Finding Jesus in a Refugee Camp

Fred & Isatta Coker October 01 2014, 4:59 pm

In 1997, civil war forced my wife and me to flee our home in Sierra Leone. We spent 18 months in the Daaxagbe refugee camp in Guinea. Life in a refugee camp is hard, but for us it was an eternal blessing, because that’s where we met Christ.
I grew up in a Muslim home but attended Adventist primary and secondary schools. During this time, I was rebellious and had no interest in God. Still, He spared my wife and me and brought us safely to our refugee camp. There, my step father-in-law, an Adventist Bible worker, introduced us to Christ. As he led us through Bible studies three times a day, everything I had learned in Adventist schools came alive for me—God’s mercy, love and care for humanity. We surrendered our lives to Christ, and He filled us with new life and new dreams.
Like most refugees, our highest hope had been to resettle in a new country with better living conditions. This hope kept us from discouragement and gave us strength to endure. However, when we gave our lives to God, we invited His will to be done in our lives. He became our Blessed Hope.
Leaving our refugee camp behind, we moved to Conakry, the capital of Guinea, and got baptized there. We did not end up resettling in a new country, but the Captain of our lives had a better plan for us. Instead, He made us partners in His business of soul-winning. Today, He is greatly blessing and multiplying our work, recently doubling enrollment at our school from 300 to more than 600. We are eternally grateful that God sought us out in that refugee camp and led us down the path to become AFM missionaries in partnership with Him.