I WAS 16 years old when rebel soldiers forced me to join their army. They supplied me with drugs and alcohol, and I often fought in a drug-crazed state. I fought many battles and committed terrible atrocities. This I deeply regret.
One day an elderly Witness preached at our barracks. Most people feared and despised us rebels, yet he was reaching out to help us spiritually. When he invited me to a meeting, I accepted. I don’t remember what was said at the meeting, but I clearly remember the warm welcome I received.
When the war heated up, I lost contact with the Witnesses. Then I was seriously wounded and was sent to a rebel-controlled area to recuperate. Before the war ended, I escaped to a government-controlled area and entered a program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate combatants into society.
I desperately wanted spiritual help. I attended Pentecostal meetings, but the church members called me the Satan in their midst. So I started searching for Jehovah’s Witnesses. After I found them, I began to study and attend meetings. When I confessed to my wicked deeds, the brothers read to me Jesus’ comforting words: “Healthy people do not need a physician, but those who are ill do. . . . I came to call, not righteous people, but sinners.”—Matt. 9:12, 13.
How those words touched my heart! I handed my dagger to the brother with whom I was studying the Bible, saying: “I kept this weapon for protection against reprisals. But now that I know that Jehovah and Jesus love me, I don’t want it anymore.”
The brothers taught me how to read and write. Eventually, I was baptized and became a regular pioneer. Today, when I preach to former rebels, they say that they respect me for cleaning up my life. I even studied with the adjutant of my former platoon.
When I was a soldier, I fathered three boys. After learning the truth, I wanted to help them spiritually. To my delight, two of them responded! One of my sons is an unbaptized publisher, and my oldest son is now an auxiliary pioneer.