Muslim man locks Christian wife out of house, she finds key in fish’s belly

Photo credit: SIM

By Mark Ellis –

After a West African woman began to follow Jesus, her Muslim husband often beat her because of her newfound faith. Steadfastly, she maintained her quiet witness as she served him, all the while praying to God for his salvation.

She recounted the following remarkable testimony to SIM.

It seems the woman wanted to attend a week-long church meeting away from home. She meekly asked her husband if she could attend. Predictably, the man exploded in anger. “Her husband was livid. A whole week? Who would cook his food? Clean his house?” she related to SIM.

He told her she should focus on Islam and forget the Christian church. He beat her harshly once again.

In spite of her husband’s violent response, she felt God’s leading to attend this meeting, which would nurture her growth and provide needed fellowship with other women.

The man was so upset after she left, he locked up the house and declared to the neighbors that his wife would never enter his home again. To add a dramatic emphasis to his point, he threw the house key into the river as he headed to his girlfriend’s house for the week.

The woman stopped by the local market on her way home from the conference. “She planned to have a hearty meal ready for her husband when he came home from Friday prayers. She had no idea that her husband had already locked her out of her home for good,” according to SIM.

Women selling fish on the beach (photo credit: Steve Bloom)

After she got home, she thought it was strange that the house was locked up tightly. She wanted to start preparing the meal for her husband, so she borrowed a pot from her neighbor and began to clean the fish she had just bought.

“When she cut open the fish, a key fell out of its belly. Puzzled, she examined it and remarked to her neighbor that the key looked similar to her own house key. Her neighbor urged her to try it in the lock, and it worked! She opened up the house, cleaned it, and got her husband’s supper ready to wait for him,” according to SIM.

As her husband walked home from the mosque, he was shocked when he recognized his house had been opened and a fire was burning in the outdoor kitchen.

Now he was really angry, thinking perhaps a neighbor had helped his wife bust open the door or break the lock. But when he examined the door and the lock, nothing seemed amiss.

“When he demanded to know how she got back into their house, she told him the strange story of the key in the fish’s belly. Stunned, he didn’t say another word.”

The following night he told his wife he wanted to attend church with her the next morning.

After the Sunday morning church service, the man asked if he could speak with the pastor privately. He told him the amazing story about the house key and said, “I want to serve the God of the Christians. He is the One who knows and has power to do what no one else can.”

The man surrendered his life to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was born again!

God faithfully answered the woman’s prayers for her husband to turn from his sins and follow Christ.

“In his gospel, Matthew tells of a fish caught with a coin in its mouth for taxes (Matthew 17:27). In West Africa in 2018, a house key in a fish’s belly became a key to the Kingdom for an abusive husband.”

“Our Lord is still a fisher of men.”


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  1. This is a beautiful story. Forgive me…I remember reading a similar story 30 years ago when I was in primary school.

  2. Donna
    What a fabulous story! Thank God she persisted and than you Lord for coming through! That’s our God!

  3. I’ve heard a very similar story only I think the setting was Thailand or Malaysia. I do wish they would give names of people/countries/places involved so stories like this can be verified. I’ve become a bit cynical over the years on finding out some of these “feel good”are totally made up.

  4. A friend of mine sent this story to me on WhatsApp. I read it and decided to search it out. First, we should vet every story with critical lenses and ascertain the authenticity before circulating it. Several questions popped up in my mind on reading this testimony. The statement “To add a dramatic emphasis to his point, he threw the house key into the river as he headed to his girlfriend’s house for the week.” raised a question in my mind as I read it. Why would the man throw his key into the river? How will he re-enter his house when he gets back? Even if he had a spare key, what is the rationale for throwing the other key into the river? Were there no other options to keep the key away from his spouse? He could have (for example) taken all the keys with him… On another note, since the woman may have left the house before her husband, is it not likely she must have also gone with her own spare of their house key? This seemingly extraordinary story is actually ground on the premise that the key was thrown into the river, which when we deconstruct the narrative, we find everything collapsing. Other critical questions I asked were: Assuming the man truly threw the key into the river, what was the time lapse between the throwing of the key into the river and a fisherman catching the particular fish that swallowed it? How long did it take for that particular fish to get to the marketplace, where the woman bought it? The story continued… asserting that the woman “wanted to start preparing the meal for her husband, so she borrowed a pot from her neighbor and began to clean the fish she had just bought.” Since her house was locked, was the woman cooking this food in a neighbor’s home or what? Did she then borrow more than just “a pot” or in addition, she borrowed other ingredients? (Again, because her own house was locked). Since the story did not provide any background and cultural context, these questions give it the smear of fakeness and lack of truth. I personally have no doubt at all about what God can do. I believe in the miraculous. I strongly believe that the Living God (Yahweh) cannot be bound by our natural methods and means. But I am always on guard when people share a testimony of what sounds “miraculous” and yet, in essence, their testimony is false while they attribute a lie to the God who Himself is Truth and has nothing to do with lies. So that’s my take on the story you shared. I strongly suggest that stories be verified before they are shared. Those who follow Jesus must work hard to live and work for the Truth and avoid becoming instruments for spreading falsehood and then attributing such to God who abhors falsehood!

    • The story originated with a highly respected mission organization that would make every effort to verify the story. I agree it stretches the bounds of credulity, like the story of Jonah or a talking donkey or many other miraculous incidents in the Bible. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”(Matt. 17:27) Is there anything more incredible than that?

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