It was the middle of the night. Annah Mawungwa was sleeping when suddenly a man in white appeared in her dreams and knocked on her bedroom door.
The 57-year-old had been raised in a family steeped in ancestral worship and pagan rituals. So this vision could have been some kind of spirit connected with those dark and ancient practices.
After all, Annah was very familiar with the supernatural. Orphaned when she was five, she was raised by her grandmother. She was a sickly child and her grandmother would tell her to go to her parents' grave to ask for their protection from the realm of the dead. Her grandmother would also bring her regularly to see sangomas, or witchdoctors.
None of these 'consultations' did anything to help Annah though. She remained weak and sickly and her frustration at being unhealthy made her resentful.
"I became such an angry person," she says. "I was very impatient and had a very bad temper. I wanted to fight with everyone."
By the time she had the dream about the man in white, she was about 15 years old and her health was failing badly.
The strange thing was that she recognised the man. Even though she had had no teaching about him, no exposure to him. Yet somehow, she knew him. She knew his name. His name was Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible, and He told her to get right with Him and be baptised, because 'the Kingdom of God is near'.
Annah did nothing after this first encounter, however, and her health continued to deteriorate.
"Nothing was working," she recalls. "I just kept getting sicker. Then Jesus visited me for the second time in my dreams. This time I asked my friend to take me to church. There I committed my life to Jesus and I got baptised."
That was 42 years ago. Annah's life changed totally after she asked God to come into her life. She was completely healed of her illness and began on a journey with God that would ultimately lead her to where she is now – studying to be a pastor.
Soon after her conversion, she began experiencing the blessings of God in her life. "Jesus helped me to grow in my faith. I got healed of my sickness and I became successful at work – I was promoted regularly."
Being a Christian does not mean you never have any problems in life, and Annah says that learning to endure through difficulties can be hard, but she always leans on God. "Yes life is sometimes hard, but the best part is that God speaks to me, helps me and answers my prayers for help," she says.
"Without Jesus there is no life. We need to be protected by Him in order to overcome problems. When you have Jesus in your life you will never be the same again because He cares, He protects, provides and loves you."
Annah's favourite chapters in the Bible are Isaiah 61 and 62. They speak of hope in Christ the Redeemer and of the glory of His coming kingdom. The opening verse of chapter 61 gives wonderful words of encouragement. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor: He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound..."•