Khalid was born into a Muslim family in Ethiopia. He lived a comfortable life, supported by his loved ones and community.
But then a friend told him about Jesus.
It was this message of the gospel that Khalid couldn’t shake. But he knew the choice to follow Jesus wouldn’t be an easy one.
Khalid said, “It’s very difficult for a Muslim to come to Christ, because in Islam, Jesus is said to be human, and in Christianity, it is said that He is Lord. It was so hard, but God helped me, and I became a free man.”
When Khalid chose to be baptised, his new church family welcomed him with open arms. However, his family at home weren’t so happy.
“They told me that I defiled the culture and betrayed their faith,” he said. “They forced me to leave the house and refused to give me food or shelter. They even threatened to kill me.”
Khalid left with few possessions and no way to sustain himself. Like many others in Ethiopia, choosing to follow Jesus nearly cost him his life.
“When I lived with my family, life was comfortable. But when they kicked me out, life turned dark.
“What helped me to stand strong was the Word of God, which says: ‘He will never leave or forsake you’. With that in mind, I left everything behind, even if it would make me unhappy.”
One Sunday church service, Khalid came across a life-changing opportunity. An Open Doors economic empowerment program.
After receiving a microloan and attending saving and investment training, Khalid chose to invest in a small convenience store.
He discovered a gift for entrepreneurship and was soon able to expand his business, rent farmland and employ other members of the community.
With one microloan, Khalid was able to bless his entire community and even began to restore his relationship with his family.
“The loan changed many things in my life,” he said. “Now, I provide for my family and even beyond that.
“Those relatives that used to hate me before, now come to spend time with me. Many things have changed.”