4325 cdd Gangsters in Action
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 095
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Ephesians 2:10a
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” NKJV
Hello, my name is Bishop Ishmail Tasara with G O D Church, Gweru, Zimbabwe. My friends call me Ish. I was born in a small village about 100 miles west of Gweru. I was the sixth child of 10. My dad was a hard-working miner. Mom watched the kids. We were a Muslim family. I grew up observing all the rituals of Islam. We were taught to hate Christians.
I learned early that I was a leader. The kids followed what I did. We formed a gang when we were kids which as time passed we became gangsters. We had blood on our hands for what we had done.
Then came a Christian evangelist who held a week-long crusade in our area. We heard the noise and as the week went on we became determined to disrupt everything and prevent these Christ followers from taking their joy home with them. I positioned the gang all throughout the large crowd. When I blew my whistle, they were free to do whatever they could to bring harm to all the Christians. Break arms, maim, harm, damage, fight and cause chaos.
Everyone was in place. I entered the crowd with evil intent in my heart. The preacher was preaching loudly to the crowd and they were responding with shouts of joy. It was time — I grabbed my whistle from my pocket — just then the Holy Spirit struck me to my knees. I heard every word the preacher was speaking as if it was just to me. I heard “there is power in the Cross” then “Jesus died for me to forgive my sins” then I heard “you have a new opportunity with Jesus.”
This was my time. Jesus spoke to me. I heard Him say, “I have called you.” As I was on my knees fear over took me. The preacher had an alter call and I was the first person to run up to the altar.
People were shocked — they told each other, “here comes trouble.” I was crying seeking forgiveness for all the blood on my hands. My life was changed that evening. I was baptized as a believer in Jesus Christ.
Then trouble started with my Muslim friends, family and the other Muslim gangsters. They could not believe it. They all said, “Ish will get over Jesus.” But it was not to be. I heard from friends that there were plans to kidnap me and make me change my mind. I changed my routines of where I was going to protect myself. They were frustrated, because they could not find me. Then I heard from friends the Muslim gangsters were going to harm me and make me change my mind. I became a community target.
Then an opportunity to move in with my older brother came. He was a Muslim in name only so by being moved from my neighborhood I found safety. The Lord made a way when there was no way. I was safe. Had I stayed I would probably be dead by now. Muslims see Christians as weak and unable to retaliate. So, they don’t give up on their attacks. They don’t understand the power of God through a Christian.
Once I was safe I began to read the Bible. I started with the Book of Jeremiah. I fasted and Jesus spoke to me again. This time I heard him say, “If you get out of your blanket I’ll come and stay with you and you stay with me.” I crawled out from under my blanket about midnight and prayed straight through until 7:00 am. The longest stretch I ever prayed. Then Jesus spoke again, “I meant come out from under your blanket of sin. Get rid of your things.” Then I knew he was talking about the Muslim things including witchcraft items.” I was mentored by an Imam who had taught me witchcraft. He taught me how to use amulets to control people. I gathered all the things the Imam had given me and I burned them. Now I was set free.
Then the Lord introduced me to a new mentor. An older Christian pastor who taught me all about Evangelism Explosion. He taught me how to preach.
I needed a job so I began as a salesman for a Muslim businessman. Selling clothing. I started fast and was doing well. Then Jesus spoke to me again, “you are wasting your time. I told you to go preach.” My Muslim company could not believe their ears when I told them. My manager said, “Why would such a successful young man resign to preach for Jesus?” He said, “make a letter of resignation and say you need to help your mother.” I did.
I immediately enrolled in the Baptist Theological College and returned sometime later to selling clothes so I could pay for my schooling. The Lord works in mysterious ways. In school, I met my wife Shelly. She didn’t know it but the Lord told me so. Six months later we met again and prayed if we should date. Two months later I asked Shelly out on a date. We married and have two children. Plus, we are raising my brothers two children as he has passed away.
When I graduated from the Baptist Theological College I went to work as an assistant Pastor in the small town of Kwe Kwe. My senior Pastor soon learned that I was an Evangelist and an Apostle. After a short period, he released me to begin God of Deliverance Baptist Church. We have been supported by an auctioneer who gives generously for Kingdom work. Since then we have established 35 churches. We are in the process of establishing a training center for more growth.
Deliverance ministry is miracle ministry. Over the years, we have seen a great many witches (female spell practitioners), witch doctors (those that undo the witch spells) and wizards (male spell practitioners) come to faith in Jesus Christ.
We had an encounter with mediums. These are the ones who summon up evil spirits from hell. There was a convention of mediums not far from where we were holding a Christian Prayer Conference. We were holding our meetings on the same days. The next day the mediums came to our meeting seeking our leader. When I met them, they were angry. They were upset because our prayers were hindering them from calling up their evil spirits.
They said, “we have been calling in spirits all night and your prays are blocking them.” My response was, “If you think your spirits are strong and they are not coming then it is clear Jesus is stronger.” The medium leader came to Christ. She has started a church.
A lady walked into church with a friend who spoke for her. She said her friend was deaf and dumb for six years and wanted to hear and speak. We commanded the demons to set her free and then I handed her the microphone asking her to say Jesus. The place got very quiet and she said, “Jesus.” Our church has never been the same.
Shelly was very sick and near death. The doctors identified a bad cyst. The operation cost was $2,000.00. We didn’t have the money — we prayed. I received a phone call from an acquaintance. He said the Lord had just blessed Him and he wanted to bless us — it was $2,000.00 dollars. Shelly is doing well.
My favorite Bible verse is the entire book of Ephesians. Why, because it contains all the Christian Doctrine there. Also, it contains who we are in Christ and the Power of Christ.
This Cross is representative of Jesus Christ. He means everything to me. Savior, Master and no one else could show me grace. I had blood on my hands and He forgave me. His love, compassion and kindness knows no bounds. The Cross shows us how Jesus values his creation and I must value my creator.
The power of the Cross is in the resurrection. Jesus is not in the grave. All others are in the grave. Jesus has risen.
We are praying for our young people. That they rise up and come into the things of God. There is much to do as we continue to expand the Kingdom of God through Evangelism Explosion.
Prayer: Father thank you for wisdom and practical applications set forth in the Book of Ephesians by the Apostle Paul. Help me to know, understand and live them. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!