Miraculous multiplication of faith, food and believers in east Africa

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground ALG Church in east Africa

Hydrus*, born and raised in a fanatic Muslim family in eastern Africa, carefully followed all the prescribed rituals of Islam. Unfortunately, poverty, drought and starvation has long afflicted his country and caused tremendous suffering for many—including Hydrus’ own household. While willing to work, like many others, he can simply find no available jobs.

Pastor Abu* of Bibles for Mideast lives and ministers in the area. He lives with his family in a tiny home more resembling a hut, and uses a small shed nearby for local ALG church gatherings. So many attend for Sunday services that they often spill out onto the grounds around the shed.  Most, however, come for the physical food served afterwards rather than any spiritual sustenance.

Undeterred, the church loves to provide the food, and hungry attenders bring along their own plates for the post-service meal. Pastor Abu often uses his own family’s allowance to buy the provisions. 

Despite warnings not to attend from local Muslim leaders, close to 300 would usually show up, plates in hand. Even Islamic devotee Hydrus often attended, as clandestinely as possible, because of the food. He’d hear the gospel message each time of course, but refused to take it seriously. 

Then came the Sunday the area’s poverty and famine had become so severe that Pastor Abu and his church had no meal to serve. With a sorrowful heart he had to report the lack to the hungry people, who began muttering among themselves and against him.  What could he do? While they all trudged away unhappily, tired and feeble Hydrus lay down on the prayer shed floor, too weak to leave.

Pastor Abu noticed him lying there. He had seen the young man receiving food from them many times, but didn't know him personally. He got down on the floor beside him, and helped him sit up so they could talk. Hydrus explained he hadn’t eaten since the last church service.

The pastor went into his home and brought out his own meal for Hydrus. His wife, realizing that would hardly be enough, gave him hers as well.  Even their two young children wanted to share theirs, but he refused to take it. Pastor Abu then noticed the filthy, torn clothes Hydrus wore and gave him a pair of his own clean pants and a shirt.

The family then left Hydrus to rest in the church shed, where he soon fell soundly asleep. As he slept, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared before him.

“I am the bread of life,” he heard Jesus say. “He who comes to me shall never hunger and thirst. For I am from heaven and I give life to the world. Believe in me as your Lord and savior!”

Hydrus stood up immediately. He noticed a bible on the table, went to it and opened to John 6: 33-35—which to his amazement sounded almost word for word what he had just heard Jesus say.

Bible in hand he went off to look for Pastor Abu. He found him with his wife, praying for him in their house. As he shared his experience with them, they praised and thanked the God they had just been praying to. Inviting Hydrus to sit with them, the pastor shared the word of God along with his own testimony of conversion from Islam.

Hydrus knelt down and accepted Jesus Christ into his life as his personal savior and Lord. Full of joy and peace, he didn't want to leave, and asked if he could possibly stay with them. Since their little house had hardly room for themselves, they offered him the prayer shed, which he gladly accepted.

Within a week, Hydrus learned a tremendous amount from and about the word of God, as well as how to pray. That next Sunday, he shared his testimony at the service.

Only about half of those who'd been there the week before came, the remainder certain there'd again be no food. Those who did come heard Hydrus’ testimony, and then listened intently to the Word of God. When the opportunity came, most readily accepted Jesus into their own hearts as Lord and Savior.

A SOMALIAN BOY COLLECTING FIREWOOD; LET’S BE PRAYING HE FINDS HIS WAY TO THE TREE OF LIFE [GETTY IMAGES]

A SOMALIAN BOY COLLECTING FIREWOOD; LET’S BE PRAYING HE FINDS HIS WAY TO THE TREE OF LIFE [GETTY IMAGES]

More miracles

But God had more miracles for His precious African people that day! Again, the pastor and the church had no food to offer them. With sad and heavy hearts they had prayed earnestly before the service for all the help they’d need to get through the day.

The pastor’s wife had filled a small aluminum pot with water and prayerfully put it on her wood-burning stove. She gave Hydrus a packet with about 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of wheat flour in it to add to the pot, which he did, along with his own prayers. He then put the lid back on, and they went to join the others.  

As the service ended, they were amazed to discover the pot full of prepared food much tastier than simple cooked wheat should ever be. Obviously such a small quantity could only, and barely, serve the pastor’s family of five, plus Hydrus. Half the usual congregation still meant there were about 150 hungry mouths out there.

Pastor Abu and his wife decided to share the pot with everyone. He announced this to the people, and tried to calculate how much that would mean for each person. As he began dishing out, he found that whatever he scooped from the pot would immediately be replenished! He praised and thanked the Lord in a loud voice and continued to serve until everyone had enough and was satisfied. All joined in exuberant praise and thanks to the Lord for His love, care and provision.  

From then on, more and more people began coming for services and truly listening to the Word of God. Other Bibles for Mideast pastors, especially those from the Middle East, began sharing their church and ministry offerings with the African church to cover the growing food expenses.

Close to 600 people now attend the worship services. Local Muslim leaders, while upset with the growth of the church, have so far kept quiet because of the food being provided to the hungry.

Please pray for all of them, especially for those who are not yet fully saved, and for the Islamic leaders.

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names changed for security reasons

Saved first from Islam, then by a giant bird of prey from Islamic extremists

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground ALG Church

Fadila* and her husband Al Rafeeq*, both former Muslims, serve in the Middle East as volunteer evangelists with Bibles for Mideast.

Fadila, once a strong devotee of Islam, converted to Christianity through the miraculous healing of her bedridden mother. As a result of that dramatic healing, she, her parents and siblings all accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and began regularly attending an ALG underground church in their area.  

As we reported two years ago in our first story about Fadila (Bedridden Arab Muslim woman healed by Jesus; she and her family now believe), her father’s second wife and her children by him—Fadila’s half-siblings—became hostile to the new Christians in the family and even threatened to call religious authorities. While her father came to faith in Christ as well, he kept it quiet out of fear of possible reprisal from the threats of this other wife.

But Fadila, along with her brothers and sisters, regularly prayed for their step-mother, and if opportunity arose, would try to talk to her about the salvation possible only in Jesus.

When one of the second wife’s younger children developed a severe fever with seizures. Fadila prayed over the little girl, and immediately she was healed. So the woman, no longer able to deny the power and reality of Christianity, finally accepted Jesus as her personal savior. Her young children all readily followed her into the Kingdom.

This emboldened Fadila to share her testimony and the gospel message with many of her friends and relatives. When possible, she would also join some missionaries for Bibles for Mideast in her area, distributing bibles and sample gospels.

One of her distant relatives, a young man named Al Rafeeq, grew increasingly furious as all the members of Fadila’s household converted.  Unfazed, she went out of her way to meet with Rafeeq and at least try to share the gospel message with him.

He not only refused to listen, but ordered her to ‘get lost!’—as she had done when Christian pastors several years earlier visited her home to pray for her mother. Still, out of both stubbornness and perseverance, she refused to give up. And many visits later, she did finally persuade him of his need for salvation. Fadila brought him to her pastor, who gave him further instructions in God’s Word, will and ways. Finally, convicted and convinced, he accepted Jesus as his own personal Lord and savior.

The bond between Fadila and Rafeeq grew and soon blossomed into love. Not long ago, they married in an ALG church with the full support and participation of her household and other new believers. The newlyweds now volunteer with Bibles for Mideast, doing personal evangelism and distributing bibles to many of their fellow Arabs in the Middle East.

Their path together has been short so far, but treacherous. They have been threatened numerous times, even with death. Still they refuse to worry, completely trusting and believing, they say, in the powerful, mighty protection of their Lord Jesus Christ.

Two weeks ago, as they walked home late one evening after visiting and sharing the gospel with a neighbour, three masked men suddenly jumped from the darkness and attacked them.

A furious falcon attacking university researchers (who were trying to tag their young) in the US. [Photo courtesy Caters News Agency]

A furious falcon attacking university researchers (who were trying to tag their young) in the US. [Photo courtesy Caters News Agency]

“Jesus, save us! Jesus save us!” Rafeeq and Fadila screamed.

The words of their cries provoked the attackers even more.  While one man aimed his rifle at Rafeek, the other two attempted to rape Fadila.

“JESUS!!!” the couple screamed again.

A giant falcon-like bird swooped out of seemingly nowhere.  It first attacked the man holding the rifle, and then lunged at the other two with its beak and talons. All three attackers ran for their lives. 

Just as swiftly, the bird disappeared. Rafeeq and Fadila say they have never seen such a bird before—close to four times larger than a common falcon. They have absolutely no doubt their awesome Jesus saved and rescued them from certain harm. They fell to their knees on the spot, praising and thanking the Lord for his mighty deliverance. 

Please keep them and their ministry in your prayers!

____________________________
names changed for security reasons

Warrior angels just one factor in many connected radical salvations

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground ALG Church

Al Bilal*, a fanatic Muslim, had long been an active member of his local mosque in a Middle Eastern kingdom. While studying at university, a Christian friend—who also happened to be the son of a Bibles for Mideast evangelist—gave him a sample gospel. As a courtesy to the friend he read it, but didn’t believe a word.

Not long after, Jesus surprised him by appearing before him in a vision.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” he said to Bilal. “I am the beginning and the end. I died on the cross and rose from the dead to give everyone eternal life. Those who believe in me will have a place with me in heaven. Follow me without hesitation!”  

Bilal managed to find the gospel tract again, and contacted the number printed on it. A Bibles for Mideast pastor answered the call, and shared the message of the gospel clearly with him. He didn’t need much convincing to accept Jesus as his personal savior and Lord, and soon afterwards made a full commitment to Christianity through baptism. 

Being highly educated both academically and in Islam, Bilal’s community had tremendous respect for him. But on his embrace of Christianity his parents, relatives and community leaders desperately wanted him back in the Islamic fold. Bilal boldly held to his precious new faith.

The angered community eventually excommunicated him from the mosque. Each and every one—his family included—came to consider him a dangerous enemy.

Bilal began going to a deserted area around midnight each night. He would kneel down in the sand, alone before his Lord, and for nearly two hours would pray and praise in the Spirit.

Some young people, under the leadership of Bilal’s first cousin Sulfiker*, began formulating a plan to kill him. They first found out where and when he headed for his nightly prayers. Then, armed with steel rods and sharp knives, they snuck out after him one night and prepared to lunge. 

But angels of the Lord surrounded Bilal, and fought back the attackers. In absolute terror, Sulfi and his gang took off in all directions.  Bilal however remained so engrossed in his time with the Lord he didn’t even notice the commotion!

Some angels you do not want to mess with

Some angels you do not want to mess with

As Sulfiker bolted away, he suddenly fell into a deep pit. He broke both his hands and legs in the fall, so of course could then barely move, let alone climb out. 

As his time of prayer and praise ended, Bilal stood and shook the sand from his knees. He then felt the Holy Spirit leading him to the pit his cousin had fallen in to. He could see immediately Sulfi needed help getting out, so climbed down and managed to get the young man mounted on his shoulders. Sulfi thought his cousin must be furious with him.

“Don’t kill me!” he screamed.

Bilal dragged and pulled him from the pit and administered some first aid. He also prayed for his cousin. He then took him to his home, and from there to the hospital.

Sulfi remained in hospital several weeks, with Bilal almost constantly by his side. When the time seemed right, he shared the gospel message with his injured cousin. Sulfi then blurted out all that had happened the night of his fall. Embarrassed and overwhelmed, he confessed his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Lord.

Sulfi’s friends—the fellow-attackers—also visited him in the hospital. They had obviously been just as terrified seeing and experiencing the mighty, fighting angels. When Sulfi shared with them the salvation available and possible in Jesus Christ alone, they likewise needed little convincing and joined him in praying to accept Jesus into their hearts and lives.

All have now been excommunicated from their mosque and face severe persecution. They also all secretly attend worship services in an underground ALG Church and work for the Lord through Bibles for Mideast.

Please pray for them and all other ministers and ministries of Bibles for Mideast! We so appreciate and need your prayerful support.

____________________________
* names changed for security reasons

Hindu sorcerer turns to Christ and now lives for Him

Venkatesan, born into a Hindu Dalit (depressed or ‘untouchable’ class) family in India grew up worshiping idols and learning black magic from his sorcerer father. His mother, however, regularly attended Christian prayer meetings. She constantly prayed for her family, and attempted to teach them about the divine help and salvation possible in Jesus alone. But they would have nothing to do with her beliefs.

Venkatesan, disagreeable even as a young person, grew even more depraved as the years passed. He constantly squabbled with others, and hatred toward him increased.

One day when he was 32 and out on his bicycle, he attempted to cross a motorway. An oncoming truck rammed into him, dragging him a fair distance and continuing on without stopping. He lay near death by the side of the road for close to an hour, blood flowing continuously from his wounds.  No one would stop or help; all presumed him dead. When the police finally arrived and found faint signs of life, they had him transported to the hospital. He remained there in a coma for several days.

His mother stood by him with her prayers. Her church family, a Bibles for Mideast church, prayed and fasted for Venkatesan as well.

While all this was going on, Venkatesan had a vision of Christ coming down from heaven with thousands of angels and then felt him touch him with his nail-pierced hands.

"I love you my child,” he heard Jesus say. “You are always my child; I will never leave you alone and my love will never end. Be healed!"

Venkatesan receives Bibles for further distribution

Venkatesan receives Bibles for further distribution

Venkatesan opened his eyes. He saw his mother and the members of the prayer team kneeling beside his bed and praying, their eyes full of tears. He called out to his mother. In joyful surprise she praised the Lord! 

Medical staff, hearing the commotion, rushed in to his bedside and he lost no time in telling them exactly what he had just experienced. His doctors declared it a miracle, and he declared he would now live for Jesus Christ!

His and his mother’s prayers, and the witness of their lives for Christ, encouraged Venkatesan’s father to turn to Jesus before he died several years later. Now married and with a son, he remains faithful in service to the Lord through the ministries of Bibles for Mideast.

Please keep him, his family and the many others serving Jesus in restricted areas of the world in your prayers. We could not keep functioning without you!

From hired thug, to the morgue, to serving Jesus!

Report: Bibles for Mideast

Kunjukunju and his family came from the lowest rung of Indian society, the Dalit or ‘untouchable’ class [while now officially outlawed, the caste system in India still operates in less obvious ways—Ed.]. They worshipped Hindu idols and practiced sorcery.

A powerfully-built young man, his face marked by a prodigious horn-like moustache draped around his mouth, he worked as a ‘goonda,’ or hired thug, for several wealthy individuals.

As an enforcer for such questionable enterprises, he made a good number of enemies. One day about 20 aggrieved victims of his strong-arm tactics decided to get even, surrounding him and brutally attacking. When he fell bloodied and unresponsive to the pavement, they left him lying there—presumably dead—and ran off.

Police found his battered body in the street and checked his vital signs. Finding none, they transported his body to the morgue. During the routine post-mortem examination, the medical examiner got the surprise of his life when one his toes moved!

Astounded by this—and now detecting a faint pulse—the pathologist immediately transferred Kunjukunju to a local hospital.

Kunjukunju with Bibles for distribution

Kunjukunju with Bibles for distribution

After he’d regained consciousness and stabilized, some workers with Bibles for Mideast visited him in his room. They told him Jesus loves him and that only Jesus can conquer death, demonstrated by his bodily resurrection from the dead.

Having been himself given up for dead—like Lazarus—Kunjukunju could see that God really had given him a second chance at life.

The evangelists as clearly as possible explained the message of the Gospel to him. He followed their words carefully, nodding his head. Finally, his heart overcome, he repented of his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Lord.

The workers put their hands on his head and prayed. As they did, Kunjukunju saw Jesus standing before him smiling and holding out his arms, and then he felt himself being pulled in closely for a hug. With childlike faith, he knew that he could lean on Jesus for the rest of his life. The Lord Jesus came into his heart, imparting a deep settled peace to both his mind and heart, something he had never known or felt before.

After he left the hospital he was baptized, God anointed him with the Holy Spirit, and showered him with the fruits of the Spirit.

As Kunjukunju grew in the Lord, he began to speak in churches, prayer meetings and corner meetings. He also began distributing bibles with Bibles for Mideast … all of which he continues to do! He now goes by the name Kunjukunju Upadesi, ‘Upadesi’ meaning adviser or gospel preacher.

Please keep him and all our workers and churches in your prayers.

Saved from Islam and suicide by a raging river

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an underground ALG Church

Asmath*, born and brought up in a predominantly Muslim country in central Asia, never met her natural father. Five months before she was born, her father divorced her mother and left the family home. When she was only three, her mother re-married, but her stepfather refused to accept her as his own. So she was handed over to a Yateem Khana (orphanage). She grew up there according to the tenets of Islam, and learned to practice all the required rituals.

Girls at a Yateem Khana (representational image)

Girls at a Yateem Khana (representational image)

When she reached the age of 20, a much-older man asked the orphanage if he could marry the young woman. Even though the 60-year old had other wives and children older than Asmath, the orphanage officials told her she had little choice but to marry him. After so many years of isolation and loneliness, she decided to go along with the proposal.

But the man had a heart condition, and died within two months of their marriage. With the funeral service barely over, his children forced her to leave their home, saying it was no longer hers.

So she decided to put an end to her life of misery. She found what seemed like the perfect way: leaping from a tall bridge into a deep river flowing below.

In a village near the banks of the same river, miles downstream, many Muslim families had accepted Jesus Christ into their lives under the ministry of an underground Bibles for Mideast ALG church in their area. The villagers, including the church’s leader Pastor Hamad* and his family, live in mud houses with no modern conveniences. The river banks serve for most of their ‘primary needs’, and Pastor Hamad baptizes new believers in the same river. He always conducts early-morning baptismal services to avoid the spying eyes of authorities and radical Muslim neighbors.

Early one morning, as church members prepared for another of these exciting services, they noticed the body of a young woman lying submerged near the shore of the river. Running to drag her body out of the water, they discovered she was still breathing, but barely.

As onlookers prayed, Pastor Hamad pushed and released her chest and stomach until water began gushing from her mouth. He then breathed into her as others rubbed her feet and palms to warm her up.

She gradually began breathing more easily, opened her eyes and began to talk. They learned how far upriver she had jumped to her death, and realized that only the Lord could have protected her and brought her to them. With the believers joining in, the pastor prayed over her.

He then gave a short gospel message to all gathered around, explaining the salvation possible only in Jesus Christ and the importance of baptism. He then baptized five people, with Asmath intently listening to and watching all that went on.

When the service ended, they brought her back with them to their church, where they participated in a joyful Lord’s Supper as she continued to observe.

That night, Jesus came to Asmath in a dream.

“Fear not. I am your Lord and God,” he said to her. “I am the only one who can be your very present help in trouble. And I am the life and resurrection.”

Then he showed her his nail-pierced hands.  “See, I have suffered this for you,” he said. “for I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. Have faith in me.”

She knew that it had to have been the Lord Jesus who had rescued her and now offered her new life. The next day she shared her dream—as well as her story—to the pastor, and accepted Jesus as her personal savior and Lord.

Asmath now studies the word of God and helps out with the ministries of the church. She recently asked to be baptised, and just last week she was!

Believers in Asmath’s country attend underground churches and worship as secretly as possible due to severe persecution. Accusations of blasphemy happen regularly and mean dire punishment or death. And it’s not only government officials they fear; terrorist groups war against Christians there as well.

Please pray for Asmath, for all the underground ALG churches and the ministries of Bibles for Mideast.

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* Names changed for security reasons

A Muslim love story: first with Jesus, then each other, and now the world around them

Islamic teacher Davood* worked for years training children in the Koran at a religious school attached to a mosque in Africa. One day, he discovered a student with a gospel tract. Infuriated, he demanded to know where the fellow had gotten it. Someone had handed it to him as he walked to school, the boy explained. Snatching the leaflet from him, Davood warned him to never accept such foolish writings from anyone ever again.

But he held onto the tract, intending to show it to the mosque’s religious leaders. They absolutely must find out who was distributing the literature and, if he had anything to say about, punish them severely.

Since he wasn’t able to meet any of the leaders when school finished, he headed back to his home. Getting ready for bed that night, he again noticed the tract. He might as well see what nonsense they were writing, he figured, and read it through.

When he got to the part about there being “salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved” something—he wasn’t sure what—struck him and stuck in his mind.

That night Jesus—whom Muslims recognize as a great prophet and messenger of God—came to him in a dream.

“I am the way and the truth and the life,” he announced to Davood. “No one comes to the Heavenly Father except through me.”

As morning dawned the Muslim man had another look at the gospel tract, and finding a contact number on the back, called it. Pastor Musthafa with Bibles for Mideast in Africa answered [an earlier story about Pastor Musthafa here: The storms of heaven in Africa: punishment for some, salvation for others]. Soon Davood had many of his questions answered and was led in a prayer to accept Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord.

Meanwhile, in another part of Africa, young Minoo* lived with her parents, seven sisters and four brothers in a poor but fanatically Islamic household. 

“I wanted to go to school and college,” she explains, “but my parents directed me to go to work on farms before I was 12.”  

Because of the heavy labor and intermingling with other workers, she contracted HIV, which developed into full-blown AIDS several years later.

tHE FATE OF MANY EBOLA SUFFERERS [gETTY IMAGES, LIBERIA)

tHE FATE OF MANY EBOLA SUFFERERS [gETTY IMAGES, LIBERIA)

“I was in severe pain, but doctors refused to treat me,” she remembers.  “My friends and relatives were also afraid to visit me.” With no medical treatment, other members of her family also contracted HIV, and then all were infected by the Ebola virus when it later raged though West Africa.

With neighbors refusing to visit or help in any way, and with little to eat and drink, the family began to waste away physically and emotionally. Minoo decided to put an end to her misery.

“I collected some poisonous fruits to end my life,” she explains, but her attempt failed.

Pastors and workers with Bibles for Mideast learned of the sad and dying family, and, ignoring the warnings of others in the community, brought them food and clothes. They also fasted and prayed for three days for the family.

“The Lord Jesus revealed to us to visit the family and pray for them,” Pastor Paul explains, so he and Pastor Musthafa visited, bringing more food and clothes. When neighbors reiterated the warnings of certain death if they went in the home, they stood firm.

“We are going to that house in the name of Jesus Christ, who is the living Lord and Savior and mighty healer,” they told the naysayers. “If it is His will they all will be healed and saved, and you all will see it with your own eyes.”

The pastors found the family to be “like skeleton people,” Pastor Paul recalls. The men knelt down in the power of the Holy Spirit, while some family members gathered in front of them. Minoo and several others lay on their beds, unable to get up.

aS hE DID THEN, HE DOES NOW!

aS hE DID THEN, HE DOES NOW!

When the pastors began praying, “the power of Jesus’ victorious life-giving blood poured out on each in the family like electricity,” Pastor Paul recounts. Screaming, Minoo jumped to her feet and began dancing around.

“Glory to Jesus!” she cried, praising and thanking the Lord. Others stood to their feet, all experiencing the almighty awesomeness of God. They then knelt in His powerful Presence. The pastors shared the gospel with them, and each accepted the Lord Jesus as personal Savior and Lord.

Within days they had recovered their physical health, and grown leaps and bounds spiritually. But new trials began. The Muslim community they lived in insisted they reject their faith in Jesus as Savior, but with new-found strength and boldness, they held on. One night some radical neighbors set fire to their house, intending to kill all of them. The family managed to escape, and fled the region.

Minoo’s strong desire for higher studies finally found fulfillment as she went deep into the Word of God, and with the help of Bibles for Mideast, went on to university.

Before going, she began preparing for baptism with, unknown to her, her future husband—yes, Davood!—as a fellow candidate. They were baptized together by Pastor Musthafa, but only later, while studying at the same university, did they get to really know each other and fall in love.

Davood learned of her unfortunate past but did not let that get in the way of his desire to marry her. Pastor Paul officiated at their marriage and now, several years later, they have a young girl and infant boy. They lead an underground church, as well as evangelize Muslims in their area and distribute bibles. Please pray God’s protection, provision and guidance for this young couple, their church and their ministry … as well as for the ministry of Bibles for Mideast as a whole.

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*names changed for security reasons

Minoo Hussain reported several earlier stories for us: The storms of heaven in Africa: punishment for some, salvation for othersand God restores and redeems: an astounding update of attack on the African church.

Jesus visits Hindu in coma; brings hope, healing and salvation

Born into a Hindu family in India, Krishnan endured years of hardship as a manual laborer near the bottom rung of Indian society. At 25, he fell from a gigantic tree and was rushed to hospital. There he spent weeks in a coma, hovering between life and death.

As he lay unconscious, doctors coming and going, the Divine Physician himself paid the gravely-injured Hindu man a surprise visit! Identifying himself by showing his nail-pierced hands, Jesus then passed those distinctive hands over Krishnan's damaged body.

Now wide-awake, he practically leapt from his hospital bed, his strength and mobility fully restored. He could no longer see Jesus with his physical eyes, but could still sense His holy Presence. Falling to his knees, he bowed in that powerful Presence, repented of his sins, and told Jesus he would follow Him as his personal Lord and Savior the rest of his days.

Shortly afterward, Krishnan was baptized and received the new name ‘George’. He met and married a young woman from a Christian family, and they went on to have six daughters, a son, and 17 grandchildren. But life here on earth proved anything but rosy for George.

At 86, George receives a new bible to replace his well-worn old one—both which he could read without glasses!

At 86, George receives a new bible to replace his well-worn old one—both which he could read without glasses!

One of his daughters died of cancer. His son Raju became a rickshaw driver, married and had two daughters of his own. One of the daughters married and gave birth to George’s first great-grandchild. When the boy was less than two months old, the child’s mother (George’s granddaughter) fell into a fast-moving river and was swept away to her death. George witnessed the whole tragedy.

Yet he remembered his promise to Jesus and held fast to his faith, continuing to sense the Lord’s comforting Presence wherever he was. In a dream one night, Jesus reassured him with the words: "Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life." 

A faithful worker and evangelist with Bibles for Mideast, George kept it up well into his eighties—attending prayer meetings, sharing his testimony in house churches and underground churches, visiting homes and distributing gospel tracts.

He also found strength by meditating on scriptures. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3: 17-18).

His friends and fellow workers with Bibles for Mideast bade Georgettan (as they liked to call him, ‘ettan’ meaning older brother) a fond and dramatic farewell recently. Sick in bed after a long, healthy life, a large group of friends, family and pastors surrounded and were praying for him.

As they finished praying, George pronounced a loud “Amen!” He then tried to describe what he was seeing. The Lord Jesus Christ, coming in glory with a beautiful crown, was beckoning with his nail-pierced hands. Scores of saints and angels accompanied him, he said.

“I am receiving His call for glory,” he said with finality. “Amen! Amen.” His face shining like the evening sun, he then joined his Lord in glory.

The religious component of Islam? Nothing but a ‘beard’ covering an all-encompassing system of life

The strong opinion voiced in our title comes from a man who understands the ‘system of Islam’ better than most. A pioneer missionary in and to some of the worst war zones in the world, Dr. Peter Hammond was born and raised in Africa. For 35 years he has served persecuted churches and pioneered evangelistic outreaches into Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria.

Peter has smuggled in and distributed hundreds of thousands of Bibles, New Testaments and Christian books into Muslim and communist nations, as well as helping establish over 100 Christian schools and numerous Bible colleges throughout Africa. Beaten by mobs, stabbed, shot at, arrested, ambushed, come under aerial and artillery bombardment, imprisoned and tortured for Christ—he  is one of our heroes and will surely go into the history books as a soldier of our faith. 

Islam book cover 1.jpg

 “Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components,” he writes in his most famous and controversial book, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam. What he refers to as the ‘Islamization’ of a society begins when the population of Muslims reaches a critical mass, and they then being to agitate for various privileges.

“When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well,” he notes. You can see how it works, according to Dr. Hammond, by looking at the percentage of Muslims in a particular country. We have updated his statistics and moved the countries around a bit to fit current available estimates.

When the Muslim population remains under or around 2-3% in a country, they will be seen primarily as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the current situation in: 

United States — Muslim 0.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 2.3%
Australia — Muslim 2.6 %
Canada — Muslim 3.2%
Norway — Muslim 2-4%

As the Muslim population reaches 4-5%, they begin to recruit from ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, within prisons and street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark — Muslim 4.1%
Germany — Muslim 4.4-5.8%
Spain — Muslim 4.1%
United Kingdom — Muslim 4.8%

“From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population,” Dr. Hammond notes. “For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food” and increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature such food on their shelves—along with threats for failure to comply. This is happening in: 

Sweden — Muslim 5%
Switzerland — Muslim 5%
The Netherlands — Muslim 5-6%
Trinidad & Tobago — Muslim 5.8%
Thailand — Muslim 5.8%
France — Muslim 7.5%
Philippines — Muslim 5-11%

Soon they begin to apply pressure to allow Sharia law within their own communities (sometimes ghettos). “When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions,” Dr. Hammond notes. These tensions are seen on a regular basis in: 

Russia — Muslim 6.5-15%
Kenya — Muslim 10%
India — Muslim 14.2%
Israel — Muslim 17.7%

The violence increases when the Muslim population reaches 20%. After that, “nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues,” such as in Ethiopia (34% Muslim).

“At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare,” such as in: 

Bosnia — Muslim 50.7%
Albania — Muslim 56.7%
Chad — Muslim 58%
Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%

Above 60%, persecution of non-believing ‘infidels’ rises significantly, including sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia law as a weapon, and Jizya, a tax placed on infidels, such as in:

Malaysia — Muslim 61.4%
Qatar — Muslim 77.5%

After 80%, Dr. Hammond says to expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some state-run ethnic cleansing, and even genocide as these nations drive out those they consider non-believers and move toward a 100% Muslim society. A close to 100% Muslim society will theoretically usher in the Islamic version of peace, the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ according to Dr. Hammond. “Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrassas are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word.” The following countries all approach 100% Islamization:

Riots in Pakistan, 2013

Riots in Pakistan, 2013

Syria — Muslim 82.9%
Indonesia — Muslim 87.2%
Egypt — Muslim 90%
Bangladesh — Muslim 90.4%
Jordan — Muslim 93.8%
Pakistan — Muslim 96.4%
Tajikistan — Muslim 96.7%
Sudan — Muslim 97%
Palestinian Territories — Muslim 97.5%
Turkey — Muslim 98.6%
Iraq — Muslim 99%
Morocco — Muslim 99%
Iran — Muslim 99.7%
United Arab Emirates — Muslim 100% of citizens (85% of the population are foreign workers. While no official figures are available, local observers estimate that approximately 55 % of the foreign population are Muslim.)
Afghanistan — Muslim 99.8%
Saudi Arabia — Muslim 97.1%
Somalia — Muslim 98.9%
Yemen — Muslim 99%

Obviously the ‘Islamic ideal’ can never be realized. In countries at or near 100% Muslim population, “the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons,” observes Dr. Hammond.

“It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations—such as France—the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia law,” he states. “In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam.”

Dr. Hammond is also concerned by demographic trends, and the Muslim population has grown dramatically since he wrote his book. Estimates vary, but as of 2015, the Pew Research Center estimates there to be about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world; nearly one-fourth of the world’s population today.  Since their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers, all predictions have Muslims exceeding 50% of the world’s population by the end of this century.

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Dr. Peter Hammond is the Founder of Frontline Fellowship, the Reformation Society, Africa Christian Action and the William Carey Bible Institute. His other books include: In the Killing Fields of Mozambique, Holocaust In Rwanda, Faith Under Fire in Sudan, Putting Feet to your Faith, The Greatest Century of Missions, Practical Discipleship, Answering Skeptics, The Power of Prayer Handbook, Biblical Principles for Africa and Victorious Christians who Changed the World.

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MOST IMPORTANTLY, let's not forget the Good News!
Like here: Conversions in the millions: Muslims tasting the love of Jesus and embracing Christianity all over the globe, and many other places on this site and others. We know who wins in the end.

The Resume of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, for Bibles for Mideast

Address: Ephesians 1:20
Phone: Romans 10:13
Website: The Bible; Keywords: Christ, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, God-Man, Jesus, son of David

Hello. My name is Jesus Christ. Many call me Lord! I've sent you my resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your heart.  Please consider my accomplishments as set forth below. 

Qualifications 
 I founded the earth and established the heavens (see Proverbs 3:19).
  I formed man from the dust of the ground (see Genesis 2:7).
  I breathed into man the breath of life (see Genesis 2:7). 
  I redeemed man from the curse of the law (see Galatians 3:13). 
  The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant come upon your life through me (see Galatians 3:14).

Jesus carrying suitcases cropped intenser.jpg

 Occupational Background 
  I've only had one employer (see Luke 2:49).     
   I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.
  My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me (see Matthew 3:15-17). 

Skills and Work Experience
  Some of my skills and work experience include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, and setting at liberty the oppressed (see Luke 4:18).
  I am a wonderful counsellor (see Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me will live in safety and security and will not fear evil (see Proverbs 1:33). 
  Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins (see 1 John 1:7-9). 

Educational Background 
  I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding (see Proverbs 2:6). 
   In me are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see Colossians 2:3). Hidden … yet accessible to the heart which welcomes me in.
  My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (see Psalm 119:105).
  I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart (see Psalm 44:21). 

Major Accomplishments 
  I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all time (see Genesis 1:26).
  I laid down my life so that you may live (see 2 Corinthians 5:15). 
  I defeated the archenemy of God and humanity and made a show of them openly (see Colossians 2:15). 
  I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead! 
  There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, located at: www dot the BIBLE. You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my website. 

References 
Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance. 
  
In Summary
Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident I'm the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. To summarize, I will properly direct your paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life (see John 6:47). When can I start? Time is of the essence (see Hebrews 3:15).

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[original creator of this bit of genius unknown, to us at least]

Arab Muslim hears Jesus' voice and accepts Him!

mideast 3.jpg
“I know Jesus loves me and was crucified for me to give me eternal life. 
So I too love Him and accepted Him as my personal savior and Lord.”
—new Arab Christian, Al-Thoufeeqi*

Al-Thoufeeqi*, 26, was born into and brought up in an Arab Muslim family of the Middle East. He shared his testimony in an underground church of Bibles for Mideast during a recent time of prayer and fasting. 

 “I was a strong Muslim, part of a strong Muslim family. I practiced Islam faithfully, doing Namaz [prayer and worship five times a day—Ed.], reading the Qur’an, fasting during the month of Ramadan, giving Zakat [compulsory giving of a set proportion of one's wealth to charity—Ed.], and I went to Mecca for the Hajj. But none of these increased my spirituality, or gave joy or peace to my inner being.

"Though I believed I was practicing Islam correctly, I also drank alcohol with my friends, smoked cigarettes, and had illicit relationships with women. Let me say frankly that many of my friends (even older people) in the Middle East and Africa do the same.

"But this made me disappointed. I felt ugly and full of sin. Also I felt all the world is heavy with sin and corruption. I became depressed.

"Once, while driving my car, I happened to see a Christian channel on my car TV. I heard a pastor talking about Jesus as the Lord and Savior. I had known Christ to be a prophet and a good man [as all Muslims believe—Ed.], so I thought the pastor was preaching the wrong message and leading people astray. This made me really angry.

"But it also led me into deep thought. While I believed I was doing my best for God, there was no relationship between Him and me. I started feeling there must be something wrong in it all.

"So I tried to listen to the Gospel whenever I could. And one thing that really struck me was that God wanted to be my friend and is interested in the details of my daily life, just like a father and his son. I became eager to get a Bible. Then the Lord Jesus miraculously led a team of Bibles for Mideast to me and they gave me one!

"‘Please God,’ I prayed,  ‘just show me which way is true, the Qur’an or the Bible.’

“Something unusual happened that night.

“I went to sleep and I heard a voice wake me up and call my name. ‘I'm coming back soon. Go and tell others,’ the voice said.

“I woke up and looked around. No one was in the room, so I went to sleep again. The same thing happened three times that night. The last time I heard a huge voice, shaking the room, and I woke up. I was scared and felt for the first time the presence of the Lord on me. It was very majestic and fearful, yet very sacred and solemn. I saw a huge light in the room, which I couldn't look at, and the voice told me again, ‘I am Jesus.  I'm coming back soon for my Bride; go and tell others.’

“When I accepted that, I said, ‘Amen.’  Because of that meeting with the real, living God, my life changed once and for all. I became someone else. I found in my heart joy, peace, and extraordinary love for people. Everything changed.”

Ibrahim Abdullah, a former Muslim of West Africa, tells his own conversion experience, similar to Al-Thoufeeqi’s. Please pray for both men and the work they do for the Kingdom of Christ.

Emad Al-Abdy, a Muslim in Saudi Arabia, converted to Christianity. Kuwaiti royal prince Abdullah al Saba declared his faith in Jesus Christ. Thousands upon thousands now believe in Jesus Christ throughout the Middle East and are thirsty for the Word of God. Al-Thoufeeqi is now an active evangelist with Bibles for Mideast.

We are a mostly underground ministry with many volunteer evangelists and pastors, distributing Bibles and establishing house churches in the Middle East and surrounding areas. We pray to our Lord to supply enough Bibles. If you feel led to support our work,  please click here: BLESSING Bibles for Mideast. Most importantly, we appreciate your prayer support!

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*Name changed for security reasons

Dead Imam comes alive during burial preparations; a year and a half later, he heads up a newborn church!

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, the 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 their 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."

Imam.jpg

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.

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*name changed for security reasons

From Islamic enforcer and Christian killer to underground church leader: a modern-day Muslim Saul

For years, Zakkir* and his father lived to uphold the many religious rules governing their 100% Muslim country, one of the strictest in the Middle East. They followed Islamic ritual practices fanatically, and if they witnessed anything or anyone ‘out of order’, had no compunctions about resorting to violence. 

While Zakkir’s father served in the often-merciless Islamic religious force known as Muttawa, his son headed up an outlaw gang of angry young militants. All were fully committed to punishing anyone daring to defy the stern laws and practices of Islam.

Taliban religious police beating a woman because she dared to remove her burqa in public

Taliban religious police beating a woman because she dared to remove her burqa in public

“If anyone passed along the road by the mosque at the time of Namaz [Islamic prayer], our gang would stop and brutally beat them for not attending,” Zakkir explains. 

One day, he noticed some Christians distributing sample gospels and, he says, trying to convert several Muslims. The gang determined to put a stop to the evangelical activities.

“We attacked their office,” Zakkir relates, “and killed three of them.” Pleased with themselves, the men were jubilant when they discovered later that the ‘infidels’ had also been secretly translating bibles into Arabic.

Soon they were back at their post, stopping those passing by the mosque at the time of Friday prayer, insisting they come in.  They pulled over one man in the midst of rushing his sick child to hospital, and refused to take even that as an excuse.

“I dragged him out of the car myself,” Zakkir confesses. But as he did, the distraught father grabbed a gun from his glove compartment and fired off three shots directly into his assailant’s chest. Zakkir fell to the ground, and the man jumped back into his car and drove off.

The young militant’s friends sped him to the hospital. Surgeons managed to remove only two of the bullets, deciding that taking out the third, lodged in a dangerous position in his chest, would mean certain death.

He remained in a coma for several days, and doctors gave up hope for his recovery. Friends and relatives who had been by his hospital bed from the beginning gave up as well, leaving him alone in the hospital to die.

Bibles for Mideast director Pastor Paul ‘just happened’ to be visiting the country with several other missionaries at the time. In prayer for their mission, he received clear instructions about Zakkir and his condition in a vision, even though the two had never met.

“Not only did the Lord ask me to visit him,” he recalls, “but He told me to bring him back with me from the hospital! We fully trust our Lord, so without any doubts we went. My coworkers suggested we take along separate clothes for him, since he would be in a hospital gown.”

He, Pastor Rahim* and two other evangelists headed off to the hospital, found Zakkir’s room, and began to pray over his comatose body.

“At this moment,” the militant remembers vividly, “I had a dream that Jesus Christ came to me and said, ‘I am your Lord and Savior, I have been wounded for you, and by my stripes you are healed. I choose you as one of my vessels to bring many to my fold.’"

He says the Lord then touched his wounds with His own nail-scarred hands. “Suddenly, the remaining bullet jumped from my chest automatically, as I felt new blood flow through my veins!” He opened his eyes to see four people praying over him.

“I thought they were angels of the Lord,” he says. Pastor Paul made clear they were simply servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that they’d been given instructions to come and pray for him. He also explained to him the way of salvation.

“He is the author of life, believe in Him and you will be saved." 

Zakkir hardly needed convincing. He got up, accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior, and surrendered his life to the Lord of Life. The missionaries helped him into his ‘new clothes’, and then secretly whisked him away.

“No one knew about my escape with the pastors,” he explains. As only Jesus could work it, Zakkir now heads up an underground Bibles for Mideast affiliated church in his country.

“I am not worthy to be a pastor of our Lord's Church, for I was persecuting the Church,” he says, sounding for all the world like the Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:9**). “But I am pastoring an underground ALG church. We are taking care of the persecuted Christians who were former Muslims.”

Please pray for Zakkir and the Christian colleagues he lives with as they work to spread the Kingdom of Jesus in a dark and restrictive kingdom of this world.

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* names changed for security reasons
** "
I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence." [1 Cor. 15:9, The Message]

Call for seven days of prayer and fasting for Bibles for Mideast and ALG

Report: Pastor Peter Haneef, President, ALG Church

The Assembly of Loving God Church (ALG) Church of Bibles for Mideast plans seven days of prayer and fasting from October 2 to 8. This will follow baptismal services to be held at all ALG churches.

We welcome prayer warriors around the world to join with us—in your church, your home, or anywhere. Please pray for Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church, its pastors, evangelists, other workers, believers, seekers, all of their families, and for those who receive the word of God through our bible distribution. Pray also for the Lord’s protection of the candidates and ministers as they prepare for baptism.

Those joining in will avoid food and water till the afternoon, or be adopting Daniel’s way of fasting (vegetables and water) as described in Daniel 1:8-17.

The ALG now includes 204 underground house churches worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit and Truth in Asia, Africa and Middle East. All will be participating in the week of fasting and prayer.

Saved by Jesus from scheming friend, debt, doubt and suicide

Dominique and his Muslim friend Rahman* had known each other since boyhood. So as young adults, they decided to go into business together.

As plans for the business progressed, a friend of Dominique’s invited him to a Bibles for Mideast prayer meeting. A nominal Christian, Dominique figured some prayer for the business certainly couldn’t hurt and may even help, so went along. As the meeting drew to a close he approached the leader, Pastor Paul, for prayer.  He was hardly prepared for what he heard.

“Your Muslim friend Rahman will cheat you in business, and try to get you out of the partnership,” the pastor told Dominique he felt the Lord saying. “Your life is also in danger. Be careful, and look to Jesus before you do anything!” He then prayed for him.

Dominique walked away incredulous. He could not believe such nonsense about Rahman, he told the Christian friend who had brought him.  

“All these praying Christian people of whatever denomination are just frauds—trying to brainwash poor people and take advantage of them!” he proclaimed. Refusing to believe the warning, he chose to believe and trust Rahman instead. “He is a true Muslim,” he explained. “He prays Muslim prayers five times a day. He won’t cheat me.”

So the two friends started their company and, for the first two years, all went well. When profits began to decline and they had to borrow from a private bank at high interest rates, the business still languished. As debts grew, the bank took legal action against them. Soon, all and everyone seemed against them.

Hopelessly discouraged, the men devised a suicide pact. They would lie on a railway track face down, and wait until the train came to end their lives and their misery. They’d put stoppers in their ears and cover their eyes with pieces of cloth to block out the sounds and sight of death coming.

oncoming-train-steve-ohlsen-225x300.jpg

All seemed to be going according to plan. But before the train arrived, Dominique felt himself forcefully dragged off and away from the railway tracks.

“You have no authority to take your own soul and spirit!” a voice boomed. “That is my gift to you! I, Jesus your savior, am saving you from hell and from debt!”

Dominique pulled the stoppers from his ears and the cloth from his eyes and leapt to his feet. Glancing around he saw no one … not even Rahman. He watched the train roar by. His friend must have been killed, he figured, but where was he? Not finding the body on or near the tracks he decided the train likely dragged his body further along the track.  He ran along the line, but could see nothing.

Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he spied Rahman, mostly hidden behind a tree, watching him. He tried not to show he had noticed the so-called friend, and Rahman remained unaware he'd been seen.

Obviously, after the two had lain down on the tracks, Rahman had removed the ear and eye coverings and run to safety. Dominique immediately connected the dots, realizing the man had been a traitor in business as well, stealing money and creating false accounts.

train tracks.jpg

He headed straight from the railway tracks to where he knew he could find some Bibles for Mideast pastors. Telling them what happened, he openly and willingly confessed his sins and accepted Jesus as his personal savior and Lord.

As the pastors prayed for him, Dominique again heard the voice of Jesus . .. no longer thunderous, but now full of gentle love.

“You are not a man of debt,” Jesus assured him. “I forgive your debts, for you are my son and I am the richest man in all the world. You, and all my children, are my hidden treasures before my Father.”

Dominique progressed quickly in his walk with the Lord. He has been diligent in prayer and study and now serves with Bibles for Mideast as a pastor in North India. He married a young Christian woman, and they have one child. Please pray for him and his family.

Unfortunately, Rahman learned nothing from his mistakes. He went into another business partnership, with a Jain man this time, and the enterprise followed the same pattern:  a year or two of profit, then rapid decline and increasing debt. Rahman’s underhanded thievery again drove both the business and the friendship into the ground.  The partner by then had heard about the earlier business failure, and the two became sworn enemies.

A few months ago, Rahman died when a truck rammed into his motorcycle, crushing his head. Some reports are that the Jain man hired the truck driver to ‘cause’ the accident, but this cannot be confirmed.

__________________

UPDATE: Pastor Peter Haneef, President of the Assembly of Loving God Church (ALG) Church of Bibles for Mideast, has just returned from ministering at a three-day gospel convention at Dominique's church in North India. He reports that several Muslims and Hindus have joined the Kingdom of Jesus! 
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*
Name changed for security reasons

A young Muslim meets Jesus at the holiest time of year for Islam, the Festival of Sacrifice

(Sept. 6, 2017, with reporting from Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast)

Just last week, about two million Muslims made the pilgrimage to Mecca called the Hajj. Central to their faith and one of the ‘five pillars of Islam’, every able-bodied follower of Islam is expected to do the Hajj once in his or her lifetime, if they can afford to. The promise is a cleansing of their souls and a deepening of their relationship with Allah.

The Hajj climaxes with Eid-al-Adha, the holiest time of the year for the world’s 1.8 billion (as of 2015) followers of Islam. Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, Muslims from every part of the world are duty-bound to observe the annual celebration, usually lasting four days.

The Festival of Sacrifice commemorates Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son. Muslims consider the son to have been Ishmael, Abraham’s older son born to Sarah’s servant girl Hagar*. Christians and Jews of course consider the ‘son of promise’ to be Isaac, born to Abraham’s wife Sarah (Genesis 22). In both versions of the story, God provides a ram as a sacrificial offering instead, and considers Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son a supreme act of obedience.

As that annual Festival of Sacrifice wrapped up around the world last week, a Bibles for Mideast pastor living and working in central Asia experienced a dramatic encounter with some Muslim men getting ready for the time of animal sacrifice.  Since minority Christians have been and are continuing to be brutally persecuted in this country, names have been changed.

Omar and Salahi, strong young men trained and working as butchers, were leading several cows to the slaughterhouse early last Thursday morning in preparation for the next day’s celebration. Pastor Masih and two other Bibles for Mideast evangelists ‘just happened’ to meet them along the road and joined them on their walk:  a so-called chance encounter similar to Philip’s meeting the Ethiopian eunuch on a dusty road in Africa (Acts 8:26-40).

Sheep being led to slaughter

Sheep being led to slaughter

In the biblical story, the Ethiopian had been reading: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth. In (his) humiliation justice was denied him. Who will tell of his posterity? For his life is taken from the earth.”  Philip, entirely led of the Lord, asked his fellow traveller just the right leading question. We can't help thinking Pastor Masih was similarly led!

“Why are you killing animals for the Eid al-Adha?” Pastor Masih inquired. As a former Muslim living in a Muslim-dominated country he well-knew the answer.

“It is cow qurbani, the sacrifice for Allah as our forefather Abraham taught us to do,” Omar replied.  [Qurbani , as referred to in Islamic law, is the Arabic word for the sacrifice of  an animal during Eid al-Adha. The word is related to the Hebrew קרבן‎ corban, or offering.—Ed.]

Cow qurbani in Africa

Cow qurbani in Africa

“He tried to sacrifice his older son Ishmael, son of Hagar, as Allah told him to do,” Omar went on. “But later Allah did not allow him to kill his son, so he sacrificed an animal instead. We are doing the same thing with our cow qurbani.”

Pastor Masih was ready with his answer. “According to the word of God, we don’t need to sacrifice any animals or birds for our salvation,” he explained to the men. “That’s because Jesus Christ, the son of our Most High God alone, did this sacrifice once, to make all other sacrifices unnecessary. By his sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary and his resurrection from the dead, we are being redeemed and becoming God’s own children. Believe in Jesus and leave these hopeless qurbanis.” He pulled no punches, but Omar and Salahi were suddenly more than ready to.

“How dare you, you bastard and infidel, tell us this blasphemy against Allah!” they shouted, brandishing their butcher knives. “We will kill you now as well!” Pastor Masih and his evangelist friends managed to flee to safety.

The butchers continued on their journey to the slaughterhouse. Once there, they and their assistants began preparing an ox for sacrifice. Tying its front and back legs with strong rope, they pushed the animal down. Omar drew his knife and aimed for the beast’s neck. But the ox simultaneously shook its head, causing the blade to miss the neck and slice through the rope securing its front leg instead. With a limb suddenly freed, the ox kicked Omar solidly in the chest, throwing him to the ground. His chest collapsed and blood began spurting out.

 His helpers rushed him to hospital. By the time he arrived he had lost most of his blood. Doctors declared him 95% dead, and told his friends they had no hope for him. All they could do was admit him to the critical care unit and provide him with some blood.

For three days Salahi sat outside the hospital and prayed to Allah for Omar. If he dies, he thought, it would certainly be considered a sacrificial death before Allah and he will go directly go to heaven. That had to be so, he tried to tell himself.

But he couldn’t sleep. Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw Omar’s collapsed chest, and the blood gushing out of him. As the fourth day dawned, he was doing the required purification ritual before the Islamic early morning prayer time. As he washed, he looked up to see an angel standing before him.

“Turn from these worthless things to the living God who created heaven and the earth,” the angel told him. “Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. He sent His only Son to save the world. He is Jesus Christ, the son of Most High God and the seed of David who was raised from the dead. This is the Gospel.”

Salahi could barely believe what he was seeing and hearing. He knew the imam described the ablution practice as preparing for ‘an appointment before God’, but could it really be so?

The angel spoke again.  “Come with me. I will lead you to the Lord’s prophets. They will guide you.”

The angel began walking away. Salahi abruptly ended his ritual washing and followed.

Salahi still isn’t sure whether he actually walked or if the angel carried him, but when he did become aware of his surroundings, he found himself standing before Pastor Masih and others at their underground ALG house church. They were in a prayer meeting, and the Lord had already let the pastor know of Salahi’s imminent arrival, and that they were to receive him. By then the angel had vanished, never seen by the pastor and not to be seen again by Salahi. Salahi explained what had happened. The pastor, a former Muslim, told his own story and explained more about Jesus Christ and the salvation possible only in Him.

It was Sunday morning, so the group prepared for the Sunday worship service. During the service, Salahi accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal savior and Lord, declaring before the church his newfound faith. Church members rejoiced and prayed for Omar..

That evening, Pastor Masih, Salahi, and a few other believers went to visit Omar in the hospital. The pastor could only pray silently for the injured man’s healing and salvation because of the dangers Christians face both in the hospital and the entire region. As the church members stood beside his bed, Omar opened his eyes but was unable to speak.

Salahi now stays with Pastor Masih. They church continues to pray and believe that not only Omar, but the whole nation will be saved. Several groups actively promote terrorism in this region of central Asia, and reports are that the government does nothing to stop them. Please join with us in praying for these people.

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* God did promise Abraham he would make a ‘great nation’ out of Ishmael's descendants. He has tremendous plans for them; we must keep them in our prayers. Please read this excellent, insightful article by a leader and intercessor at the International House of Prayer, Samuel Whitefield: The Battle Over Ishmael’s Promises and the Coming Revival in the Middle East.

Jesus rescues young woman from Buddhism, black magic and being buried alive

Chauchan (not her real name), 28, lived with her husband in a small Thai village where, as in most of Thailand, Buddhism prevailed. While most Thai citizens claim to be Buddhist, all are equally if not more aware of their ancestral animistic beliefs.  Black magic, rituals and spells ruled the national psyche long before Buddhism arrived from India, and they remain firmly entrenched in Thai society.

Even government leaders have fallen to the spell, as England’s The Telegraph reported in a 2008 article entitled Bangkok protesters adopt witchcraft to topple Thai government.

Despite missionary efforts dating back to the 16th century, Christianity has made few inroads into Thai society. Only about one percent of the population call themselves Christians, although mission organizations working there are finally seeing more fruit (OMF Thailand, with its history rooted in J. Hudson Taylor’s astonishing early work in China, is one of several doing increasingly fruitful work there).

Bibles for Mideast began a work in one of Thailand’s least-reached provinces last year, sending a missionary pastor and his wife to live among and reach the locals.* The couple now lead a vibrant underground  Assembly of Loving God (ALG) house church, but suffer untold hardships and resistance from locals and, especially, from black magic practitioners.

One day just two weeks ago, while visiting the market, Chauchan was approached by a couple from the ALG house church. She listened quietly as they presented the Good News of Jesus—a confusing idea for most Buddhist people. For them, it is all about their own good deeds and misdeeds here on earth which, if the math works out, might mean a better time in their next incarnation. The idea of a creator God sending His son to die and then rise again, for all of humanity, seems not just too easy, but irresponsible.

But the couple spared no details in witnessing to Chauchan.

“Jesus is the living God, the Son of the most high God of the universe,” they told her. “He was born of the virgin Mary as a faultless son of man and came to save humanity from sin and death. He was crucified on the cross of Calvary and died as a ransom for our sins, for your sins. On the third day he rose as our living savior and Lord. If you believe in Jesus as your savior, you will be saved,” they assured her, and handed her a sample of the gospel to take home. “Read this good news about God to know more about Jesus.”

Chauchan, taking their literature, headed back home. She was surprised to find a chief sorcerer from the village waiting for her, with her family gathered round. She could easily read the anger in their faces and demeanour.

The sorcerer told her his god had revealed to him what she had done: listening to the Christian missionaries, and receiving gospel literature from them.  So he had come to tell her husband and other family members. Whether he got the information from someone else at the market or by the power of Satan, God only knows.  But the fury was real.

Sorceror by statue of buddha

Sorceror by statue of buddha

As the sorcerer questioned and accused her, she denied the charges. Her husband then reached into her shopping bag and pulled out the gospel tract. Enraged, he slapped her violently, and then burned the gospel along with the worst household waste.

The sorcerer performed some black magic over the family as a ‘remedy’, and left them all feeling relieved.

That night, Chauchan’s husband ran a high fever. In the days that followed, the fever, and his condition, worsened. So they called on the sorcerer to work his healing magic. Arriving with two others, he began to perform his rituals and cast spells, carrying on for two days while staying with the family.

But her husband died. It had to have been Chauchan’s fault, they were sure. If she had not listened to the missionaries and brought that sample Christian gospel home, he would still be alive.

So they decided to bury her alive with his dead body. [Burying the dead, let alone burying a live wife with her dead husband, is by no means a Buddhist practice, but clearly the influence of black magic—Ed.]

They brought her to an isolated area for the burial. She screamed loudly as they pushed her into the grave, but her cries were ignored by them and unheard by others. They placed her dead husband’s body over her, added a concrete slab, and then shovelled earth and stones overtop until the screams were silenced and the bodies covered.

The ALG Church members happened to be praying and fasting at their house church while all this was going on. The Holy Spirit began to move powerfully over them. Someone prophesied that a valuable woman who unknowingly believed in Jesus had been buried alive with her husband’s dead body.  While another person prophesied, the pastor’s wife had a vision: she saw that it was Chauchan, and that she was still alive! They prayed through till the evening for further guidance.

As night fell, the pastor, with a group of men from the church, went to the graveyard—its location also revealed as the church had prayed—and found the new grave. They prayed again, removed the soil, and pulled out the heavy concrete slab. They found the dead body of a young man. Removing it, they found Chauchan, her heart and pulse still beating. Pulling her out immediately, they began massaging her and praying in the name of Jesus. As they sprayed some water on her face, she slowly opened her eyes.

The pastor and church members buried the young man’s body again and brought Chauchan home with them. The next day, they called another fasting and prayer meeting and it was there she openly accepted the Lord Jesus as her own savior and Lord. They knew that if she stayed with them, both she and the church would be in even more danger, so they decided to send her to another ALG church a long distance away.

Chechuan now knows she is a new creation in the Lord Jesus. Please pray for her. Pray also as Bibles for Mideast plans to appoint dedicated missionaries to other provinces and regions of southeast Asia.

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* For security reasons the missionaries’ names and the province they settled in cannot be revealed. Doing so would mean certain persecution, even death threats.

Indian state laws make converting to Christianity increasingly dangerous

Last week, two Bibles for Mideast pastors were attacked by Hindu radicals in north India. The pastors, both converts from Hinduism, led a house church in the region. A group of people entered the church, demanding they discontinue all meetings and services.  The pastors refused, so two days later were brutally attacked. Pastor Stephen of Bibles for Mideast reports that the local government and police apparently fully supported the attackers.

India’s governing party, the BJP, continues to push forward in its stated Hindutva ideology, or the 'Hinduisation' of India. With power at both national and state levels, their philosophy basically holds that the nation can be cohesive and workable only by maintaining the beliefs, tenets and culture of one religion—Hinduism.

The Indian state of Jharkhand just last week joined five other states (Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat) in passing an anti-conversion law.

While dubbed the ‘Religious Freedom Bill 2017’, it is anything but. The new law bans people from attempting to convert others "by use of force or by allurement or by any fraudulent means," with punishments including fines of up to 100,000 rupees (US$1,600) and four years in prison. It also states that a person converting willingly must give Jharkhand’s Deputy Commissioner details of the time, place and name of the person administering the conversion.

"This is very unfortunate for the people of Jharkhand," said the Rev. Dr. Man Maish Ekka, a member of the Jharkhand Sadbhavana Munch, a local religious freedom forum. "This is not just an attack on Christians, but is an attack on the religious freedom that the constitution gives to the very citizens of this country.”

The Indian government’s pro-Hindu stance has left it unwilling to tackle Hindu extremism   [Photograph: Str/AFP/Getty Images]

The Indian government’s pro-Hindu stance has left it unwilling to tackle Hindu extremism   [Photograph: Str/AFP/Getty Images]

William Stark of International Christian Concern pointed out that Hindu radicals have taken advantage of similar laws in other states to harass and intimidate the country's minority Christian population.

"These laws are widely abused by Hindu radicals due to the legal ambiguity within the laws themselves. Often, these laws provide an easy excuse for radicals to attack Christian leaders with impunity. One simply needs to claim the pastor was forcefully converting an individual following an assault,” Stark explained.

"As a result, instead of the pastor's assailants being arrested, it's the assailed pastor who is arrested by police following an attack.”

As this ministry and many others have experienced and reported, harassment and threats on Christians in India in the first six months of 2017 have been the highest since the country’s independence (report on increasing persecution of Christians in India from Open Doors USA here). Extremists have tortured and killed believers and vandalized and demolished churches, some from Bibles for Mideast.

The anti-conversion laws of course make it extremely difficult and dangerous to talk about and share the Christian faith.

“It's based on the idea that conversion by force should be made illegal,” pointed out Andrew Boyd of Release International.  “I think everyone would agree that conversion by force would be useless."

"But actually, if you preach about heaven, then it's considered to be bribery. If you speak about hell, it's considered to be a threat. If you offer any kind of Christian charity, then it's regarded also as bribery.”

In many of the places Bibles for Mideast missionaries live and work, severe persecution from both Muslims and Hindus remains an increasingly harsh reality.

Please pray for all of our pastors, missionaries, churches and believers. As regular visitors to this site would know, Pastor Paul, director of Bibles for Mideast, has himself been the victim of threats and assaults by both Hindu and Muslim extremists. He is still recovering from a stoning attack which happened several months ago in a country neighboring India (URGENT call to fast and pray for Pastor Paul, director of Bibles for Mideast). He continues to improve and hopes to be back working in several weeks.

From radical Islamic murderer to ardent leader in the Kingdom of Jesus

Peter Haneef, now President of Bibles for Mideast's Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church, grew up in a fanatic Muslim family in a predominantly Islamic Asian country. For reasons that should become obvious in his story below, we cannot share his real name, nationality or location for his and his family’s safety.

“I was strict to follow Islamic rituals and cultures,” he explains. As he grew in his extremist beliefs, he wouldn’t think of associating with anyone from other faiths. “I hated them from my boyhood,” he admits.

One day, he heard about a young Muslim fellow from his area who had become Christian. So he decided to round up seven of his friends and take vengeance on the apostate. They attacked the new convert while he walked to his church on a Sunday morning, brutally stabbing him to death.

“Before he died, I was shocked to see him start praying,” Pastor Peter recalls. The words of the prayer stunned him even more.

“Lord Jesus, receive my life in your hands,” he heard him pray. “I praise you Lord for giving me an eternal home with you in heaven. But Lord, show these friends your forgiving love and great salvation. Bring them unto your fold, so that they may know that you are the resurrection and the life. Amen.” Then he died.

“We laughed at his nonsense, spat on his dead body and threw away our knives. We believed he would surely go to hell as a kafir [Arabic for infidel or unbeliever—Ed.]. The leaders of our mosque appreciated our action. But the police arrested all of us that night.” 

“Because we did it for the sake of Allah and his religion Islam, we thought certainly Allah will save us from all troubles and the religious leaders will stand behind us.”

The court had other ideas. Three of the murderers, Pastor Peter included, received the death penalty. Four others were sentenced to life imprisonment in another jail, while the youngest, a teenager, was sent to a prison for juvenile offenders.

The leaders of the mosque offered no help whatsoever. They refused to get involved with the case, and did not even try to visit their loyal Muslim brothers. The men’s parents decided to try jointly filing an appeal to the higher court.

“The higher court changed our execution order to lifetime imprisonment,” Pastor Peter explains.  “The others now got seven years imprisonment.”

While their outlooks seemed less bleak, the men still lost all hope. Their parents filed another petition to the higher court, but the sentences remained unchanged.

Two years dragged by, and the men found themselves haunted by thoughts and dreams of their victim’s last words. Pastor Haneef’s parents died, only adding to his agony.

One day, several Bibles for Mideast missionaries visited his jail as part of their prison ministry. They arranged a meeting in the recreation hall, and the jailer requested the murderers’ attendance.

With no intention to listen or respond in any way, the men filed into the meeting room. But as Pastor Paul, director of the ministry, shared the dramatic story of his own conversion from Islam they found themselves unable to block out his powerful words. 

“Usually we would have been violent and try to attack him because he was a convert from Islam,” Pastor Haneef explains. “But we did not feel any anger towards him!” That was their first surprise.

When the meeting ended, the three approached Pastor Paul, introduced themselves, and then spilled out the story of their crime. They explained they knew they would never be released from jail, and were equally certain they’d end up in hell. 

Pastor Paul listened quietly. With tears in his eyes, he told them the murdered man had been one of his best friends, a convert to Christianity with the help of his own mission organization. The men were shaken.

“Now he is with our Lord Jesus in heaven praising Him forever,” Pastor Paul explained. “You can go to heaven too, if you really confess before our Lord and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. He is able to free you from jail, and also from sin and death. He was crucified, died and then rose from the dead for your salvation.”

Practically as one, the three convicts responded to the invitation and accepted Jesus as their saving Lord.

“Then he asked us to kneel down,” recalls Pastor Peter. “He and the other missionaries laid their hands on our heads and prayed for us.  Surprisingly, we all felt great peace.”

That night, Jesus appeared before Pastor Peter.

“I am the light of the world,” he heard Jesus say to him. “Whoever walks in my light will not go to the darkness. Follow me. And you will certainly be free, for I, the Lord of lords and the King of kings, give you freedom. Those who believe in me will have eternal life.”

“He touched me with His nail-pierced hands, and then disappeared,” Pastor Peter remembers with awe.

The other two men, remarkably, had matching experiences that night.

doves from chain final hi res.jpg

“On the third day, as a miracle we heard that the court ordered to release us from the jail! It was absolutely a miracle. We never thought we would ever be out of jail. Indeed Lord Jesus freed us.” 

The other four men were freed the same day from the jail they’d been in. When the new converts shared their experiences with their newly-released friends, they too accepted Jesus into their lives as savior and Lord.

Unfortunately, the men’s families and friends responded entirely differently. Pastor Haneef’s younger brother had by then become owner of the family home, but would not allow his now-Christian brother to enter. The others had similar experiences. All were rejected by their families and communities for their new faith, and had no idea where to go or what to do.

Pastor Paul had a vision from the Lord about their predicament. He contacted them, and invited them to his own small rental home.  All were soon baptized, and stayed with him for about two months. Pastor Paul arranged for the men to receive bible training, and helped them find another house to live in while they studied.

“We had no leave in Bible School for we had nowhere to go,” Pastor Peter recounts. “Four or five days in a month we had a mission trip with Pastor Paul. We learned midnight prayer from him. We adopted it. It is a great asset for our spiritual strength and ministry. After Sunday worship we conducted corner meetings. We got best training there!”

Nine years later, he is married to a fellow former Muslim and has two children. He works diligently as an evangelist and church planter with Bibles for Mideast and leads the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) umbrella organization

All seven of his fellow prisoners work with Bibles for Mideast as well. The man who had been in juvenile detention had been released before them, and unfortunately remains an enemy of Christ and of them.

“We suffer many persecutions, but Lord Jesus strengthens us by the prayers of many children of God,” says Pastor Peter.

Please pray for him, the work of the ministry and for the many desperately needing to discover the truth and peace possible only in Jesus. 

From Hindu priestly family to daughter of the King of Kings

Report: Pastor Peter Haneef,  Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church

Athira (not her real name) grew up in a grew up in a Hindu Brahmin (priestly) family in south Asia [Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes; their traditional occupation being the spiritual guidance of people—Ed.].  She dutifully followed and practiced the ways of Hinduism throughout her youth, performing the ritual prayers and worshiping  various idols and deities. 

Once she reached university, Athira became best friends with the daughter of a Bibles for Mideast missionary. As a New Year’s gift, the friend presented her with a bible. Unimpressed, the young Hindu woman nonetheless accepted it because of their friendship. But the bible lay unread under the growing pile of her many other books. 
 
One night, she had a dream where she saw Jesus standing in the midst of a wall of fire, asking her to follow Him. On waking, she knew there had to be connection between the man in her dream and the book her friend had given her. She reached beneath her pile of books, fishing around till she found it. 

Opening it, she read: “There is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
 
The next morning, she shared her experience with her Christian friend. The friend took the opportunity to tell her all she could about the good news of the Gospel. 

“He came to save all humanity from sin and death through his crucifixion, death and resurrection,” she explained lovingly. “He is the Lord of the whole universe!  We will be saved if we believe in Him and follow Him.” 

Athira believed her friend, and prayed with her to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal savior and Lord. She began attending worship services at a local Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church. Soon she was baptized, and received the new name Phoebe as her baptismal name. 

University exams completed, a local company hired the fresh young Christian. As weeks went by on the new job, she caught the eye of fellow employee, named Jawad. The young Muslim began professing his love for her and soon after, asked her to marry him. 

It turns out his real intent was ‘Love Jihad’ [Love Jihad, also called Romeo Jihad, is a not uncommon activity where Muslim boys and men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love—Ed.]. If she fell for him and accepted his proposal, she would be forced to convert to Islam with the marriage.

But she didn’t fall for the scheme. Instead, she shared her new faith with him, and asked him to accept Jesus as his savior. And so the war was on. He would push Allah, the prophet Mohamed and the rigid Islamic religion; she would argue for the love of Jesus.
 
As his anger grew in intensity, he became violent, slapping her and pushing her around. She refused to have anything more to do with him, which only made him more furious. 
 
One day while returning from work, Jawad and several of his friends brutally attacked and attempted to rape Phoebe. She screamed as loudly as she could, and cried out to Jesus to save her. Immediately, a mighty man of fire appeared before all of them, and rescued her. The heat from the man was such the attackers' clothes were practically burnt off of their bodies. They fled, half-naked, from the scene. Phoebe firmly believes Jesus, the mighty King, saved her.

 “For I,” declares the Lord, “will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst” (Zech. 2:5, NASB).

 “For I,” declares the Lord, “will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst” (Zech. 2:5, NASB).

“Don’t be afraid,” she heard the fiery man say to her. “You are my dear daughter. I have great mercy on you. Trust me and keep standing in my shadow. The mountains can shake and the hills fall down, but my love for you will not fail or be shaken. And my covenant of peace will not be removed. Certainly I will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”

She felt Jesus right beside her until she got back to her house. When her parents and others in the home saw her and heard her story or rescue, they could not deny the supremacy of this man Jesus. All accepted the truth of His saving power and grace, and now attend worship services with Phoebe. 
 
Please pray for her and her household. Also pray that Jawad and his friends will confess before Jesus Christ and come to saving knowledge of Him.