Seydath (not her real name) grew up in a poor fundamentalist Muslim family in Central Asia. When only six, her father died, and her mother remarried a year later.
As Seydath grew into a beautiful young woman, her stepfather’s unwanted attentions grew unbearable. While she knew she wasn’t safe, she had no way of escape.
At 13, her stepfather and the Imam of the local mosque brought an elderly man to their home for a visit. He turned out to be a rich Arab from the Middle East who, once he saw her, decided she should be his next bride. For a sum, her mother and stepfather gave their young daughter to the man. He then returned to the Middle East with her as his fifth wife—far younger than his other wives and younger even than his grandchildren.
When the elderly Arab died four years later, the other wives and their children forced Seydath to become their servant. With a young child to raise but without proper food or care, the two lived a subsistence, isolated existence. When the child fell ill with pneumonia, it soon died due to lack of medical attention. Seydath had no idea how to approach the authorities, get help from anyone, and had no contacts with her native people. As the years passed, she persistently endured but barely survived.
At 40, Seydath developed serious back pain. No one in the household she worked so hard for cared. As the pain increased, she grew less and less able to function. Not until completely disabled was she admitted to the common ward of a hospital.
Doctors diagnosed severe, final stage, terminal bone cancer. None of her ‘family’ visited her in hospital, or seemed to even care she was dying.
Seydath became plagued by dreams and visions of evil spirits coming and going, attacking her body, increasing her pain and laughing at her. When doctors and nurses came, she would imagine they were agents of death, and scream at them in terror.
One day, several women working with Bibles for Mideast dropped in on her as part of their regular hospital evangelism. Near delusional, Seydath figured they too were forces of evil. She shrieked at them as she had with the hospital staff. The women merely moved back slightly from her bed and began praying in earnest. An angel suddenly appeared to Seydath, smiled at her, and calmly reached out to touch her.
“Don’t be concerned. Be at peace,” the angel said sweetly. “You have a great healer, the Lord Jesus. He will heal you by His stripes. Trust in Jesus and believe in Him." It then vanished.
Seydath felt overwhelming peace. She looked at the women holding their bibles and praying. She knew now they had to be agents of healing and life, not death. So she called them over.
"Who is this Lord Jesus, the great healer?" she asked them.
The women told her about Jesus Christ and His mission. She listened, but as a practicing Muslim, could not accept their message. The Jesus she believed in was a prophet, not the Son of God.
"I am waiting for my death," she told them. "I won't believe in your Jesus and don't want to go to hell as a Kafir [one not believing in Islam]. I only believe in Allah and his prophet Mohammad. So please leave me alone."
That evening, a Bibles for Mideast group of believers gathered together in an underground church of the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church, and prayed for her the entire night.
The next day, Pastors Peter and James visited her in the hospital. Even as they entered her room, she had been dreaming of and sensing the evil spirits unleashed against her. She opened her eyes as the pastors approached, and witnessed the evil spirits flee.
Pastor Peter opened up to her more about Jesus, the risen Lord and Saviour.
“Jesus was crucified on the cross of Calvary, died and resurrected from the dead to save us from hell and give us eternal life,” he explained. “He is the one sitting at the right of Almighty Father God to receive His people to heaven. He lives and does miracles. By His stripes we are healed. If you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you will be saved.”
Both pastors then shared their own dramatic stories of conversion from Islam.
Seydath listened carefully, remaining silent. When the pastors asked permission to pray for her, she consented since, whenever they spoke, she could feel such peace and even relief from her pain.
As the pastors prayed, she fell asleep. She dreamed that Jesus appeared before her, and gently touched her from head to toe with His nail-pierced hands. He then asked her to get up from the bed and be His witness.
The pastors were still praying when she woke up. She rose, then just as quickly knelt down by the bed.
"I believe in Jesus as my personal saviour and Lord!” she announced to them. “He really was crucified, died and rose from the dead for me. From now on, He alone is my Saviour." With one voice, all three exclaimed “Amen!”
Seydath now makes her home with the Bibles for Mideast women, worshiping Jesus and studying the word of God.
"Never in my life have I experienced such happiness,” she says with conviction. “My Lord Jesus totally showers me with great joy. Praise His Name!"
Please pray for Seydath. Please also keep up your prayers for Pastor Paul and his family. He is still in hospital undergoing treatment after his major brain surgery, needed due to the stoning by Islamic militants immediately following a baptismal service last month (that story here). He is expected to be released in about ten days.
He and his family do, however, remain under death threats. They survived a recent commando attack by terrorists, thwarted due to an intelligence report to the police (more details cannot be revealed). Our mighty Lord keeps them under His wings by your prayers.