In our culture we can worship God freely, it costs us nothing except maybe being made fun of or being called a “crazy” Christian. But in the Middle East and some other countries being called a Christian could cost you your life or the lives of your loved ones.
But there are amazing stories of conversions, taking place in the Middle East in particular and worldwide. I am not sure of the numbers but that they are happening in difficult and dangerous places is amazing to me.
One of many stories I found was originally reported by”The Gospel Herald” about a Muslim refugee from Raqqa, Syria. A man in his 70’s, the article did not list his name I am sure for his safety but I will call him Ahmed which means “Praiseworthy”. Ahmed was leery of foreign aid groups and I’m sure especially Christian groups; because many groups would come to the camps take photos and videos of the refugees and their names but never returned with any aid. So when one of the ministers working with Christian Aid Mission in Turkey, talked with him and wanted to take a picture, he voiced his objections but later agreed. And two weeks later to Ahmed’s surprise this Minister returned with food, clean water, and other relief items. Ahmed started crying, ”Someone kept their word.”
This exchange began a conversation that followed with another aid packet and a bible which started a discussion between a Christian and Muslim about Islam and Jesus Christ for the next six months. Until one day Ahmed reached out for prayer, lying on his deathbed in his the tent Ahmed told the Minister, “I don’t know if I’m going to be alive tomorrow or not, but your message is always in my mind. I want to go to Heaven, but I don’t know how.” The Minister, told him if he accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he would be forgiven and if he died he would be in Heaven. Ahmed began crying and was a little hesitate but I guess the thought of being in Heaven won him over, he called for his family and told them of his decision and to join him in believing. Because in the Muslim culture the faith of the father dictates the faith of the family. This refugee repeated the prayer of salvation believing Christ died for his sins and this 70 year old Muslim received Christ as Savior and Lord.
A week later, completely restored to health and “teaching his family the Christian life” as told to the reporter.
One of many amazing stories of faith taking place in clandestine and dangerous surroundings. When thinking about our new brothers and sisters in the faith, let’s pray for their protection, provision, deliverance and that their faith will stand strong until the end.
Looking at these stories made me think, in a country where we have the freedom as Believers to worship and share our faith, how are we are doing?