Franklin from Cameroon arrived at the door of the Mercy Centre about 3 year ago. He came with 2-3 friends who were visiting us for a few weeks. He was drunk even from the first time but he had a great smile and greeted us by putting his palms together and bowing his head, something like a Japanese greeting. We have spent time with him every time he visited us and found out bits and pieces from his life. Jeff an American volunteer helped him and became friends with him.
His uncle was an ambassador in Scotland and Ireland and Franklin was with him for a season until he arrived in Cyprus. He mixed with the wrong friends and spent a lot of his time drinking with them. About 18 months ago there was a fire in an abandoned house he was staying with his friends, the police arrested him and he ended in Lakatamia detention Centre. Some of his friends told us about it and we started visiting him.
He was very shocked when we visited him for the first time because he thought nobody would care. He told me he thought he was in hell because he was looking for a drink from early in the morning. His stomach was aching and he could not even eat food for a few days. He said he did not want to sign to go back to Cameroon. He said his life was in danger and had no family or house to go back to.
After I talked to him about God and how much He loved him and had good plans for him, he told me to pray that God will send him to some place like Canada or the U.K. I told him that my prayer for him will be that God will prepare his heart to go where God had plans to send him. He did not like this but I carried on visiting him and, when he accepted the Lord, he began to have hope in his life.
One day I received a call from one of my cell group members to tell me that he had some great news to share with me. He told me he was arrested and taken to Block 10 next to Central prison. I did not know how to react as he was a very mature believer but he told me calmly that God has some good plans. He said to me that he was soon going to be transferred to Lakatamia Detention Center but instead he was transferred to another detention centre.
When I called Franklin to visit him they told me he was also transferred to the same detention center as my friend. Somehow my friend’s words that God has some good plans began to make sense to me. Franklin was put right next to my friend. In my next visit I saw both at the same time and told them that my friend has found a disciple and a son to raise to maturity and Franklin has found a father to prepare him for whatever God had on His agenda.
They began to meet together, study the Bible and pray. This was a day of new beginnings in the detention centre. Soon an Egyptian joined them and the plan of God begun to unfold. When others began to be interested and wanted to join their group they made a request to meet 3 times a week for prayer and study. Their request was granted so they began this journey together.
The 3 people became 7 then 9 then 13 then 17 then 23 and now a pastor was granted permission to go once a month for a meeting. Franklin was beginning to mature and take some leadership initiatives and as he was maturing in God he decided to accept that God wanted him to return to Cameroon. He agreed to sign his papers and he returned to his country a different man.
This began with the heading “The story of an alcoholic” but is carrying on as “The Miracle story of a new creation ready to serve his Savior”