Report: Bibles for Mideast
Munaf Ali*, 46, had served faithfully as Imam and preacher at his Middle Eastern mosque for years. On one fateful day in March of 2016, Pastor Paul and a Bibles for Mideast gospel team decided to pay him a visit. As they chatted, the topic of Jesus and the Bible naturally came up. The imam heatedly denied both the divinity of Christ and the credibility of the Christian Bible. He angrily rejected Pastor Paul’s offer of a sample gospel and proceeded to curse the missionaries.
He then formulated a plan of assault. Gathering a mob of fanatics, he led them in an effort to attack the gospel team. With shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Arabic for ‘Allah is Greater’—Ed.], they arrived at the site they’d heard the group met at. Fortunately, by God’s leading, the team had decided to meet elsewhere.
A few days later, the imam was on his way back to his home after the Friday afternoon Juma Namaz (ritual prayers) at the mosque. Suddenly overcome by faintness, he fell to the ground. As he slipped into unconsciousness, he witnessed demons arriving on the scene—intent, he says, on taking his soul.
“Get lost, you cursed demons of Allah!” he yelled at them as best he could. “You have no right to take my soul!”
“No,” they responded. "It is our right to take your life.” He says they then forcefully “took his soul.”
As the demons turned to leave, Jesus himself suddenly appeared, Munaf reports, flanked by a vast array of angels. The demons fled in terror.
"Listen, my son," Jesus said to Munaf. "The first Adam disobeyed God and sinned against Him under the pressure of Satan. The gates of heaven were shut down because of his sin.
“I am the second Adam, the Word of God and Messiah Jesus, Son of the Most High. I was born of the Virgin Mary as a sinless Son of Man to redeem the first Adam and all of his descendants—including you—from sin and death. I was crucified and died as a ransom for all for your sins, to make you a child of God and citizen of heaven."
"I rose from the dead and opened the gates of heaven to bring you to eternal glory. Have faith in me and be my witness. I give you your life back, for I have the authority to give life."
When Munaf opened his eyes, he became aware of his sons and other close relatives laying out his body on a table, preparing to wash and cover it for burial. A huge crowd attended the washing and shrouding ceremony, an Islamic necessity before burial.
All were absolutely astonished as he suddenly got up from the washing table.
He tried to explain to them what he had just experienced. He’d been dead, he said, and demons had done their best to try to take his soul. But Messiah Jesus had come and given him his life back!
Most of those listening thought he’d lost his sanity. Surely he’d hit his head on a stone while he’d fallen. Others wondered whether evil spirits now possessed him.
In the days that followed, Munaf talked about Jesus to his family and to anyone who visited him. His family members believed what he said and accepted Jesus as their savior and Lord. But the community insisted he needed psychiatric help, and dismissed him from the mosque.
As persecution against him and his family increased, they were forced to leave their home and country.
But God! Munaf went on to be a powerful evangelist working alongside Bibles for Mideast, winning many to the Lord. Two of his children now study the word of God. Just last week a new ALG house church was established under his leadership, holding their very first worship service on Sunday.
Please pray for Munaf Ali, his family, and the new church; that our Lord would continue to protect, guide and provide for them as they work to further God's Kingdom in areas hostile to the Gospel.
*name changed for security reasons