08/20/2021 Uganda (International Christian Concern) –“My name is Andrew Ssevume from Uganda. I have put down my testimony in writing, perhaps it can transform someone somewhere in the world.”
27-year-old Andrew Ssevume was a drug addict for ten years before finding Christ. “This started when I was still in high school,” he told ICC in a recent sit-down interview, “It seemed to be the only way to fit in and avoid being bullied. Eventually, I befriended an older student who initiated me into the group.”
Eventually, Andrew became a powerful drug dealer in his area, known as the “chairman”, and recruited many young boys and girls to use the substances he supplied.
“My parents lost their trust in me,” he recalled. “My decent manners changed to unpleasant, in school I would lead riots, cheat on exams, disrespect teachers, the list is endless.”
Andrew lost his scholarship and was soon expelled from school altogether. He left home and became more heavily involved in crime, discovering “numerous strategies of substance trade.”
“I was a police target and the enemy of other drug lords. I was walking in the shadows among the exiled, to avoid being jailed.”
“Many people who use drug substances think that the only bad thing about doing drugs if that they are illegal and if you get caught you go to jail,” Andrew explained. “[But] in addition to being imprisoned, drugs started to dramatically affect my outward appearance. I became skinny, my face became gloomy, my teeth began to rot, and my eyes turned red.”
In his online testimony, Andrew wrote that the constant stimulation of his central nervous system affected his brain processes, slowing his ability to comprehend information as well as creating memory loss and stress disorders. He also suffered from numerous heart attacks and strokes.
“The Bible states that He knew us when we were still in our mother’s womb,” Andrew wrote, adding that despite how much of a sinner and criminal he was, the Lord never gave up on him.
Night after night, Andrew began to have powerful, terrifying dreams. While he couldn’t understand their meaning, he called out for Jesus Christ.
“I was terrified and crying and seeing myself perishing. But glory be to God who gies life to the dead. The only name I called out loudly to for help was Jesus Christ. Eventually I heard a voice like running water carrying life within itself…”
While his dreams convicted him, Andrew still wasn’t sure what to do. Even though Jesus had rescued him in his dreams, Andrew decided to convert to Islam and eventually changed his name to Mohammed. However, he still couldn’t get peace of mind, and continued selling drugs and ignoring signs from God.
Finally, in 2017, a pastor came to the slum where Andrew was working. However, Andrew was surrounded by his gang, and knew the dangers involved in converting to Christianity.
“For the gangs it is a total abomination to become a Christian,” he wrote, adding that ghetto leadership valued witchcraft as a protection against conversion.
“When you fail to execute those values, you’re killed.”
“I had to direct the gang to chase him (the preacher) away from the area. However… he came back to preach…I resisted until something in my heart forced me to pay attention to the Gospel. Now I believe that my destiny was calling.”
Andrew made an appointment to see the preacher under the disguise of night and, the following Sunday, decided to go to church.
“I confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal savior and from that moment I’ve never been back to my old life.”
Eventually, Andrew was designated as a full-time worship leader. “My gift of singing manifested itself…God is a miracle worker and he assembled me before people who supported me…”
“I’m walking a good journey with Him and I’m evangelizing the gospel in all ways in the ghetto, streets and schools through word and music to extend the kingdom of God.”
Andrew says that he will never stop telling his testimony in hopes that he will be able to help all addicts.
However, he knows the road ahead is dangerous. Since his conversion, Andrew has received threats from gang members who believe that he is now working for the police. He has survived many attacks – one day he was going home from a church overnight when he was brutally beaten by men pretending to be security personnel. Andrew told ICC that God was with him that night, and he was rescued by a by-passer.
Today, Andrew’s dream is to preach the Word both through word of mouth and through music.
“I’m blessed to have this life,” he said. “It feels good to have a position of serving THE Lord, rather than surving as a drug lord.”
“God bless converts.”
“God loves you.”
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: email@example.com.