Sabado Mamade’s parents were in tears as they begged him to change his ways. Since entering his teen years, Sabado had led a chaotic life. He got drunk for the first time on his 13th birthday, a troubling milestone that his neighborhood in Mozambique regarded as “something normal.” And as Sabado grew, he surrounded himself with others who also attracted trouble.
“My life was filled with alcohol addiction, bad company, and crime,” Sabado confesses.
In total, Sabado was sent to jail five times, even spending 18 months in a penitentiary. He knew that he was out of control, but he felt trapped. He couldn’t imagine that any other life was possible for him.
One day, a man named Antonio approached Sabado. Though Sabado was drunk at the time, Antonio put his hand on Sabado’s shoulder and said, “My brother, life has more to offer than what you’re doing.”
“From the day I talked to Missionary Antonio, I started doing things differently…”
Insulted, Sabado backed away before Antonio could say more, ending the conversation. The suggestion that his life could change made no sense to him. Sabado had already written off the idea as impossible. Why was this person trying to tell him something different? Bewildered, he watched Antonio leave with the rest of the Every Home outreach team.
But Antonio’s words echoed in Sabado’s mind. Could they be true? The next day, after he had sobered up, Sabado met with Antonio again.
“We had the best discussion of my life,” Sabado says. “From the day I talked to Missionary Antonio, I started doing things differently…”
Sabado distanced himself from bad influences, fought his addiction to alcohol, and — most importantly — sought to know more about Christ. Antonio gave him Every Home gospel literature, and as they discussed it together, the Holy Spirit began to transform Sabado’s heart.
“Slowly, I began to understand more about Christ than before,” Sabado says. “I made a decision that transformed my life for good.”
Sabado’s transformation shocked his old friends. Some urged him to go see a witch doctor because they were convinced that Sabado had been bewitched. Others worried that maybe Sabado was dying. What else could account for the sudden change they saw in their friend?
The answer was clear to Sabado.
“The old person who has lived under the oppression of alcohol and bad company has expired. I am now under a new way,” he explains. “My past is history, and each day I interact with Missionary Antonio, I see how God has rescued me from the jaws of the devil.”
Sabado and Antonio
Sabado’s experience is deeply moving, but it isn’t unique. Our teams all over the world share similar testimonies. When Jesus enters the scene, the whole story changes.