A Nigerian senator has reportedly shared the story of how her biological father burned all her possessions when she was a kid because she made the bold leap to follow Christ.
Sen. Binta Masi Garba of the Adamawa state detailed for constituents gathered at Praise International Church in the state’s capital of Yola on Sunday the price she has paid for her faith, according to the Nigerian daily newspaper The Punch.
The outlet reports that a thanksgiving service was held at the church to commemorate the senator’s 50th birthday. Recounting her upbringing, Garba began to shed tears as she credited the Lord for being her rock during one the hardest parts of her life.
Like many other converts to Christianity from Muslim backgrounds, Binta stated that she faced tough consequences when she accepted Christ as her savior.
“I gave my life to Christ when I was in primary school,” she was quoted as saying. “My father was infuriated and he burnt everything I had because of my decision to follow Christ. I suffered so much because of the name of Jesus. I would have been nothing if not for His grace. The rejected child, because of my faith, has become a cornerstone. I give glory to His name.”
Garba was elected to the Senate in 2015 after previously serving in Nigeria’s Federal House of Assembly from 1999 until 2011. She is also the chairperson of the Nigerian Senate’s Committee on Women Affairs.
The thanksgiving service was also attended by Nigeria’s Christian vice president, Yemi Osinbajo. It was also attended by Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, and Senator Nelson Effiong.
As Nigeria is ranked by Open Doors USA as the 14th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, Osinbajo called on attendees to pray for the Christians who have been elected to public office.
“The truth of the matter is that in the government of today, we have some of the most erudite Christians, some of the best Christians occupying positions in government. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who is a pastor; the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita; and, of course I, the vice president, are all Christians.”
However, Osinbajo warned that just having Christians in public office is “not enough.”
“It is never enough. If you look through the scriptures whether it was Joseph, Daniel or Esther, every person who made an impact in governance in the scripture that we see was supported by the prayers of the people of God,” the vice president asserted. “God is not moved unless we move His hands in the place of prayers. We are in a period in history when God wants to do something that is why some of us are in government. The opportunity must not be lost, your prayers to God will make that difference.”
“In spite of the challenges encountered in politics, Christians should not be discouraged,” Vanguard quoted the senator as saying. “Once you have God by your side, everything will pave way.”