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Christmas 2009
Christmas 2009

A new freedom

Musu IdaigiMusu Idaigi's story was marked by substance abuse and incarceration until he found Jesus.

I come from a very close Christian family in Papua New Guinea, growing up in a little village. As a kid, I went to a Catholic school and went to church regularly, but I wasn’t really strong in my Christian life.

I came to the Torres Strait Islands at the age of 14. It was really hard for me to try to break away from the bad influences there. I went to church on Thursday Island, but there was too much alcohol and other things. I didn't have enough strength to resist them.

Then, one time I got in trouble with the law and ended up in a correctional centre in Cairns in Far North Queensland. I did three-and-a-half years there. When I went in, I thought, 'My parents are not here, my family is way back home, I'm here on my own. I have to make my own decisions now because there’s no-one here for me.' That's when I decided to do something about my life. I turned to God and said, 'I'm helpless, I'm way down, how can I get to know you?'

I did three years thinking and writing letters for help. The chaplains who went into the prison helped us a lot. I went to the chapel regularly and decided to commit myself to the Lord.

To become a Christian was not easy for me. No-one can make the decision for you; it is up to you to start thinking about it and to make your own commitment to accept the Lord. But then you feel a joy you have never felt before. I thought because my parents are Christians, then I was a Christian, too. I thought that I was, but I hadn't accepted Jesus then as I have now. I feel that love and joy in me now, and I am happy because I am in his presence. He knows everything we are doing with our life—he knows everything about us from the start to the end, because he knew us when we were in our mother's womb. After my release I asked God for direction.

I didn’t know anything about The Salvation Army until I came to Cairns and was sent to The Salvation Army's Family Store by the (Centrelink) job network people. One day, while I was working at the Family Store, another volunteer said to me that I should go to the church. So, I did one Sunday morning. I liked it. I could feel something change by going to church. I think that was a few months after I started at the Family Store and I have been coming ever since. Then I said I would like to be an adherent (an associate member of The Salvation Army). The people have been nice to me. They didn’t care about my past or where I had come from. The first day at The Salvation Army, I could feel something special. This is ground that I can stand on.

The Salvation Army is my family and my home now. This [life] is right for me now. God has brought me here. Now I am happy, just living as normal, with no alcohol and no drugs.

Story republished courtesy of Warcry.