My name is Moussa Diallo and I was born in Bamako, Mali; which is on the west coast of Africa. I lived with my grandparents and a brother and sister in a mud house. I don´t remember my birth parents at all. When I was five years old my grandfather took me and my brother to Dakar, Senegal to try and earn some money. The only thing I could do to help earn money was begging on the streets. Sometimes I stole food to feed myself and my brother. My life was hopeless and sad until I met a nice American man named Neal. Neal was a pilot for United Airlines and was flying through Senegal on business. He met me in the street and decided that he was not going to leave me there. He found a family to take me in and provided them with money to help care for me. This was the first time I got a glimpse of the love of Jesus.
After a couple of years, Neal learned that the family I was living with was not being kind to me. They did not allow me to attend school and they did not treat me well. Neal decided to bring me to America to live with him so that I could go to school and get some medical care. I moved to Homewood, Alabama when I was 10 years old and I started school for the very first time. At school I met a friend named John who invited me to go to a church camp with him. We stayed up late one night at camp and John explained to me who Jesus was and how his sacrifice could take away my sins. I was interested in this Jesus who was so different than the Allah who I learned about growing up. I started going to church more with my friends and sometimes I even read the bible. I was very confused about how the things I learned about Jesus made sense with the things I was taught by Muslims.
In 2015 I moved to Cleveland to live at WinShape Homes. It was a very hard time for me and I did not understand why God would do this to me. I had a hard time making friends and feeling like I belonged. Neal continued to be an important person in my life but because of his health he was unable to care for me full time. At the end of last year, I moved in with the Butlers and my life changed a lot for the better. I started going to Public Church and I began to see how God was working in my life for good. Over the past year God has been teaching me so much about family and about His love for me. A few weeks ago, while talking with Austin, I realized that I finally fully understood what Jesus had done for me and I prayed that he would save me. I truly began my walk with him that night and I realized that I wanted to be obedient in baptism. I am so blessed to have Neal, my mom and dad, and all of my friends and family. God has taught me so much about what love really looks like and now I am excited to be a follower of Jesus.