What causes a man to preach perseveringly, even during persecution? Pauline Akello tells the dreadful journey of Ap Abdul Aziz Mugoya, who was hounded but stuck to God after getting born again.
Reasons for conversion
Born in Bugiri district to Hajjat Salma Nalukenge and Al Hajji Umar Mugoya, a Muslim leader with over 20 wives, Mugoya was already on his way to becoming an Imam.
He grew up in a good home, with responsible and caring parents.
He recalls that as a child, he was once seriously beaten by his father when he found him sharing a meal with a Christian.
After the beating, Mugoya asked his father why he had beaten him and by way of explanation, his father read to him a portion in the Quran about Muslims not sharing meals with Jews.
He was baffled and stunned, because he had grown up hearing that there is one God, but people worship Him in different ways.
Even though Mugoya loved his religion, he sought to know more about Christianity because he did not understand some things in Islam.
“I had no clear answers. Even when I attended Buziga Islamic Theological Institute, some things remained confusing to me,” he says.
He says he was taken to Oman at the appeal of his father to obtain deeper knowledge in the studies of Islam.
After his studies, he was then instituted as an Imam.
Regardless, he still had questions; the supreme being of his religion seemed to be different from that of Christians.
The desire to see a mighty God, who did not rely on man, is what he sought after.
“I knew that once I read that divine book, I would never be the same. I had to seek for truth for myself,” Mugoya says.
He was attracted by John 14:6 and he sought to dig deeper.
He led the Mosque in Namuwongo, a Kampala suburb for only one week and left to join Kisugu Miracle Center Church. In 2007, Mugoya got born again.
“I began sleeping in the Church compound. At that time, my father had travelled to Oman to lobby for funds to build mosques. He returned promptly and started to hunt me down,” Mugoya explains.
When he met his father, again, he was asked why he (Mugoya) would do such an abominable act. He was beaten till his teeth fell out.
He adds: “I last saw my father in 2007 after the beating. When I saw him returning with a spear I ran off. He had even dug a grave, with a tombstone, saying Born in 1986 and died in 2007.”
Mugoya says the beginning was challenging because even when he was in the presence of fellow believers, they seemed to avoid him, thinking he sought to fleece them.
He says: “I only wanted to share my love for God and how good salvation was to me. I slept hungry for many years, but I always held on to the hope of what I had received, I just wanted who to share that with”.
Even in his homelessness, he preached the Gospel. One time he was invited to minister in Bulo village, Butambala District. While there, he led more people to Christ.
“So many will ask what keeps me firm in faith and makes me preach the Gospel. It is because Christ saved me from perdition.
“Many fellow Christians do not understand the value of what has been given to them, Christ is beyond a car, a house, wife or husband,” Mugoya says.
He adds that he was saved by the grace of Christ and is enthused by the urge to serve Him. He says Christians should not look for people to save them, but simply walk in the purpose of their calling, and God will provide.
Mugoya and his wife celebrated their marriage in 2021, and the two are blessed with two children.
He has provided shelter for the former Muslim families and children, who were ex-communicated from the community, after converting to Christianity.
“God opens doors and we have been blessed with land and a house from Vision for Africa. The house has become a refuge for children, men and women who have chosen to live for Christ,” he says.
Mugoya advises Christians that Jesus is beyond financial benefits and must be served with sincerity.
He believes he has been called to be the father of the persecuted former Muslims. He is ready to assist them and welcome them to the Christian family.