articles that have been written in-house by JOY! journalists, we do not exclusively create our own content. Any views or opinions presented on this website are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.