A Wolof Testimony

Babacar Ndiaye

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The devil had such a hold on me for so long, but God has provided a way for me to get out. I want to share what God has done in my life.

I am Babacar from Senegal, West Africa and I was born a Muslim. My father and mother are Muslims and I was raised as a Muslim. I was expected to do all the things that Muslims do. Muslims must confess that God is One and that Muhammad is his prophet, they must give part of their earnings, they must fast during the month of Ramadan, they must pray five times each day, and they must go to Mecca at least one time in their life if they can afford it.

I was raised in Senegal until I was 18 years old. Then I went to France to get my education. After that I returned to Senegal and worked in sales.

I had been raised to be a respectful young man. However, after I returned from France, I was secretly drinking and living a sinful life, even though I continued to live like a good Muslim in front of my relatives and friends. One day I was invited by one of Senegal’s highest religious leaders to go to one of the villages where one can go to get his life back together. This place is like an Islamic boot camp. I stayed there 7 months and didn't leave. You work and study the religious writings (xaasaides) of Cheikh Amadou Bamba. It was very difficult for me because there was no smoking or drinking allowed there. After I stayed there 7 months, I thought I had been changed. I was no longer smoking or drinking or committing fornication. I became a very good Muslim, someone that people respected.

I then decided to go to the United States in order to earn my Master’s Degree and get a good job. It didn’t work out as I planned. I ended up working in New York doing several odd jobs and being a street vendor. I drove a taxi for about 1 year and made enough money to build a house for my family in a very religious town in Senegal. However, I started doing the same things again. I started drinking, doing drugs and smoking again. So, returning to Islam did not really change me.

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When I came to Atlanta, I started my own business selling jewelry and sunglasses. It went well. It went so well that I started getting into trouble because I had so much money lying around. I started drinking and doing drugs and going out and meeting girls. I was serving the devil all the time. I started going broke, but I didn’t care. I would work in order to get money to drink and do drugs. Finally, I lost my apartment. I just put all my possessions in my van and moved out and went to a place where you pay by the week. I went there to try to get my life back together. I had so much pride that I didn’t want anyone’s help. I began to just work odd jobs in which I could get 30 or 40 dollars a day. Then I would spend it on drugs. Finally, I decided that I must stop doing the drugs. So, I did stop for awhile and began to work in a restaurant. When I became a waiter in that restaurant, I started making good money again. When I started having money again, I went back to drinking and doing drugs.

It was during this time that I met my wife to be. While we were dating, I did everything that I could to try to hide it from her that I was doing drugs. However, she knew that something was wrong, but she wasn’t quite sure what it was. She began to pray and ask God about it. It was then that God gave her a vision of me standing there in chains from head to toe. At first she really disregarded what she had seen in the dream, but later she understood what God was trying to tell her about me. During that time God also began to convince her that I would one day preach in front of crowds of people. I wasn’t very convinced, however.

My wife to be (my girlfriend) was a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. However, I was a worker for the devil and was able to tempt her into doing things that are not pleasing to God. My purpose was to please myself. Again, one night God gave my girlfriend another vision. In this vision she saw me in a cloud. The ground on which I was walking was all cracked and dry. In the dream I was walking and looking around like I was lost. There was an old lady that was sitting there cooking in a huge pot. While she was cooking she was chanting. Then in the dream, I came and sat down next to her. I was smiling and enjoying my time with this nice old lady. Then she reaches up and grabs the back of my head and tries to stuff me into the pot. After that, my girlfriend awakened and realized that maybe the witchcraft of Africa had a hold on me.

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She really began to pray that witchcraft and the power of Satan would be broken in my life. God reminded her through different dreams that she was fighting a battle for my soul. However, at this time I didn’t understand any of this. I just kept doing drugs and living for myself. I would go out and stay high for a couple of days, and then come home and do my ceremonial washing, say my prayers, and read the Quran.

One night my girlfriend said that she was leaving. But before she went she wanted us to pray together. She said: You know that we have different religions, but there is one God. Let’s pray to that God. In that prayer we prayed to God to cleanse us. Sometime after this, God put it in my heart to really love my girlfriend. I tried to convince her to become a Muslim. She said that she would accept Islam, even though she had secretly told the imam that she could not reject Jesus. I asked her to become my wife, and we married before a Muslim imam (religious teacher). I also straightened up my life again.

I became active again in Islam and became the General Secretary of the Islamic Mourides in Atlanta. Everything was going along well between us. My wife said that something was missing in Islam. She said that it was a ritual, but God was not in it. I became enraged because I had become a fanatic. She was pregnant with twins, but I didn’t care. If she wouldn’t accept Islam, then I decided that I would leave her.

One day when I was driving home from work, I had the urge to do cocaine again. I began to pray and say; God, what is happening? You delivered me from this. But I went back into drugs more deeply than I had ever been. However, I didn’t care what my wife or anyone thought. One day I had done so much cocaine that my wife had to come and get me at a crack house.

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The next day, we were invited to dinner at the house of a Senegalese lady. She said; I was a Muslim! It was the first time in my life that I had ever met someone who said; I WAS a Muslim. I said, "what are you now?" She said, "I met Jesus Christ. He saved me and changed my life." I replied, "what do you mean Jesus saved you?" She told me that only Jesus can save you. He died for your sins. He came into this world, walked in your shoes, and died on a cross for your sins. When she said this, my heart was aching. I got so mad, that I left the room. After I cooled down a little, I came back into the room and talked with her more. I thought that this woman must be crazy. Something is wrong with her I told myself. So, I convinced my wife that we needed to leave this crazy woman’s house.

This encounter with the Senegalese lady really bothered me, because I used to tell my wife that the thing that proves that Islam is the true religion is that you will never see a Muslim leave Islam and become a follower of Jesus. This was the first time that I had seen a Muslim become a genuine follower of Jesus Christ.

After this encounter, I continued to drugs and alcohol. I would disappear for days doing drugs. Even while my wife was in the hospital with a very dangerous pregnancy, I would leave and go do drugs. Finally, my wife said that she wanted us to go and see the Senegalese Christian again. I felt so guilty that I had left my wife in the hospital in order to do drugs. So, I agreed to go with my wife to this Senegalese lady’s house. When I got there, she began to tell me about Jesus again. We argued over everything. I wanted to leave, but something was keeping me there. They asked me to pray and ask Jesus to come into my life. I thought that if I did this, this woman would leave me alone and I could go home.

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When I got home, I was angry with myself that I had said that prayer in front of them. However, the next morning when I awoke, I began to realize that Jesus had really done something in me. God knew that deep in my heart, I really wanted to know Him. I went to take a shower and I just began to realize that I am free. So, I shouted, "I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!"

I began to be drawn to the Bible. I started reading the Bible. I wouldn’t put it down. For the first time in my life, I began to cry. When I would read the Bible I would cry because I was so at peace with God and myself.

After a few days, I began to be depressed. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had been a Muslim for 40 years. I didn’t know how to be a follower of Jesus. Gradually, God began to show me how to really follow Jesus. God used Christian radio to really help me.

I began to go around and tell my Senegalese friends that I had become a born-again follower of Jesus. When I told one friend, he just started crying. He couldn’t believe it. I told them that I loved them and then went to tell other friends the good news of what God had done in my life.

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Senegalese people from France, Italy, Senegal and all over the United States began to call me. They would say that they had heard some strange rumors about me and wanted to know if it was true. I would tell them that it is true that I am a follower of Jesus and that I wanted them to meet Him too.

Following Jesus has been a beautiful experience. I had always believed Islam, but it never kept me from doing evil things. When I became a follower of Jesus, everything became new. He really changed my life. The Bible says that, "If anyone is in Christ (if anyone is united with Christ through a personal relationship with Him), he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

All my life I felt a void and a lack of motivation for any particular vocation. It seemed that I didn't have any direction in life. But when I asked Jesus Christ into my life as Lord and Savior, He put in my heart a strong calling for the preaching of His Word. Now for the first time in my life I know exactly what God wants me to do: live my life a godly way, share the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and bring to the Lord as many brethren as possible, for the Glory of our Father in heaven.

If you want to know more about this new life that I have found you can write me at yeesu@bellsouth.net

May God bless you and lead you in the path of peace,

Babacar

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