My name is Angel V. Mbome and I was born in Batie, somewhere in the West Region of Cameroon. I spent the early years of my life in Cameroon.
As a child, I was continuously oppressed by strange forces at night. I would sleep on the bed and wake up in different areas in the morning and sometimes on the floor.
Some of my siblings and some villagers called me an “Ogbanje” (child from the underworld) especially as I could see things they couldn’t see. At some point I became paralyzed and no one could medically explain why I couldn’t walk. My mother told me only prayers rescued me.
After some years, I left my biological mother and relocated to Buea still in the South West Region, to meet my second mother (who raised me). The oppression stopped for some time.
But then new battles came to play. Most of the people who were meant to protect me molested me. Eventually, I was raped at the age of eight. My mother did everything in her power and style to protect me but even the people she trusted to watch over me at school did the same things she was protecting me from.
My home, neighbourhood, school and even church became unsafe as there was always someone trying to touch me or take advantage of me. I have been raped more than once in my lifetime.
Then, I faced an incident that made everything worse. I fell on an iron bucket from a corridor causing a severe injury in my private area. I lost so much blood and when I was taken to the theater I kept on having recurrences. They carried me back and forth to the hospital and this took a toll on me. When I had the third recurrence, I stayed in the hospital for so long.
At this time, my mother was sick and so I was placed in the adult ward at the general hospital so that some adults could watch over me when no family was around.
This was very close to the morgue. I sat in front of that hospital corridor everyday as I watched people being carried in and out of the morgue. Deep within me, and even thoough I was only eight years old, I was sure my day was very close and that they would take me in there too.
But then, God encountered me for the first time. He held my hand as we spoke and on another occasion, He gave me a note; on it was written “I love you, I will never leave you”. I was strengthened by these encounters.
When I left the hospital, it wasn’t easy. I was isolated most of the time even though I was in a house full of lovely people.
Some children mocked me when they saw me sitting naked in a basin to receive treatment from the accident. Others mocked because I was told I couldn’t wear undies or play for some time as this could provoke more bleeding.
By the time I was a teenager I had lost my self esteem. I struggled to fit in. I struggled to find acceptance from people. I would love everyone else but myself. I believed every good thing was for someone else. I became a pretender just so people would love and accept me.
By the time I miraculously found myself in America (a story for another day), I was struggling with anxiety and depression. Life got harder because I was trying to survive all by myself as a teenager and so suicidal thoughts kicked in. I was so depressed and became so tiny that I was sure I would die.
The only voices I remembered were the voices that told me I was nothing, not good enough, doomed, and to dwell in self pity. I forgot all about the encounters I had with God and how he had kept me as a child.
But God in His mercy visited me again. This time around He told me in a dream, “not all who call me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter my kingdom but those who do the will of my father”. After He said all these, He asked me to kneel down for a sister to pray for me and after this sister prayed for me, I repented. He took me to Himself.
Then I had another encounter where he gave me another note and this time around he said “I am with you always”.
At this point, I realized that He was calling me unto salvation. I accepted Jesus and since that day, my life has never been the same. I still go through some challenges but God’s grace is evident in my life. He washed me and changed my story. I used to be ashamed to testify but not anymore. God has been so good and I must testify.
Most of the challenges I experienced pushed me to become an overachiever. Doing all to be relevant. I realized at some point that I was going about life the wrong way and that my identity was not found in any achievements but in Christ.
People ask me why I don’t talk about my achievements. This is not because I am not grateful or because I minimize them. I strive to do so only when necessary because without the titles, achievements and all I have and can ever have or achieve I am a child of God. I am His. I am defined in Christ Jesus. My identity is in Him.
In Christ, my achievements are great but rip me off them all, I still have it all because I found it all in Jesus. He is everything. Today I am married to Pastor Joseph Mbome and together we are impacting lives for His Glory.
Angel V Mbome,
Music minister, CEO of the 3h That Inspires and Pastor’s wife.