81-year-old Muslim man turns to Christ for forgiveness of sins

Katie Coleman
| Apr 27, 2021

Chris’ health was failing, and his Christian daughter feared he would die without knowing Jesus. An 81-year-old Muslim living in Madagascar, Chris needed to hear the Gospel, and his daughter reached out to Nirintsoa Mamitiana, a Ph.D. student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, for help. 

Mamitiana, who is planting a church and starting a seminary in Madagascar, first learned of Chris’ situation in December 2020, but the following months presented numerous challenges preventing their meeting. 

“It seemed like something always came in my way any time I planned to go there,” Mamitiana says. “I felt like I was engaging in spiritual warfare for the man’s soul.”

Despite the challenges, Mamitiana prayed fervently for the Lord to open a door to meet and present Chris with the Gospel.

Finally, on April 14, Mamitiana was able to meet Chris in his home. When he arrived, Mamitiana was taken to the room where Chris lay sick in bed. Although unwell, Chris asked his wife to help him sit up in the chair for the conversation.

Chris expressed his belief that the illness was a result of Allah’s judgment and wished for Allah to take him during Ramadan, which had begun two days prior.

“This kicked off the conversation well for me, because I told him that the reason he is still alive is that God is merciful and that we are here talking to you,” Mamitiana says. “After all, we are His ambassadors to tell you about His love for you. By His great love, God wants to see you turning away from the sins you just told me and turn to Him.”

Mamitiana shared with Chris the message of the Gospel, emphasizing Jesus as the Son of God, who died for those sins. He asked Chris if he wanted Jesus to save him from his sins, but Chris only continued to debate and quote the Quran, describing this Jesus as Isa—just a prophet with a message.

“Fantastic,” Mamitiana said to Chris. “The Quran talks about Isa, but do you know what my Bible also says about Isa?”

Mamitiana opened his Bible to Matthew 1:23, which speaks of Jesus as Immanuel—“God with us.” He shared what this verse means to him and how Chris could have a personal relationship with God.

“This is why His Son came to earth—to pay for all our sins so that we can be saved from the judgment of God,” Mamitiana said. “He wants to dwell in our hearts, and this is what the Bible says about Immanuel: God is here with us.”

“The question I am asking you,” Mamitiana continued, “is would you believe in Him? Would you like to ask Him to save you now from your sins?”

Feeling the burden of his own sin and troubles, Chris shared that the reason he invited Mamitiana to his home was because of his desperate need for help. This opened the door for another Gospel presentation, this time via the Romans Road.

“I told him again that with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness. With the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation,” Mamitiana says. “I asked him if he wanted to be saved and make this proclamation.”

This time, Chris responded with a resounding “yes.” Mamitiana led Chris in prayer, and Chris proclaimed his belief that Jesus is more than a prophet, but is Savior and Lord.

Although many circumstances had delayed this important meeting, Mamitiana says he never let up on his prayers for Chris. “God answered my prayers,” he says. 

Mamitiana encourages others to also remain steadfast in their prayers for the lost and to not give up on sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

“Evangelism is spiritual warfare, and it is a soul war,” he says. “Many are dying without hearing Christ. Let us not get weary praying and reaching out to the ones that we are supposed to share with. May we ever be burdened for the lost people that are near us.”