Report: Ms. Minoo Hussain of Bibles for Mideast, Africa
(March 19, 2017): Ibn Yakoobi was among the Muslim extremists who attacked those praying at an Assembly of Loving God (ALG) church of Bibles for Mideast in a central African country on Wednesday. .
The enraged assailants, armed with rods and swords, charged at those gathered and managed to demolish the church as believers gathered on the third day of a 21-day period of prayer and fasting.
At one point, Yakoobi attempted to kill Pastor Musthafa with his sword. As the original story relates, a huge warrior angel appeared, pulling the pastor to safety. When the church roof had been destroyed and a massive thunderstorm began to roar, a mysterious heavenly storm cloud kept the Christians dry and safe, yet pelted painful rain and hailstones on the attackers. [That whole story here: The storms of heaven in Africa: punishment for some, salvation for others]
Yakoobi was one of the more extreme and fanatic religious leaders of the local mosque, participating in all of its practices and activities. Yet neither he nor other locals, all Muslims, could deny the supernatural intervention of that day. While Yakoobi remained full of questions, many in the neighbourhood were softening in their attitudes towards Pastor Musthafa and the assembly, all former Muslims. Some, mostly women from neighbouring houses, had begun joining them for their prayer services over the next two days.
But the Imam of the mosque and other religious leaders became only angrier with the new developments. During Friday’s Day of Assembly at the mosque, the imam even devoted his sermon to strictly warning his people not to believe the Christians nor attend their prayer meetings.
He explained how, during the time of the prophet Moses in Egypt, many black magicians had also performed miracles before King Pharaoh. But Moses destroyed all of those miracles with a far greater miracle given by the power of God Almighty.
“So don’t believe and follow the black magic done by Christian followers,” he cautioned them. “Be on the alert.”
Ibn Yakoobi stood up immediately among the worshippers to ask a question. But Sharia law strictly prohibits talking or asking questions during the khutbah (sermon). In fact before each Friday sermon, an elder of the mosque reads stern warnings on the subject from the hadith (the words of Mohammed). Yakoobi could not, however, hold himself back.
“Why then, Imam, can’t you do miracles as Prophet Moses did and destroy their black magic? If you can’t, don’t talk about it!”
The Imam, now incensed, ordered him out of the mosque at once. Several other leaders, especially those jealous of or out-of-sorts with Yakoobi, rushed at him and pushed him out. They dragged him to the road, pummelling him mercilessly until he fell into an open drainage ditch. They then left him there, under the hot midday sun.
Seriously injured and with several broken bones, Yakoobi couldn’t even lift himself up. Those leaving the mosque’s Friday service only laughed at him lying there, wounded and bloodied, as they walked back to their homes.
When everyone had passed, he noticed a cloud descending and then overshadowing him. He recognized it as the same cloud he’d seen two days earlier over the church, protecting the Christians.
He then saw a bright and mighty man in the cloud, sitting on a throne. That man showed his hands to Jakoobi, and they were nail-scarred. He could also see blood-stained marks on his legs, and on the side of his chest.
Blood-colored rays streamed down from the marks and shone upon Yakoobi. He understood it could be none other than Christ Jesus.
“I was brutally beaten, wounded, crucified and died on the cross of Calvary,” Jesus said. “After death, they pierced my side with a spear. But I rose from the dead. You are healed by my wounds. You are purified by my blood. You have salvation by my death. And you have eternal life by my resurrection. Now I give you a new heart and new life. Be faithful.”
Yakoobi, now utterly healed, knelt down before Jesus and said, “I believe in you Lord Jesus. You alone are my Lord and my Saviour.” Within seconds, the cloud vanished.
Yakoobi went home rejoicing, and convinced his family about the truth of Jesus Christ. He met with his friends and shared his experience of salvation with them as well. Some of those who had been involved in the attack on the church decided to put their faith in Jesus as well.
Early Saturday morning, the former attackers gathered together and collected new roofing materials and began rebuilding the church roof. They asked forgiveness of the pastor and believers, and promised to rebuild the rest of the church soon. They then joined in the day’s prayer service.
About 200 people attended Saturday's gathering. Pastor Musthafa explained the Gospel to them more fully. He then asked those who had not yet accepted the Lord Jesus as their personal savior to do so, with their own hearts and mouths. All knelt down and declared the Lord Jesus Christ to be their own personal savior and Lord.
The Imam has exploded in anger with the new developments. Locals, however, fear saying anything against Jesus or Christians, and warn their youngsters not to either. The furious Imam promises to call in militants from other mosques to fight against the ‘Christian scourge’.
Pastor Paul, Director of Bibles for Mideast and the patron of the ALG, issued a message to the African believers on Jesus Christ being the Prince of Peace.
“Our Lord Jesus does not want us to fight against our enemies in a physical way,” Pastor Paul exhorted them. “His will is that we war against Satan and his people with our fasting and prayers. Our Lord said ‘this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.’ Also Gad says in the book of Ezekiel that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. So pray for the people who are trying to persecute you. The Lord can change them by your prayers. Be courageous. The whole church and the children of God around the globe are praying for you.”
Then Pastor Paul prayed for them. Everyone joined in exclaiming “Amen and Hallelujah!” Amazingly, their “Amen, Hallelujah” reverberated loudly out into the surroundings as one beautiful voice.
“I have never heard such a beautiful voice before,” one man, Al Qayyum, remarked. He resides not too far from the church, and is known locally as the best male singer.
More than 350 people attended Sunday's worship service, with Holy Spirit moving powerfully throughout. Attendance had previously been less than 40.