This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

'I'm Doing Life with Jesus'

After years of hardship and confusion, ex-Muslim now walking with Christ, sharing her faith with support from Moody Radio

by Nancy Huffine  /  September 12, 2023

Moody Radio Listener Buki Abioye with her family


Buki Abioye needed a job. After years of arguments and abuse, her marriage had ended, and suddenly she was a single mom with four children and little income to support them.

“Sometimes I would work at my father’s Nigerian restaurant in Chicago,” says Buki (pronounced BOO-kee). But that wasn’t enough to make ends meet. When a friend suggested she become an Uber driver, she balked. She didn’t want strangers in her car. And there was something else.

“I never saw myself being someone else’s driver,” she says. But providing for her children was her first priority. She took the job.

Those were difficult times for Buki and her kids. Her youngest, a toddler, was in daycare, and he was often sick. “They would call me, and I had to go and get him,” she recalls. “Then I could not bring him back for another 48 hours, so I couldn’t work. It was very stressful.”

Introduction to Islam and Christianity

Buki is no stranger to hardship. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, she and her sister were left with their grandmother when their parents moved to Chicago in the late 1980s to earn a living.

“My grandmother was a devout Muslim,” Buki says. “She prayed five times a day. She had been to Mecca. She registered us to go to Islamic classes where you learn how to read the Quran. But it was so strict, and I did not want to go.”

Fortunately, Buki’s grandmother didn’t require her to attend the classes, so Buki started visiting different churches with Christian friends from the neighborhood. “I didn't go because I wanted to go to church and wanted to know Jesus. I went because it was a better atmosphere than going to that Islamic school.”

Buki and her sister moved to the United States in 1992, joining their parents in Chicago. She soon made new friends, some of whom were Christians, and often attended church with them.

“I even got baptized. But I don't know why I did it. It wasn't because I knew Jesus,” she says.

When she looks back on those years, Buki knows that she didn’t genuinely believe in the gospel story. “In the Muslim household, we recognized Jesus as being a prophet, but not as the Son of God. So anytime the church pastor would talk about that, I just rolled my eyes.”

Difficult home life

Buki loved the sense of family that she experienced at church. At home, her family situation was decidedly different. Buki’s father worked long hours at the restaurant and was not a dependable presence in the family. Her mother suffered from mental illness that would not be diagnosed until years later.

“I had a very chaotic, traumatic household,” Buki says. “There was a lot of abuse from my mom because she was sick, but we didn't know what was going on. Eventually, she was diagnosed as having schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which explains the violence and the voices she was hearing.”

Though she attended a church for several years, Buki didn’t stay. In 2003 when she was 26 years old, she met and married a man who was not a Christian. “We had a big Nigerian wedding and started having kids right away,” Buki says.

But, as Buki recalls, “I went from the frying pan into the fire.” The relationship devolved into more patterns of abuse and finally ended in divorce.

An offer she couldn’t refuse

By that time, Buki hadn’t attended church for several years. A friend often invited Buki to visit her church, but she declined. Finally, the friend made a new offer. She would pick up Buki’s children and take them to church even if Buki did not want to come along.

Moody Radio Listener Buki Abioye


Reluctantly, Buki agreed to bring her children and visit the church. “I decided to go—if you want to put it like this—just to shut her up,” she laughs.

Something wonderful happened on their first visit. “I loved the church! My kids loved it!” Buki recalls. “We got to the car after service, and they wanted to know when we were going to come back again.”

Buki got plugged in to some small groups, professed her belief in Christ as her Savior, and was even baptized again. “This time, for real!” she notes.

‘Moody Radio speaks to your soul’

Over the years, Buki had heard about Moody Bible Institute and Moody Radio, but she didn’t know much about either one. She began listening to Moody Radio in the car while she drove for Uber. “I don’t know exactly how it happened or how the radio landed on Moody,” she says.

Though she can now rattle off a list of programs that sounds like the entire Moody Radio schedule, she’s also quick to name a few favorites.

“I listen to the Karl and Crew morning show on WMBI. I love FamilyLife Today with Ann and Dave Wilson, and I love the Faith and Finance program,” she says. “And I think I know all the radio pastors by name! It's so amazing that, sometimes, whatever I'm going through will be the topic that one of the pastors will be speaking on. It could be about peace, or it could be just encouraging words.

I listen to Moody, and I hear exactly what I need to hear. It’s so encouraging and nurturing and Godly. Moody Radio speaks to your soul.”

For Buki, one program stands out as particularly special to her—Open Line with Michael Rydelnik on Saturday mornings. “He had a lot to do with my spiritual transformation,” Buki says. “People would call in asking about the Bible with the same questions that I had and the same doubts and everything.”

Uber-exciting evangelism opportunities

Though she kept the car radio volume down to avoid offending her Uber riders, she says Moody Radio was often an open door for spiritual conversations. “I tried to fight (the Uber job). But the more I think of it, it really became like a ministry for me.”

Buki distinctly remembers a couple that she picked up for Uber in 2019. They heard the Moody station playing on her car radio and asked if Buki was a Christian. The couple told her they were going to the airport to fly to Israel for a tour.

“Can you guess who their tour guide was going to be?” Buki asks. “Michael Rydelnik! I told them my story about being a Muslim and how much Michael really helped me with a lot of the doubts and questions that I had.”

The couple asked if they could share Buki’s story with Michael, and she agreed. Buki gave them her contact information, and when they returned from Israel, they put Buki in touch with Dr. Rydelnik.

“I contacted him and thanked him and said, ‘Because of you, I really, really know that I’m saved. It was so helpful listening to you and listening to your callers.’ I even bought his book The Moody Bible Commentary!”

‘I know what Jesus did for me’

In her native Yoruba language, Buki’s given name, Oluwabukola, means “God has added to my wealth.” Though Buki and her family have been through difficult times, God has always provided.

She says, “If someone offered me $20 million and said, ‘I don't want you to follow Jesus anymore,’ I would say, ‘You can keep that money because I don't need it!’ I tell my kids that I’ve done life without Jesus. I know the difference. I’m doing life with Jesus.”

“I know what Jesus did for me. God said, ‘I want people to be with Me.’ He sent us Jesus. I wish everybody could really know that.”