The Luke Society has recently established a partnership minsitry in Dahra, Senegal, under the guidance of Dr. Ousmane Soh. This is his testimony:
My name is Dr. Ousmane Soh, a Senegalese national. I was born and raised in a strict Islamic and Fulani family. By God's grace, I traveled to Libya where I studied medicine at Benghazi medical school, from which I graduated in 1996.
I traveled to Europe for my secondary school education. On one of my trips to London, I was invited to a church meeting by a lady who I met while I was sitting at one of the corners of Hyde Park. At that time, I was completely separated from God. After having my Islamic teachings in Senegal and North Africa, I really could not find satisfactory answers regarding God. So I refused her invitation, telling her, "I am not a religious person, and I do not believe in God." However, with good humor, the lady sat at my side and said, "Come on, you are sitting here alone. Join us. Forget about religion. You will find many friends from different countries, and we will have some food at the end of our meeting."
So I got up and went. It was some food! In that small church, I found myself defending my afro-centric, communist ideas. But the lady who was leading our cell group kept on telling about God's love. After the prayers and food, as I was going out of the church, the lady told me, "Please come again if you are still in London."
I told her, "Yes," but I did not mean it. However, at the gate, the lady said to me, "I will pray for you."
"Okay," I said, and I left. However, I never went back to that place. Today, how I wish to see them again and tell them this testimony.
In medical school, I was the only black African there. There was one man from the Philippines, and he was the only Asian there. So we became close friends, always together. But there was a problem. He was Muslim, but at that point, I did not believe in God. We would always argue over religion, which I knew better than him. Sometimes we would stay days not talking to each other. But soon again we would go back to normal.
God used this man to introduce me to many Filipinos, and I used to attend their parties, anniversaries, Christmas and New Year. On almost any occasion, I was there. Some of these people were just nominal Christians, but there were also some born-again Christians. They would often start talking about God's love. Here was that message again!
As a result, I decided to study the Bible so I could talk to them the way I could talk to Muslims. I borrowed a copy of the Bible from a friend, reading the first three books, struggling to pronounce the long names and finding it difficult to understand. So I slacked off on my reading. But the more I read, the more I felt I needed to know.
One day I met a friend from Rwanda. We had not seen each other for more than four years. He was a student too, but at another university in the city. After some chat, I saw that he had with him some Christian booklets. I told him, "Hey, I want to know something about this Jesus."
"You?" He looked at me and said.
"Yes, me," I said. Days later, he brought me three testimonies of two Indians and a Pakistani who had come to the Lord. It was a good talk, but this was not what I needed. "I want to know Jesus' personal life," I told him.
"Okay, I will show you a Jesus film," he said.
"Good," I said to him.
A few days later on, he invited me to see the Jesus film in the home of one of his German friends. So there I was, watching the Jesus film according to the book of Luke for the first time in my life. At the end of the film, I found myself praying the prayer. When my friend came back, asking how I liked the film, I could hardly say anything clear. I was weak and speechless.
When I went back home, I stayed more than 10 days in a real state of confusion. I could not enjoy anything that used to give me joy, like drinking and partying. People started telling me that I looked depressed and was losing weight. I started reading the Bible again. This time, it was different. I rapidly took in the books of Luke, Matthew, Mark and John.
I decided to go see my Rwandan friend and borrow the Jesus film from him. This time, I saw the film alone in my room. At the end of the film, I bowed before Him and prayed the prayer and decided to follow Him and serve Him for the rest of my life.
The news circulated fast among my friends. "He is born again!" I started going to church services, Bible studies and prayer meetings. Everything Jesus said and did touched me, but three verses kept on coming back to my mind. In fact, I memorized them so that I would not have to keep reading them. They are Matthew 28:18-20, which say, "And Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"
That was not the end. Through a series of wonderful events, God led me to wonderful people who had the burden for the lost as Jesus has commanded. We had such good times together, training, teaching, praying and sharing the Word. I was able to join with mature brothers in the Lord, who had established an underground Bible School in North Africa. I received valuable training in how to share and teach the Word of God. After a time, they even asked me to do some of the teaching and to sit on the board of directors for the school.
Now I have returned to my home country, Senegal. I feel the call to work for Him among my own people, the Fulani. Even though I am just getting started, I can confidently say that the Lord is continually proving He is there, even to the end of the age.