Week 27 - Drug Dealer Student Gives Life to Jesus

‘He extended an invitation to come to church, I accepted. The Holy Spirit filled my heart that night’.

I first met Kai back in September 2023 at Solent Freshers Fair. He was aimlessly wandering around the sea of stands handing out leaflets for discounted hair cuts at a local barber shop without much luck. He caught my eye-line of sympathy. “Oh no, he’s seen me” I huffed to myself. At the time, I didn’t realise his offer of a half-price trim was his opening line to everyone and was therefore relieved to know my hair line didn’t need desperately fixing, for now, at least!

I ushered Kai over to the Fusion Try Church stand. Here, myself and local student workers were spending the day sharing the gospel with students and inviting them to church. Kai was a fresher himself; he was due to start his Sports & Psychology course later that month. Up until this point, Kai hadn’t disclosed what his life was like before enrolling at Solent University. His eyes lit up at the opportunity of being personally being invited to Church. In most cases, we never hear what happens after encounters with people like Kai. The journey he’s been on with God is nothing short of extraordinary.

This is Kai’s testimony. 

‘I grew up with a Christian grandmother, and when I was eight years old, my mother also became Christian. I started to enjoy church but I didn’t experience a deep relationship with the Lord because I was so busy trying to become a football player. At the age of 17, I stopped going to church, and after some time, I sustained a knee injury, ending my dream of being a football player. As a result, I blamed God for my failure and walked away from him.

I moved from Brazil to Italy and started to live a dark life. My measure of happiness was how much alcohol, women, and drugs I had. I moved to the UK and at this point, I started to deal drugs in London.

On January 5, 2022, I went to make a deal with other dealers, and they kidnapped me. When I was in that room, I remembered about Jesus. I asked him to free me from that place safely and that I was going to stop all my business with drugs. After a few hours, they liberated me without touching a hair on my head. After that day, God started to change the route of my life.

I moved to Southampton to study, but I discovered the real reason I moved a few months later. I went to the fresher’s fair, praying to God to help me find a church’. [This is where I met Kai, who I then introduced to Sam, a local student worker in Southampton]. He extended an invitation to come to church on that same Thursday, and I accepted. The Holy Spirit filled my heart that night.

I went to Bridge the Gap Football [a Christian football charity] and I met another Sam, called Sam Bell. I wanted to be around Christians. After we finished playing, Sam Bell asked if everything was okay? I explained my knee was hurting. He kindly asked if he could pray for my knee injury. I allowed it; but after the prayer my knee was still hurting. I told him maybe God was not willing to heal me. He replied, God is always willing to heal. That phrase stayed in my head for the following hours. I decided to believe God could heal me.

I woke up without any pain the next morning, followed by two days of trying to make sense of what happened to me. The supernatural power of the Holy Spirit changed the course of my life that day. I began to pray, read the Bible and fast consistently to learn more from God and create a relationship. On the 12th November 2023 at the 10:30 service, I heard the Holy Spirit speaking into my soul the reason why I was in Southampton. I cried for an entire hour; it was difficult to explain to people around me why I was crying in that way. The experiences since that day are changing and shaping how I see the world’.

In January 2024, Kai committed his life to Jesus by getting baptised. Before his submersion, he explained, ‘Jesus has changed my existence; I was blind, and now I can see. I found the treasure, and today, I’m ready to go into that water and be washed and reborn as a new creation’.

I caught up with Kai recently for the first time since this all happened. I could tell immediately his face and whole demeanour had changed. Kai testifies that God freed him from his previous state of depression and has begun to see God’s miraculous healing power at work in the lives of family and friends. Kai is so hungry for God, he is heading out into the city with a friend every Sunday before Church to share the name of Jesus with members of the public. It doesn’t stop there, Kai also wants to continue learning how to share his faith well and has agreed to join Fusion and a group of local evangelists in Southampton who go out to campus weekly to share the good news of Jesus with students. Praise God!

Every week of the academic year, we are sharing a story of student mission. If you have a story to share, let us know.

Will Reavell

Partnership Developer

Will’s personal experiences at university led him to know and encounter the Father’s heart in all its fullness. This love ignites his passion to resource the local church in reaching, discipling and empowering the next generation of students to share their hope and faith in Jesus. Revival come!

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