Augustin’s near death experience changed the course of his life
Deathly ill from misdiagnosed typhoid, Augustin Barnabé Tchenkoua was told his chances of survival were slim and knew he needed to prepare for the worst case scenario.
"The day I started the treatment, I could not sleep because I felt that my hours were numbered," Augustin recalls of that fateful time in 1993.
Up until this point in his life, he had resisted his friend's warning about what lay ahead for him after death.
"I had a friend who spoke to me about Jesus Christ for several years without success," he explains.
This friend feared for Augustin's spiritual health, knowing that if he did not accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Saviour he would not be forgiven for his sins and go to heaven.
While Augustin lay on his death bed he could not stop thinking about his friend's words and sent someone to find him.
"My intention was to make peace with God before dying," Augustin explains.
The person he sent that day could not find Augustin's friend but instead returned with a Christian sister.
"I told her I wanted her to pray for my healing," he recalls when she arrived.
"I did not actually tell her to pray for my salvation because my whole family was gathered in my room and such a prayer topic would have triggered weeping on both sides."
While this woman was praying for his recover, Augustin says he was secretly praying for much more.
"I was saying something like this to God: 'Lord Jesus, my whole life I've fought against You, I always did the opposite of what you expected of me. Now I recognise that I have always sinned against You; come into my life, forgive my sins and welcome me when I die'," he says.
"That day, God answered both my prayer and the request of the sister who prayed for my healing."
A few days later Augustin says he emerged from his illness completely transformed.
"My beliefs had changed and my values too. I could think of only one thing: learn more about the God who healed me not only physically but spiritually and announce Him to everybody!"
Six years after his healing, Augustin has been so impacted by the changes God had made in his life that he resigned from his job as a mine prospector and started training for full-time Christian ministry.
Today he works for Campus Crusade for Christ and is the military ministry director of Cameroon, with the aim of sharing the same life-transforming message his friend had lovingly shared with him. •