Tariq Foofa was 13 years old when his father kicked him out of the house because the boy became a Christian. Tariq was forced to live on the streets of Addis Ababa, but never gave up hope that God has a plan for his life. Since then, the Ethiopian Evangelist spreads the Good news from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe. And now he believes that God wants him to help send African missionaries around the world. The amazing story of Tariq — about love, forgiveness, and purpose.
MHN: You met Christ in childhood. How did this happen?
Tariq Foofa: I was looking for love. When I was seven, my older brother told me about Christ. He said that Jesus loves people. The minute I gave my life to Christ. The first time I learned about who can love me. And then my dad said, “Tariq, you have a choice: either Jesus or our family.” He said: “Choose!” And then I said, “Dad, I choose Jesus.” When I told my father I was beaten. The stepmother also beat me. Brothers and sisters egged father, saying, “Come on, dad! Kill him!” That night he even bit my face till it bleeds. If you look closely, you can still see a lot of scars on my body. That night my father threw me out, so starting from that day, for the next six years, I lived mostly on the street. My life was very difficult. The Lord then said, “I will heal you of your asthma.” I once worked in the kitchen and began to choke. That day I thought I was going to die. I cried, and then God spoke to me. I heard a quiet voice that penetrates right into my heart. It wasn’t even a sound but I heard it from the inside. And God said to me, “Tariq, My son, don’t cry. You will not be without help.” He said, “I’ll take you to the University, there you will receive a diploma, but then you’ll put your degree aside and move on by sharing My gospel to all the world in a language that you never spoke.” And then the Lord said, “I will heal you of that asthma.”
My father had not seen for six years, but one day my dad came to my school. He immediately asked this question: “Tariq Is a real or a Ghost?” And then I reminded him about the past and said, “Dad, do you remember six years ago when you kicked me out, you said, “Your Jesus doesn’t care about you”? You left me, you rejected me, you left me to die. But since then, Jesus has become me and dad and mom. Jesus became my sister and brother. Jesus became all that I need in my life.” When I said that, my dad wept and said, “Son, could you forgive me?” And then I forgave him. He hugged me, kissed, and then said: “Son, I love you.” And it was the happiest moment in my life. After that he asked me to come home. So I returned home. And when my half brother and sister saw me alive, the same day they also gave their lives to Christ. After that in my hometown to the name of Jesus began to add my name. The people said, “Jesus Tariq”. This is because they really saw Jesus in my life.
From there, “Campus Crusade for Christ” sent me to study in Uganda. Then I returned and began his Ministry in Ethiopia. When I arrived, I had six students. And then, eight years later, when I was asked to move with his wife to Zimbabwe, the six disciples “multiplied” up to 7300. Our staff in Zimbabwe have been praying every year. It was so amazing: the people prayed for forty days. Only in 2012, Zimbabwe was founded 398 churches.
MHN: what prayer need Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa? What would you suggest?
I will say this: pray for spiritual revival. We need the power of God was moving extraordinary and supernatural way. We face many challenges. Islam spread throughout Africa. When investors come here, they also build their mosque. So pray that all our Muslim brothers and sisters come to know Christ. Pray that Jesus Christ was the center of attention of Africans. Pray that African churches, pastors, leaders came together and said, “this is our time. Let us stand and send missionaries around the world.” I hear many say that Africa’s time has come. But I really want to see how Africa will begin to send missionaries to other parts of the world. Early missionaries in Africa sent the United States and Europe. But we believe that it is time for Africa to send missionaries around the world. So, we have a vision about the education of over one hundred thousand African missionaries. So pray about it.
MAN: Well, will. Thank you very much. Thank you.
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