Report: Bibles for Mideast
Haroon (not his real name) grew up in a prominent Muslim family of the Middle East. His father, a leading religious authority following the dictates of Sharia law, strictly regulated religious behavior in their state.
“I was commanding a militant wing to protect the religion and taking immediate operations against its enemies,” explains Haroon, who had trained as a sharp shooter.
Early one morning several weeks ago, Haroon got word of a baptismal service to be held in the Arabian Sea.
“I picked up militants and rushed to the seashore,” he says. “We were 19 members in our wing for the operation. Our ultimate aim was to kill everybody in the sea itself during the service. We wanted the world to wake up to this breaking news. We wanted Christians to fear Muslims and stop evangelizing them in our region.”
But the service had ended by the time they arrived. Seeing the bus full of Christians driving away, they opened fire. Within seconds, a giant dust storm formed in front of the militants’ vehicles, preventing them from moving forward.
“We all got out of our cars and continued shooting through the dust storm,” he says. “Suddenly, we saw Christ Jesus appear in the dust storm! He was angry and his eyes were like blazing fire. With a mighty voice he told us, ‘Why are you persecuting me; it’s hard for you to kick against the pricks’.”
“Oh, it was a terrible experience! His voice produced a strong wind and we all fell down on the road. Our guns flew away from us. Somehow we stood up from the road, but we were unable to say anything. Our voices were lost.”
Jesus spoke again to them. “I came to the world not to destroy anyone; but to save you. Go in peace.” He then disappeared, as did the dust.
Haroon says he and his fighters somehow felt both “terrible fear and an abundant peace” at the same time, something none of them had ever experienced.
When they recovered their voices, all but two of them began praising and thanking God. The two dissenters refused to believe God would do such a thing. Argument ensued, and the group left in confusion.
Haroon shared the experience with his father, who warned him not to tell anyone else. But he and the men he commanded could no longer pursue military activities.
A few days later, Haroon and his family headed to the desert for an evening bonfire. There, his sister Hajira was bitten by a highly poisonous Saharan horned viper and, near death, rushed to hospital. While in a coma she had a vision of an angel who explained to her the truth of Jesus—how He wanted to be both her healer and Savior.
When the angel disappeared she became conscious, and noticed her brother at her bedside. She shared the vision with him, and to her surprise found him receptive. Soon realizing they’d had similar experiences, the siblings prayed to Jesus to save and guide them.
Shortly afterward, Pastor Paul, Director of Bibles for Mideast, came to the hospital room. He explained to them that he too had been visited by the angel Hajira had seen, and been told to visit them in the hospital. He knew both their names. He explained to Haroon how he had been among the Christians Haroon’s troop had tried to attack that day of the dust storm.
“The Lord Jesus saved me and my group from your guns,” he explained. “He showed Himself as a mighty and wonderful Man, holding out His protecting and lovely hands towards us with a sweet smile. I was one among them and was leading the group.”
Brother and sister confessed their sins, and readily accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When Pastor Paul prayed over them, Hajira was totally healed.
Hajira’s healing made a believer of their father, and their whole family and 17 of the men who had witnessed the dust storm soon followed.
“We are praying for other two, and also for the Muslim world to be saved,” says Haroon.