Undeserved Mercy – Phina Jappie

Phina JappieBeing born into a Christian family did not help me with my decision making later on in life. Young people tend to become rebellious and want to break away from the norm, to go their own way, thinking that they know better.

When I met Ashraf we did not immediately think about our different backgrounds and beliefs. Two years into our relationship we realized that we would have to make a decision, and as we were mostly with his family I was more concerned about upsetting his parents than mine. During that time neither my mother nor father attended any church regularly so I figured that they wouldn’t really mind.

When we decided to get married I had to choose a new Moslem name – it was at that stage that we went to the Imam (Moslem Priest). He basically “christened” me with my new name. I was not prepared for what happened next. I had to recite after him, renouncing Christ, and because I was already halfway, I had to see it through.

After the marriage (nikka) we also married in court to make the marriage legal. We moved into a flat to live on our own. One night I knelt down to pray (merely out of habit) and I ended my prayer “in the name of Jesus”, then it struck me between the eyes – this was the very name I had renounced. The question was – what name was I to pray in now? I was very confused as for the first time I felt the impact of the decision I had made.

After a while I began to feel the emptiness of having lost something very precious in my life. I couldn’t worship in the mosque as women are not allowed into the mosque. It was at that stage that I realized how distant and cold this religion was. There is no relationship with your god, just a set of rules that becomes your way of life.

I believe that it was at that stage that the Lord started dealing with me. I had this wave upon wave of emptiness, loneliness and coldness in my heart that I knew only the Lord could fill. I envied the children of God who could go to services openly and freely and meet with Him there, yet not realize what they have.

My spirit was dying and I started crying out to the Lord to forgive me and make a way for me. I could not pray past that as the obstacles were so numerous. Then after a while, with all the hustle and bustle of life, one forgets what you asked from the Lord.

One day we went to visit Ashraf’s eldest brother who spoke about a Christian book he had started reading, but because of fear had not finished reading. We were curious about what had made him afraid and decided to purchase the book (as the Lord would have it). We decided to read the book together so that we would finish it. When we read the last page and closed the book both of us got down on our knees and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and King. The Lord was very merciful toward us.

We started attending services secretly and had to dress down when we went to Ashraf’s parents on a Sunday. After a while we told them that we had accepted Jesus Christ. Ashraf was of course disowned and has lost all contact with his family.

But the Lord is a God who keeps His promises:

Verily I say unto you there is no man that left house or parents or brethren or wife or children for the Kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time and in the world to come life everlasting (Luke 18:29-30).

The Lord has been gracious and true to His word.

My encouragement to every reader –

It’s very easy to deny somebody you’ve only heard of, but having a relationship with the Lord and Him being everything in our lives, I believe that with the Lord’s mercy nothing will be able to move us to renounce this awesome God.

Thank you Lord for the unfailing mercy and the undeserved second chance that you gave me.

Phina Jappie

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