By Heidi Goud —
Standing waist-deep in water, 5-foot-1-inch Jesi thunders to the Wusaraambya people, “What will you do when GOD calls your name? How will you answer him?”
The crowds fall silent, relishing the eloquent salvation message borne on the tongue of a man who was once considered a nobody by their village. A child of one of the poorest clans in the Wusaraambya society and small among the young men his age, Jesi had few future dreams. But then God called him to speak.
“I used to try to be somebody,” admits Jesi. “As a kid, I hated being the smallest in my group of friends. I would often pick fights with boys twice my age to prove how tough I was. I gambled, went to parties and pursued beautiful women—while my mother prayed faithfully for me to come to God.”
He laughs, remembering the night when God changed his life.
A group of young believers had come from a nearby village to share with Jesi’s village God’s love for them. Jesi and his friends snuck to the back of the conference to listen, determined to find ways to mock the believers later to their friends.
“I thought we would go to show them how foolish they were,” says Jesi. “But in the end, I realized instead how foolish I was.”
Toward the end of the conference, Jesi and several of his friends committed their lives to Christ. A couple of them were given New Testaments in Pidgin, the trade language, and began to pore over them day and night.
But God’s Word, which sounded vague in the trade language, only truly began to make sense to Jesi when he joined missionary Andrew Goud in translating the Bible into his own language.
“As I realized all that God had done for me, I saw my life being changed,” says Jesi. He explains how Andrew Goud discipled him and his brother into the role of Bible teachers. Today, he has so much joy in God that he cannot keep silent.
Much like Peter in the New Testament, Jesi impulsively tells others about Jesus everywhere he goes. He is often ridiculed and asked by the elders of the community, “Who do you think you are, trying to tell us what to do?”
But Jesi simply shrugs and smiles, knowing that the word of God is a double-edged sword, cutting to the deepest parts of the soul. With God’s help, he continues to preach the gospel with enthusiasm. And today, people come from everywhere to hear him share the gospel message because as Jesi himself attests, “I am not the one speaking; it is Christ speaking through me.” — New Tribes Mission
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