Saying Yes to Jesus - Henri's story



I am from Gabon in Africa.  I was born in a non Christian Family.  I was the youngest one.  I was number 12.  Ten of my eleven siblings died.  So I became number 2.  My mother was devastated by her children's deaths. When I was born, instead of giving me my father's surname 'Mouboumbi', she gave me the surname 'Samoutou'. In my dialect Vungu, samoutou means no hope. My dad is still alive, but my mother died when I was about four years old.  After my mum passed away, my life became horrible.  I didn’t like anyone.  No one else was good to me like my mum was.  I suffered rejection.  I became a loner.  In Primary School, I was like an angry monster.  My heart was broken.  I was desperate to find my mum, my mum who loved me more than anyone - the one who listened to me, even when I was irritable, miserable, and naughty.


During my second year in secondary school, I was invited by a classmate to take part in a church meeting.  I had never been to church before.  I also never hung out with friends.  My one remaining brother was shocked when I told him that I was going.  We attended the meeting.  There were a lot of people.  The preacher seemed to know everything about me.  I wondered who told him about me and the bad things I had done.  One of the verses I heard was Rom 3:23.  It says that for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  This verse showed me that I had bad behaviour.  I felt guilty.  At the end of the meeting, we came out.  I said to my classmate, ‘I think I have sinned against God.’ Than he started to laugh, laugh, laugh and laugh…  I think that maybe he never heard someone say something like that and did not know how to respond.  Later he said, ‘No Henri, God loves you.’ So we said good night.


That night I didn’t sleep.  The next morning, we met in school.  He asked me how I slept. I said to him I had a bad night.  He said again, 'I know someone who can help you.'  We arranged to meet one of the leaders after church on Sunday.


So on Sunday, I met Maman Marie Josee.  I was prepared to ask this burning question, <<If GOD loves me, why did he permit that my mother to die? >> I asked my question.  The answer was, ‘I don’t know  Henri, but God knows because He gives lives and he takes away lives. Surely God knows why. ‘


She also shared with me two bible verses:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household (
Acts 16:31)


She then went on to say, ‘What I know is  GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.’


This phrase never ran away from my heart.  I was in tears.  That was the day I said yes to Jesus Christ.

With Maman Marie Josee in Rep of Congo, May 2013      With Maman Marie Josee in Rep of Congo, May 2013

Henri with Maman Marie Josee in the church, Pioneer Christian Hospital
Republic of Congo
May 2013