Freedom for Middle East missionaries imprisoned for evangelizing; healing and salvation for fellow prisoners!

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an Assembly of Loving God (ALG)  church in the Middle East

Pastor Zakkir of Bibles for Mideast labored long, hard and secretively in one of the most restrictive countries in the Middle East, as we reported last year in our story From Islamic enforcer and Christian killer to underground church leader: a modern-day Muslim Saul.

After his dramatic conversion, he had been pastoring an underground ALG (Assembly of Living God) church and taking care of a number of persecuted Christians who had converted from Islam. He lived with and was training seven young men in how to effectively evangelize in the Middle East.
 
About seven months ago, he and his team headed out to evangelize and distribute gospel tracts and bibles in a particularly dangerous area. They shared with many Muslims in the region and on returning home, sat down to intercede for the salvation of those they'd reached out to. 

As they prayed, a group of policemen and angry locals barged in on them, brandishing guns. They brutally attacked Zakkir and the team, burned their bibles and gospel literature along with their clothes and other items. While the men who’d accompanied the police aimed to kill the Christians, fortunately the officers decided to 'only' arrest them. They were whisked away to a religious court for trial and sentenced to prison for blasphemy and proselytizing.

When thrown into a common cell with notorious criminals and murderers, their real trials began. For over a month they faced cruel torture by jail wardens and relentless, often violent harassment from fellow prisoners. Yet they report now they felt the ever-present love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Compared to what He endured for us, they explain, their sufferings amounted to nothing.

Inside a Mddle Eastern jail cell

Inside a Mddle Eastern jail cell

On first arriving at their cell, they immediately knelt down and prayed in the name of Jesus. Seeing this, other prisoners beat them and made it clear they were not to ever pray like this. So the men resorted to waiting till the others were sound asleep, then join hands in fervent worship and prayer. They figure the Lord must have induced deep sleep in their fellow prisoners, just to allow His children to worship Him in spirit, truth and safety. They prayed especially for their jailers and cellmates.
 
One day a man imprisoned for murdering three people developed severe chest pains and began vomiting blood.  He had been the one encouraging others to torture the gospel team members. 

“Shall we pray to Jesus for your healing?” Pastor Zakkir asked him.

“No!” he replied. “You cannot pray for me in that name and I do not want to hear that name again!” 

When his vomiting resumed even more severely, the man, now exhausted, thought he was going to die.

“Shall we pray for you?” Zakkir inquired again. ”Jesus is the mighty healer and He will heal you and will give you life, for which we are the witness.”

The criminal didn’t turn down the offer this time. So the pastor touched his head and prayed over him. The other team members laid their hands on him as well, joining in the prayers.

His stomach settled down immediately, as did his chest pains. Leaping to his feet as if absolutely nothing had been wrong, he marvelled that he'd felt something like an electric current flow through his body when the men prayed.

Others in the cell were equally stunned by his swift relief. The atmosphere in the cell soon transformed as the convicts grew friendly and accommodating. The missionaries could now freely pray as and when they wanted.

Furthermore, when any prisoner felt sick, depressed or upset, he'd now ask for prayer and find rapid, remarkable relief. One by one the convicted murderers, rapists, thieves and other outlaws joined the gospel workers in their times of prayer. Without the jail wardens or officers knowing, the whole cell resembled an underground church each night, with praise, worship and prayers rising to the heavens. 

Zakkir and his team related their own stories of salvation to the others, and the pastor shared the gospel message. Each and every prisoner confessed his many sins before Jesus Christ, and readily accepted Him as personal savior and Lord. They agreed that if released from jail, they too would become witnesses of Jesus to others.
 
Three months ago, a new officer took charge of the prison. Apparently trying particularly hard to prove he was tough and up to the task of controlling those in his charge, he behaved harshly towards prisoners. He could not figure out, however, why the men in this one particular cell actually seemed calm and happy. They behaved well and kindly to each other and even more surprising, when beaten or tortured, responded with “Praise the Lord!” Keeping a close eye on them, he discovered it was all because of the prayers of the gospel team members. So after two weeks, he moved Pastor Zakkir and his team into a separate cell.
 
And he continued to watch them. One night, as soon as he heard them praying, the officer entered their quarters. The gospel workers’ initial fear turned to wonder as he walked unthreateningly towards them and sat down. He then opened up about his own life. He had studied at a western university, he explained, and while there, had many Christian friends. Through their influence, he learned about the sacrifice of Jesus and had even accepted Him as his personal savior. He attended worship and prayer services with his Christian buddies and had numerous experiences with God at the time.

But on returning to his homeland after studies, he joined the government services and lost all Christian fellowship. He did however still begin his day reading the bible and secretly prayed to Jesus both morning and night.

Now, he eagerly joined with the evangelists in prayer. He asked each of them to share their testimonies, which they of course did. The men continued in worship and prayer till dawn. From then on, the officer interceded with them every night. With his help the prisoners in the team's previous cell continued their prayers as well.
 
Since the new, secretly-Christian officer held sway in higher circles within the prison system, he took the initiative in securing their release from jail, with one condition: they must leave their native land.

Agreeing to this, the evangelists were freed from jail several days ago. Before departing, Pastor Zakkir asked two of the prisoners to lead in regular prayer services in the jail, as the Lord Himself would lead him. The Christian prison officer offered his full support to this. 

Worshippers in an underground church

Worshippers in an underground church

The officer then made arrangements for Pastor Zakkir and his brave team of seven to leave the country. They are now safe with Bibles for Mideast pastors in another region, and continuing ministry there.

Please pray for them and the entire ministry, all ministers and believers of Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church, and the ministry as a whole. Pastor Zakkir and his team also want to sincerely thank all who prayed for them over these challenging yet God-ordained seven months.

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. 

Stoned by terrorists, protected by a lion!

By Pastor Paul, Director of Bibles for Mideast

My risen Lord Jesus Christ has saved my life once again, and I praise and thank God for His unspeakable grace! Certainly I am not worthy of it.

The Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church of Bibles for Mideast called for 21 days fasting and prayer from March 13 to April 2. As that drew to a close, more than 3000 former Muslims were baptized in many of our churches in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Lord enabled me to baptize many people during this time.

About three weeks ago, I was changing my wet clothes after an early-morning baptism service for one of our churches. Suddenly, militants began stoning me and our group. My head was severely injured and bloodied, and a number of others sustained injuries as well.

Believers rushed me to the nearest hospital. An examination showed serious damage to my skull, so I was transferred to a specialist hospital for immediate surgery. Authorities there, however, refused to do surgery before receiving payment. My poor believing friends somehow managed to comply.

The Islamic militants who had attacked us discovered I was undergoing treatment in that hospital, and plotted to kill me. So the believers shifted me from the hospital to Pastor Ayyoob’s house in a nearby forested area.

Pastor Ayyoob lives there with his wife, two young children and 80-year-old mother. Two believers joined us to help care for me. So the eight of us stayed there—with no internet,, electricity, pipe water, or even proper bathrooms.  For primary things we used the forest areas and a nearby river.

Believers secretly visited me at the forest home, and we would have prayer services together. I stayed there about three weeks.

Last Sunday (April 16, Easter Sunday), we were in the midst of our worship service with Pastor Ayyoob leading. Suddenly, a group of militants reached the house, armed with steel bars and other weapons. We had no idea what to do.

I still hadn’t (and have not) fully recovered from the surgery. Pastor Ayyoob’s mother is an elderly, sick woman. We also had two children below four years old with us, and a woman seven months pregnant who came for the service.

Militants had found the house by noticing the people attempting to visit me secretly and coming for prayers.

Losing all hope, we thought for sure this was our last day. The children with us started crying. We all joined hand in hands and repeatedly praised and thanked our risen Lord Jesus Christ. We also continually claimed the blood of Jesus Christ as our victory.  The pregnant woman suffered pain, but joined in our praises to the Lord.

O Lord Jesus! Praise His Holy Name. Completely unexpectedly, a lion ran from the forest, leapt towards the militants, and seized one by the neck. When other combatants tried to attack the lion, two other lions bounded towards them. The terrified militants fled the site, and the lions left us completely alone. Equally astonishing, records show no lions are supposed to live in that forest.

Due to pressure from officials, we left the forest home yesterday.

Miraculously sending His Word, the Lord radically saves Islamic scholar and teacher

Report: Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast

Abu Omar (name changed for security reasons) had been for many years a religious scholar and highly-respected citizen of the Middle East. He taught and preached the Koran, the Hadith and Sharia law in mosques and Islamic schools.

While getting into his car after evening prayers in the mosque, he noticed a piece of paper stuck to his car window. He pulled it off, climbed into his vehicle, put on the light and began reading it. 

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)

Furious, he crumpled it up. Then, taking the rifle he kept in his car, he stepped out to see if he could find the person who had left the tract. Seeing no one, he threw the paper out and drove away.

On the way home, he stopped in front of a shopping mall. A piece of paper flew towards him and stuck to his clothes: the same bible verse! Tearing it up, he stuffed it in the nearest waste bin.

After shopping, he came back to his car and as he opened the door, pieces of paper blew towards him from the garbage can—the same ones he had ripped up and thrown there. Enraged, he gathered them up and set them ablaze with his lighter.

As he drove home he felt something on his left shoulder. He pulled it off, and glanced to see a piece of burnt paper. He stopped the car to read it: “The wages of sin is death”. A terrible fear came to his mind. With other Muslims, Abu believed in two recording angels, one recording good deeds, and the other bad. He presumed ‘Atid’, the one recording all of his sins and bad deeds, sat on his left shoulder.

Suddenly he felt something on his right shoulder. There he found another scrap of burnt paper. Taking it off he read: “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He also held the Islamic belief that another angel named ‘Raqib’ rested on his right shoulder recording his good deeds. In frightened wonderment, he placed the pieces of gospel tract in the dashboard.

Abu Omar could now barely sleep at night. He began pondering the biblical teachings on Jesus Christ. His habit had been to get up at dawn to go to the mosque for morning prayer.

While sleeping fitfully one night, Jesus appeared to him in a dream and said, “Stop being afraid! I am the first and the last: I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever and always. And I hold the keys to Death and Hell.” (Rev 1:17-18)

Abu Omar saw his nail-pierced hands and knew he had to be Jesus.  He rose from the bed immediately and prostrated himself before Him. When he found the courage to raise his head, the Lord disappeared. He then heard the call for morning prayer from the mosque, but didn’t go.

He rushed to his car to retrieve the pieces of burnt paper from the dash board. On the back of one, he found a mobile number and calling it, connected with Pastor Steve of Bibles for Mideast.

Pastor Steve shared the gospel, and Abu Omar accepted Jesus as his own personal savior and Lord. The pastor later presented  him with a bible, and invited him to join in the 21 days fasting and prayer called by the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church. Abu also began preparing for baptism.

Pastor Steve’s secret underground house church of Bibles for Mideast is in an area highly hostile to Christianity.  Please hold all these believers in your prayers.

The storms of heaven in Africa: punishment for some, salvation for others

Report: Ms. Minoo Hussain of Bibles for Mideast, Africa

March 15, 2017: A mob of Muslim extremists attacked the pastor and believers of a church of Bibles for Mideast in Central Africa today, charging at them with swords and iron bars and completely demolishing their church.  The group had been participating in the 21 days of fasting and prayer called by the Assembly of Loving God (ALG) Church.

Pastor Musthafa, who also coordinates Bibles for Mideast in Central Africa, had been leading the 40 (mostly women) in attendance in prayer. Church members were taking part in the fast, now into its third day.

The pastor, his family and most of the believers had all once followed Islam. For the last two years, all have been avid but underground followers of Jesus.

Many churches in the area have been destroyed by both fanatics and authorities (representational image)

Many churches in the area have been destroyed by both fanatics and authorities (representational image)

Believers from nearby had been joining with those gathered at the church for their prayer times, while local Muslims kept an eye on the comings and goings. Pastor Musthafa and his team had also been courageously visiting some Muslims in their homes to pray and invite them to attend the prayer services. Their evangelistic intent had obviously leaked out. Enraged Muslim leaders gathered a mob of 25 to 30 people for the assault. Government authorities in that region support the demolition of churches, and so rarely intervene.

Shouting “Allahu Akbar,” assailants forcibly entered the prayer hall, destroying all they could see, and ripping off the church roof.

One man stabbed the pastor’s neck with a large sword.  But just as suddenly, Pastor Musthafa felt an invisible person pull him away from the blade. The ‘invisible person’ proved to be a huge warrior angel. The attacker, unable to regain his composure or aim, ended up injuring himself with his own sword.  The attackers, now livid, began beating believers.

Heavy rain and blustery winds unexpectedly formed with thunder and lightning, swirling around the church and surrounding area. Massive drops of rain fell on the attackers like stones, throwing them into disarray. Yet the believers stayed dry and protected from the downpour. Everyone then became aware of a large cloud over-shadowing the church, shielding believers from the rain. Believers then saw the Lord Jesus in the cloud, and fell to their knees before Him.

clouds

“Hallelujah!” they began exclaiming at the tops of their lungs.

As always with our God, the connected miracle lies in the fact the region had been near-drought, so the thirsty ground and surroundings soaked up the sorely-needed water.

Seeing the praising believers safe from the deluge under what seemed to be the same cloud raining down on them, the attackers attempted to get to safety. But now huge hailstones fell from the cloud onto them, proving more painful than the rain. Attempting to escape, their legs, now coated with mud, made walking difficult. But somehow they managed to leave. The rain had fallen only in the immediate surroundings of the church, not other areas in the region.

Within minutes, the rain ended and the cloud disappeared. Believers could not stop praising and thanking the Lord—for His mighty protection from persecution, from what had seemed certain disaster, and that they had seen Him with their own eyes in that amazing cloud.

While the prayer and fasting had been scheduled to end by two that afternoon, by four they still sat in the ruins of the church, worshiping our risen Savior.

Update March 19, 2017God restores and redeems: an astounding update of attack on the African church!

Jesus saves Arab from horrible tragedies, his Christian-hating wife soon to follow

The following story is from a man who for security reasons, we’ll call Al-Jamali. From a prominent Middle Eastern Arab Muslim family, Al-Jamali up until recently strictly adhered to the five pillars—the basic and foundational tenets—of Islam.

About eleven years ago, in 2004, I went on a tour of India with my friend. We were visiting Kanyakumari, the cape of South India, in December that year when gigantic waves began heading to shore. We saw them coming, but not thinking they would affect us on land, I made an effort to take photos. They were, in fact, tsunami waves [generated by the massive magnitude 9.3 undersea earthquake off the coast of Banda Aceh, northern Sumatra—Ed.].

Within seconds the waves battered the shore, wiping out everything.  Thousands of people died.  My friend and I were trapped in the waves. The undercurrent pulled me down to the ocean depths, where I probably remained for five minutes, certain I would die. Suddenly, I felt a strong and mighty man pick me up in his hands. I really felt like a baby being carried by its mother. I could see blood stains on the man’s hands. While he carried me, I heard him saying,

“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die.” [John 11:25]

He carried me safely to the shore, completely unharmed. But I couldn’t find my friend, only dead bodies everywhere. I ran out among them, calling out, until I finally realized I would never see that friend again. Hundreds of the bodies could not be identified. While I watched, government authorities gathered them all up, poured gasoline over them, and set them alight.  Certainly my friend would have been among them. If God had not saved me, I too would have been burned.

Jesus holding man painting.jpg

Though I got my life back, I could not get over the shock of losing my friend. I know the mighty man had saved me, but somehow that did not affect me as much as missing my friend.  I just couldn’t get over it, and lost all peace of mind. I returned to the Middle East alone, and gradually the memories of that horrible day became less strong.

But eleven years later, on the same day, December 26th, 2015, I was driving my car along with my wife. By then, I had become a family man and had married two women. The one with me was my second wife.

Suddenly, my car rammed into the rear of a truck, while another truck came up from behind and crashed into me. Unfortunately, our air bags didn’t deploy. But I felt the same thing I had back on the day of the tsunami.  A strong, mighty man held me, carrying me like a baby in the arms of its mother. I saw the same blood stains on his hands and realized he was the same man who had rescued me from the tsunami. .

Police and an ambulance arrived almost immediately, and we were taken to the hospital. On the way, sadly, my wife died. I was admitted. And that same night, the man who had saved me from both the tsunami and accident visited me. I was very happy to see him. I held his hands and asked him to sit beside me. He sat down and then said to me:  “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” [Matt. 16:26-27]

I asked, “Who are you?”

“I am Jesus, who was crucified and rose from the dead,” he replied. “Do you believe me?”

“Yes Lord, I believe,” I answered. “But what about my wife?”

“You need only one wife,” he responded. “Lead a life with her, and live for me.” He then vanished.

The very next day, two strangers came to my hospital room. They introduced themselves as Pastor Paul and Pastor Steve from Bibles for Mideast. One explained he’d had .a dream from Jesus Christ about me, and that’s why they had come. I welcomed them happily. They explained to me the message of the Gospel and gave me an Arabic Bible. When I opened it, there were the words Jesus had said to me!  I accepted him as my personal savior and Lord before the pastors, who then prayed over me. Afterwards I went to my wife’s burial, carrying my bible in my bag.

I now study the scriptures, and secretly attend worship services at an underground house church of Bibles for Mideast. For several months, my wife refused to believe in Jesus. I tried to tell her gospel stories, but she didn’t want to hear them. When I mentioned the name of Jesus and talk about his crucifixion and resurrection, she’d become angry and even violent. But the church and I continuously prayed for her.

One day she slipped on the floor and broke her hip.  She needed surgery, and afterwards, in severe pain, could only rest at home.  Whenever I .prayed silently over her, she felt some relief but when I stopped, the pain would return. Slowly though, she began to understand the power of prayer.

I was thrilled when she asked me to call the pastors to pray for her. So I called Pastor Paul immediately to see when he could come, and then sent my car to bring him. He arrived with two others. It was in fact the second time he’d come to my house. The first time, my wife had angrily let him know she did not like or want Christians visiting our home. But on this second visit, she welcomed him with a beautiful smile and asked me to pull a chair up for him beside her bed.

Pastor Paul helped her understand more about Jesus, and her need for salvation. She readily accepted Jesus as her savior and Lord. Then he got up and started praying for her. I was surprised to see her reach out and take his hands, and then hold them to her head. As a religious Muslim, she never allowed any man except her husband to touch her body. This is an absolute requirement under Shariah law. But with Jesus in her heart, she had totally changed.

While Pastor Paul prayed, we all heard some breaking or joining sounds coming from her hip area, and she was totally healed! We had a consultation with her doctor that same day, and since she no longer needed them, all the materials that had been surgically implanted to repair the broken hip were removed. Now I attend the worship service along with my wife and children at Assembly of Loving God, the church organized by Bibles for Mideast..

Please keep our friend Al-Jamali in your prayers. Surely the Lord has huge plans for him!

Gospel-hating drunkard finds Jesus and escapes disaster

Mr. Julannan hated it when anyone tried to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. He and his wife, while members of the Catholic Church, lived worldly lives and looked with contempt on any charismatic Christians they encountered. He had a drinking problem as well. When drunk, he’d become violent both at home and with neighbors. There were times locals found him lying by the roadside in an alcoholic stupor.

He especially abhorred people coming to his house to share the message of Jesus. One day, members of a Bibles for Mideast team visited. They handed him gospel tracts which he grabbed, only to then promptly set alight with a nearby box of matches.

“Get out of my house!” he yelled as the surprised visitors watched their precious tracts burn.

Travelling home from his contracting job one evening, Mr. Julannan passed an open-air gospel convention ground. With contempt, he spat in the direction of those gathered there, and continued on his way.

“Jesus is the instant help for your troubles!” he suddenly heard the convention speaker announce. “He is always before you, watching over you, and healing your sicknesses.” He stopped dead in his tracks as the voice continued.

“But you are crucifying Him by your sins," the man warned. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. So confess, confess your sins before the Lord!”

The words pierced his heart. That night he couldn’t sleep.  He couldn’t shake the feeling—especially when it also invaded his dreams—that something terrible was heading his way. He tried to pray, but didn’t know how.

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” was all he could say.  “JESUS! Save me Jesus!”

The next day as Mr. Julannan hurried to his job, he noticed with dismay a train approaching the railway crossing along his route. If he waited the long minutes for it to pass, he knew he’d be late for work. So he decided to take his chances and run for it. Partway across, the speeding train barrelled down on him, knocking him flat between the railway tracks. Onlookers screamed as they watched the disaster unfold.

Mrs & Mr Julannan receive bibles from leader of Bibles for Mideast, Paul ciniraj

Mrs & Mr Julannan receive bibles from leader of Bibles for Mideast, Paul ciniraj

As soon as the train passed, he leapt to his feet and off the tracks—without a scratch on his body. To the astonishment of bystanders, he explained how when the train ran over him, he cried out to the Lord Jesus. Immediately, he sensed someone hugging him tightly, cushioning him from the train roaring overhead, like a baby being sheltered by its mother. The Presence then disappeared just as quickly once the train had passed.

“I know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ saved me from what should have been a horrible tragedy!” he repeated with renewed confidence.

Since he and his family had no bible at home, Bibles for Mideast provided them with several, which they now read and meditate on daily. Alcohol no longer holds him in its grip. Further, he and his wife have partnered with the ministry to joyfully distribute both bibles and gospel tracts—ablaze now with the fire of the Holy Spirit!

Gospel workers miraculously rescued from killer earthquake

Report: Pastor John 

I am Pastor John, leading a gospel team of Bibles for Mideast in South Asia, and have worked many years with Pastor Paul’s mission. I led a gospel team in Gandhidham, in the state of Gujarat in North India.

At 8:46 a.m. on January 26, 2001, a magnitude 9 earthquake lasting over two minutes shook Gujarat while citizens celebrated the 52nd Republic Day of India. It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in our country’s history. Around 20,000 people died, including 9110 women and 7065 children aged newborn to 14. The quake created 348 orphans and 826 widows.  170,000 were injured and more than one million left homeless. Many historical buildings were flattened.

The earthquake’s epicenter was 20 kilometers from Bhuj, a city in the region known as Kutch—the worst affected district. Several villages disappeared from the map completely. Many buildings fell like playing cards, and property damage totaled nearly $8 billion.

Ghandhidham is an important commercial city of Kutch District, 10 kilometers from India’s largest sea port, Kandla Port, and 40  kilometers from Bhuj, a city 90% destroyed by the earthquake. Kutch region alone reported more than 17,000 deaths. Close to 5,000 people died in the city of Gandhidham.

On that fateful day, we were about to begin a three-day missionary conference in a hotel in Ghandhidham.  Thirty-five pastors had travelled from different parts of India to take part, and had rooms on several floors of the five-story hotel. I decided to stay in my own house just a kilometer away since I did not want my wife and young children to be home alone.

The conference was supposed to start at 9.00 in the morning on the hotel’s third floor. I reached there, along with three of our gospel team members, by 8.30. We began arranging the conference hall for the meeting.

Suddenly, we heard a terrible sound from the ground floor. Thinking at first that hotel staff had started the generator, we were then startled as the building began to shake violently, like a pendulum. The noise almost deafened us, and it was impossible to even move a step in any direction.

I was thrown to the platform five meters away. The side wall of the conference room caved in, piercing through the slab of the next floor. Air conditioners and fans were tossed about, and tables, chairs and cupboards turned upside down. Within seconds, the hall filled with sand, dust and smoke.

I could not see my friends, or anything else around me. Before I could understand anything or even think of escape, I felt the whole building sink downward. I shouted to my friends and others who were in the hall to get out immediately. My ears and nose were covered with sand and dust and I could barely breathe. Coughing, I headed for the door and tried my level best to open it. It wouldn’t budge. So I cried out to the Lord Jesus.

“Jesus, you alone are our protector and you are able to save us!  Save us Lord!” I cried out "JESUS"again and again.

I then felt the presence of Jesus in the room, and felt His loving touch on my shoulder. Amazingly, I stopped coughing and was able to breathe again without trouble.  Looking  around,  I could see my friends were still suffocating.

By God’s infinite grace, all conference participants from every floor managed to get out safely. While the hotel’s walls and roof had collapsed, the floors had not given way. Sadly however, three hotel workers died. But in a hotel next to us, 24 were killed.  Certainly it was because of our Lord’s protection towards His children that we all escaped.

Outside, we heard screaming and saw dead bodies of both people and animals everywhere. Most buildings around were completely destroyed. Those who had escaped were running for their lives.

I of course had no idea what might have happened to my wife and children. I ran as quickly as possible towards our house, and along with my friends, called for the help of our Lord. When I saw my family standing outside of the house, I could do nothing but praise and thank God. Only our house windows and doors had been broken.  While many nearby homes had been destroyed and scores of people lost their lives, miraculously all of our gospel team members survived.

We began relief work immediately. Pastor Paul, the director of our ministry, somehow managed to reach us and joined in the aid efforts. With God’s help, we saved hundreds of people from the devastated buildings.

Narendra Modi visiting affected areas

Narendra Modi visiting affected areas

We must also mention the tremendous service offered by Mr. Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat (and India’s current Prime Minister). He led relief efforts over the region, visiting affected areas by hitching rides on people's motorbikes, or using any available mode of transport. Pastor Paul and myself met him during his visit.

While all conference participants were safe, they did lose everything they had brought with them. They also, with great difficulty, managed to return to their homes. No water, no electricity, no restaurants, no hospitals, radio or television— everything was in disarray. Eighty percent of all water and food sources had been destroyed. One man took more than 10 days to get back to his place, a journey normally 40 hours by train. Along the way he had to borrow what he could, including warm clothes, to survive.

One of our mission supporters, trapped beneath his collapsed home, felt the Lord protecting him under His wings. Relief workers finally found and rescued him three days later. Thirty-five hours after the quake, rescuers also found and rescued a small girl less than a year old trapped beneath a neighboring home.

Later I moved to another region and continue my involvement with the underground ministries of Bibles for Mideast, distributing bibles and planting house churches.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19).

Murderous fanatic rescued from suicide attempt, his son healed of cancer, and all meet Jesus

Ismail* (50), a fanatic Muslim in South Asia, never liked Christianity. He seized every opportunity to thwart evangelical activities, quarreled constantly with Christian leaders, and even stoned those preaching the gospel at roadside meetings.

Ismail’s motorized rickshaw provided his livelihood, but one day in 2006 he decided to use it to take the life of Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast, ramming into him on the street. As the mission leader lay in hospital, other fanatics threatened his family at home. Fortunately all family members survived (that story in Christianity Today India hereand another at the Voice of the Martyrs website here).

Standing in the ruins of the church

Standing in the ruins of the church

In late 2008, the same man led a mob of extremists in an attack on one of the house churches established by Pastor Paul. While its leader narrowly escaped with his life, his church was completely demolished (Worthy Network News story here).

Ismail and his wife had only one child, Afsal* (15). They had waited years to have the boy, now a local high school student.

For months Asfal had been in hospital undergoing treatments following surgery to remove a brain tumor. To afford his son's care, Ismail had been forced to sell his rickshaw, his home, and then to borrow from whomever he could. His anguish grew.

“Several days ago, his blood count dropped suddenly,” Dr. A.K., the oncologist, explained. He could present only one diagnosis:  leukemia.

Ismail and his wife plunged even deeper in despair. They found themselves utterly unable to cope with either the trauma of their dying son, or their spiraling debt.

Without telling anyone, before dawn one morning the couple and their boyleft the hospital and headed for a nearby beach. Then, tying one of each of their hands to their son’s, they walked out into the depths of the ocean.

Several Christian fishermen had decided to try for an early-morning catch that same day. In the low light of daybreak, they noticed rather odd behavior in some sea-gulls overhead. The birds would approach their boat, make unusual sounds, and then fly back to sea. Gazing along the flight path, the men suddenly became aware of three people sinking beneath the waves in the distance.

“O Lord Jesus!” one cried. They rushed to rescue the three, calling on the Lord for continued help. As they pulled the family into the boat, blood trickled from the victims' mouths and nostrils and a strong smell of poison filled the air. In their determination to end their lives, the family had obviously ingested poison before heading into the sea.

The fishermen immediately brought them to the nearest hospital. Emergency physicians managed to revive the couple, but hemorrhaging had wrought the boy comatose. Doctors determined he was near death.

That same evening, the Lord revealed the whole story to Pastor Paul in a vision—even showing the couple's broken, contrite hearts. So he gathered a prayer team and visited them in the hospital. The doctor, himself a dedicated Christian, allowed them to pray for Afsal and joined in the prayers. Pastor Paul shared his heart with Ismail and his wife. He told of his conversion from Islam to Christianity, and of his own miraculous healing from leukemia. He shared the bible story of the four people who brought a sick man to Jesus by ripping open a roof and lowering him before the Lord.

“Jesus healed that man because of his friends’ faith,” Pastor Paul explained to the couple. “He rose from his bed and walked.  If you personally believe Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, He is able to heal your son Afsal and bring him back to life. It is only because of the Lord you were prevented from committing suicide.”  He further explained to them the way of salvation.

“We had lost all our hope and only wanted to die,” Ismail explained. “This is our second birth! I know it is the Lord Jesus who captured me through trials and hardships. I confess all my sins which I have done against Him, and His people. I repent before Him. And I really want to have a new live in Jesus, along with my son and wife. I believe in Jesus Christ and I accept Him as my Lord and savior.”

His wife also declared Jesus Christ to be her personal savior and Lord.

The prayer team, doctor and couple all joined hands around Afsal’s bed, rejoicing and praising the Lord. They sang a song of healing as Pastor prayed for the boy. At the end of the prayer, to everyone’s astonishment, Afsal opened his eyes.

“The Lord Jesus Christ came to me!” the boy soon explained. “He smiled at me, and put both of His nail-pierced hands to my head and chest. I felt new blood flowing from my heart to my veins, like electricity!” He got out of bed and stood up.  He too declared Lord Jesus as his savior. All continued rejoicing in thankful amazement at the miraculous healing.

Pastor Paul gave the family bibles. With new-found respect and reverence, they kissed the bibles and held them closely to their chests.

Doctors examined the boy thoroughly and declared him to be completely and miraculously healed.

To help protect the family, Bibles for Mideast has rented a small house for them away from their former neighborhood. They rejoice in their new faith. Please pray for God’s protection and provision for His precious new family members.

"Jesus is the loving Lord," Pastor Paul reminds us. "He loves us and sacrificed for us when we were His enemies. He wants us to love one another. Through His love we can have reconciliation with everyone. Only by His love, the world can attain peace and salvation." [Romans 5:8; Eph. 2:14-18]

He also finds the following scriptures apropos to the story:

“Send your resources out over the seas; eventually you will reap a return.” (Eccl 11:1) .

Jesus told them: ‘I saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. I have given you the power to trample on snakes and scorpions and to defeat the power of your enemy Satan. Nothing can harm you. But don’t be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!’ ” (Luke 10:18-20)

________________________________
*Names changed for security reasons

Jesus and Salvation in Lydia’s West African Town 

Feb. 13, '17: Update on the story of Lydia*

Some of the radical Muslims involved in performing the female genital mutilation (FGM) of 14-year-old Lydia came to her house Saturday evening pleading for forgiveness. They implored her father Yoonus (a missionary with Bibles for Mideast) to pray for their peace of mind, and for their inner and outer healing.  [Earlier related stories here:  URGENT CALL TO PRAYER for young Christian victim of female genital mutilation and Doctors Confirm Death  of Young Lydia … BUT GOD!]

The visitors explained that for the last three days and nights, all of the women who had been involved in the procedure seemed to have gone mad. Some shrieked that they saw blood everywhere, even when sitting alone. Attempting to prepare meals, they would scream, again seeing blood, and throw the food out. Given water, they would do the same. Knives in hand, some were approaching children, explaining the youngsters' need for circumcision, and promising to do it carefully this time.

The visitors had become convinced God’s anger was at the source of the trouble in their homes. So they invited the imam of the local mosque to come to their houses and pray for healing (shifa). Part of the ritual involves the sprinkling of water that the imam has breathed on. When one of the women responded by knocking him over, he decided he’d had enough.

The men were faring no better, suffering nightmares, lack of sleep, and extreme anxiety. When they finally decided they must visit Lydia and Yoonus to ask their forgiveness, the imam and community leaders advised against it. In desperation, the men went anyway.

Fear gripped Yoonus’ household as they saw the group approaching their home. It looked like only more trouble. But the gentle humility of the visitors quickly disarmed them. They listened as the men described the chaos in their homes and begged for forgiveness.

Yoonus explained that forgiveness from God alone would heal their hearts and homes. They must confess their sins before Him, turn to the Lord Jesus who died for those sins, and then God would forgive and save them. He shared how the Lord Jesus Christ was born and lived as a holy and sinless man, but took all our sins as His own and suffered and was crucified on the cross of Calvary because of those sins. He then rose from the dead, and so redeemed humanity from sin and death.

“You will be saved and you will also be healed if you accept Him as your saviour and Lord,” he boldly told them.

They listened quietly and intently as he told his own story of coming to Christ. They then readily confessed their sins before Jesus and accepted Him as saviour and Lord.

Lydia also shared her remarkable experience of healing with them.

At that point, Yoonus and Lydia prayed for the men.  All heard the tones of a turtle dove, and felt a gentle breeze blow over them, as Lydia prayed.

After some tea served by Lydia's mother, the company left peacefully. Upon arrival at their homes, they marvelled that their wives had become completely normal, greeting them happily. By God’s grace, each hadhad been freed from the torment. Members of all the affected families together praised and thanked the Lord Jesus.

But the imam and the community aren’t pleased with this. Please pray for the Lord’s mighty protection over the new believers.

Doctors confirm death of young Lydia … BUT GOD!

raising-up2

Doctors this morning (West Africa time) confirmed the death of Lydia (14), the daughter of Yoonus, a Christian missionary with Bibles for Mideast in Africa. She had been in a coma for six days after being brutally subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) by Muslim radicals on her way home from school  last week (see original story here). Brother Yoonus immediately contacted Pastor Paul Ciniraj, Director of Bibles for Mideast and Patron of the Assembly of Loving God.

An hour after Lydia’s death, workers removed her body from her hospital room. Her parents, brothers, sisters and other believers surrounded her, sobbing at the tragic loss of their beloved. Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff arrived to have a last look at young Lydia’s lifeless body, now draped in a white cloth.

Suddenly, someone noticed the fabric shaking. Could it be wind blowing in from outdoors? The trembling intensified, but now, clearly, the movement came from beneath the cloth.

Then, just as suddenly, Lydia herself threw off the white covering and stood from the bed. “Mummy, our Lord Jesus, our Lord and God Jesus Christ!” she exclaimed joyously.

“Ghost! Ghost!” someone screamed. A nurse and another hospital worker fainted to the floor. All, including the family, backed away in terror, believing a ghost had appeared.

“Mummy, I’m Lydia ... not a ghost,” Lydia reassured her mother. “I’m alive!  Jesus gave me my life back, and healed me! See, He’s just disappearing there on the clouds!” She pointed her finger towards the sky.

Her overjoyed mother embraced and kissed her repeatedly, praising the Lord Jesus. The rest of the family joined in, as the believers gathered round them sang and clapped ecstatically. Some even danced.

While hospital protocol forbad such rambunctious behaviour, no one dared utter a word … let alone of complaint. Amazed, the staff around the family simply had no idea what to do or say.

So Lydia continued with her story.

“My soul left my body and I was dead. Angels came to receive me to heaven. But Jesus appeared before me and said, ‘I cannot turn back from the prayers of my children. My eyes are upon my children and ears are open to their prayer. So I give you your life back, for the issues of death belong to me. You go,  and be my witness.’ Then he put his face right against and right into mine. He breathed into my nostrils, and my soul went in. Then he moved his nail-scarred hands over my body and healed me completely!”

Yoonus and his family, as well as Bibles for Mideast and the Assembly of Loving God Church thank each and every one of you who prayed for Lydia. Please keep the ministries in Africa, Asia and Middle East in your prayers always.

________________________________

Update on this story:  Jesus and Salvation in Lydia’s West African Town

Muslim prison officer dreams of Jesus' Glory and pastors wonderfully released

Our Lord Jesus Christ has wonderfully protected and released the recently-imprisoned pastors and believers from Bibles for Mideast. As reported last week, Pastors Irshad and Munvar, along with Farooq and Riyas (names changed for their protection) had been imprisoned in a secret jail in the Middle East (Bibles for Mideast Pastors brutally beaten, arrested and thrown in jail).  We praise and thank God for those fasting and praying for their release.

Police had forcibly entered the pastors’ room last week while they were praying and teaching a Bible class to new believers. The men, formerly local Muslims, had been attending worship services in the underground house church for the previous two months and were preparing for baptism.  After brutally beating them, police arrested and took the men to the local Shariah court.

Pastor Irshad describes below what happened in jail, and afterwards:

Police brought us to the religious (Shariah) court. We were accused of blasphemy charges against the prophet, as well as misguiding Muslims into a false religion. The court ordered we be imprisoned, and we were taken to a secret jail run by secret police.

We had a difficult first few days in prison. The jail wardens brutally beat and persecuted us. They tied our hands up through the hole of a steel bar which forced us into a bent position while they beat us. They served each of us only one Kubboos (local bread) each day. We never thought we’d ever get out alive.

We asked our Lord: “Where are You? Why won’t You come and save us?” We prayed, “If we have done any sin and iniquities, forgive us and purify us by your precious blood and save us from this situation.” And we repeated continuously, THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS OUR VICTORY!  We imagined the sufferings of our Lord, and it brought us comfort and peace.

On the third day, a top-ranking officer of the jails visited us. A tall, stout official, he asked the wardens to untie our hands. But we were unable to stand erect. The officer himself massaged our back with some lotion until we could raise ourselves up. He ordered the wardens to give us liberal servings of good food, and then disappeared into an office. We were sure our lives were about to end, and that his seemingly kind treatment was only a prelude to that.

He came back to us at night, alone this time, and sat down on the floor beside us (not an easy feat, but he managed). He then held our hands and asked us to pray for him. We looked at him with apprehension and fear.

The officer explained he’d had a dream about Jesus Christ the previous week! He saw the Lord Jesus sitting on a throne, he said, with an amazing orb of light rotating around Him. Millions of angels obeyed his orders. Large and small stars surrounded the orb. Jesus raised his hands and showed his nail-scarred palms, blood seeping out. The following two days he had the same dream. He began to think more and more about Jesus, and searched the internet for more information.

After three days, he had yet another dream. Jesus appeared before him and said, “My children are being tortured in your jail. I leave them before you. My children are the apple of my eyes.”

So he quickly cancelled all of his other plans and rushed to our jail. For three days he stayed in the official cottage of the prison, spending most of his time with us—praying, and learning more about Jesus and the Bible. And he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal saviour and Lord!

Whenever he visited, he would ask the jailer and wardens to leave us alone with him, so they figured we must be relatives. From then on they treated us well, apologizing for all they had done to us earlier. During this time, the officer also prepared and submitted our release papers before the court.  While the court initially rejected them, he continued to strongly argue our case and within two days we were discharged.

The official took us from the jail to his cottage, where we feasted and prayed together.  As our prayers finished, he asked that we baptize him.

“If you fully believe Jesus Christ, we can,” we replied.

“I believe in Jesus Christ who was crucified and died for me on the cross of Calvary and rose from the dead,” he answered. “I believe in him as my Saviour and Lord with my whole heart and soul!” So we baptized him, along with Farooq and Riyas.

The official then drove us in his own car back to safety.

“Continue your great work for the Lord,” he advised us. “But you must be careful to keep all you do in ministry very, very secret. The ruling authorities, religious authorities, courts and police will not accept you and your works. But the Kingdom of God is near and we have an amazing eternity. So keep up your efforts.”

We can honestly say we are not distressed at all that our Lord did not appear before us during our hardships. For at all times we felt His presence and comfort. He was and is with us.

Our Lord said, “In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33] St. John describes in his epistle, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” [1John 5:4-5]

We thank all those who were fasting and praying for us.

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS WORTHY TO BE PRAISED.  ALL GLORY AND HONOUR TO HIM FOREVER AND EVER!  AMEN!!  HALLELUIAH!!!

(*names changed for security reasons)

Former radical Hindu man now testifies in most unusual way

Thankappan, a taxi driver in South Asia, once despised Christian missionaries. As a fanatic Hindu and active member of an anti-Christian movement, he often spoke out against Christianity and even organized people near Hindu temples to challenge the evangelistic activities of Christians.

Once, when an evangelist handed him a Gospel leaflet, he made a public display of burning it. Another time he argued with an evangelist and  ended up slapping him.

But Christ Jesus captured him and made use of him as a good vessel in His vineyard. And today he testifies Jesus as a miraculous man.

One day while driving his taxi a few years ago, he happened to drive near a Gospel meeting on a street corner.  Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast, himself a convert from Islam to Christianity, led the meeting. Seeing Pastor Paul, a former Muslim, and a former Hindu both witnessing for Christ enraged him. He spat in the diretion of the meeting through his car window.

At that very moment–while his anger distracted him—a huge truck ploughed into his car. Thankappan sustained multiple injuries and ended up in a coma in hospital. 

His intestines, both small and large, protruded from his abdomen. Doctors tried their best, but were unable to reposition them within his body. They declared he had less than a 0.01% hope of survival. So they created a pouch outside his body and just simply kept intestines together as a pack hanging below his waist, and stitched him up.  

While still comatose a few days later, something remarkable happened. He had a vision that Jesus Christ touched him and said, “I am giving you life again. Confess your sins and become my witness.”

When Thankappan opened his eyes, he saw Pastor Paul praying over him. Others, including his wife, stood nearby with tears in their eyes, expecting his death at any moment.

Though he had been unable to speak, he slowly opened his mouth and said to Pastor Paul, “Pastor, I spat at you. I spat at Jesus Christ. I persecuted the Lord Jesus and His servants. Forgive me. Forgive me. Ask my Lord to forgive me.”  Then he began to weep deeply.

A short time later, someone called for the doctor. He was amazed to see Thankappan had emerged from the coma, speaking and crying.

“This is a great miracle!” the doctor exclaimed.  

Thankappan was baptized and became an evangelist, distributing Christian literature and witnessing about Jesus all over the city.  His wife also became a believer and helped him in ministry. 

When preaching on street corners, he holds the Bible in one hand and reveals his unusual digestive pouch as part of his testimony.

“I was an enemy of Christians, but Jesus Christ loved me, made me alive and saved me from sin and death. Now I am His servant,” he declares. “I was persecuting Christians; but the Lord Jesus showed me how He mightily fights for His children. And I am a clear example for that.”

His grown children, living with their own families and also once strongly against Christianity have all accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Thankappan still drives cars for his livelihood as well as being involved with our Lord’s ministries.

Pray for him and his entire family that they would continue to be used mightily as witnesses for the Lord.

At the sound of Jesus’ voice, militants toppled, guns blown from their hands

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.

Saharan snake bites Muslim woman, Jesus heals, family believes

Hajira (not her real name) grew up in a prominent Middle Eastern Muslim family. Her father, a top religious authority in their state, helped enforce the dictates of Sharia law, particularly those regarding religious matters.

She and her brother Haroon (not his real name), the only children of their mother, share other brothers and sisters by their father’s other wives. Her sharp-shooting brother commanded a militant Islamic wing intent on protecting the faith. The large extended family strictly followed Sharia law, and Hajira felt deeply loved by all of them.

Once a year, the family—with their cooks, drivers and servants—enjoyed setting off for the desert to enjoy a bonfire under the moonlight. This year they selected some nearby rocky hills for the gathering, Hajira told Bibles for Mideast. After the evening’s festivities, she felt like going on a little walk out further into the desert, and her siblings decided to join her. Their father and mothers remained near the bonfire with the servants.

saharan horned viper

saharan horned viper

While they walked, she suddenly felt something bite her leg. The siblings saw a big snake slither quickly away, then bury itself in the sand. Haroon grabbed his revolver, took aim, and killed it. It proved to be a Saharan horned viper, fairly common in the area but with highly toxic venom.

Within seconds Hajira became unconscious, and was rushed to hospital. She lay there four days in a coma. She remembers waking up briefly on the fourth day, in severe pain and unable to move. She heard the doctors discussing renal failure and increasing fibrinolysis. Her prognosis was grim.

“I gave up my hope and tried to prepare my mind for death,” she explained. “I turned my face to the wall and wept. I did not want others to see my tears. I prayed to God for a painless death in sleep.”

While she slept, she remembers an angel appearing before her and saying, ‘Call upon Jesus, the son of the Most High who was crucified, died for you, and rose from the dead.’

The words irritated her. “Prophet Jesus, the son of Mary?” she challenged the angel. “He was not crucified. And he was not greater than my prophet.”

 “You are wrong,” the angel replied.  “Jesus is the Lord of the prophets. He is the true savior. He can heal you from all sickness and save you from sin and death. Call upon Him with your heart, and with your mouth.”

The angel disappeared, and she woke up to see her brother standing beside her bed.

“Were you dreaming?” he asked her. “I heard you saying something about the prophet Jesus.”

She told him about the angel and what he had said, and was surprised when Haroon looked enthralled rather than angry.

She then learned of his own experience with Jesus in a dust storm, when he and his team of militants were intent on killing a group of Christians. He shared that remarkable incident with her (you can read it here), and brother and sister then joined hands and prayed.

 “Lord Jesus, if you are the true savior, show us the way,” Haroon began. “Jesus, if you are the true savior, forgive our sins.”

“Jesus, if you are the true savior, heal both our physical and mental sickness,” Hajira continued. “Jesus, if you are the true savior, send somebody to us for further guidance. Amen”.

“We prayed from our heart,” Hajira said. “While praying, both of our eyes overflew with tears.”

In about two hours, she said, two strangers came to her room unexpectedly. The senior person knew both her and her brother’s names.

“But we never met them before,” she said.  “Without any introduction he said, ‘Lord Jesus heard your prayers which you both prayed together. The angel who visited you appeared before me too and asked me to visit you, guide you to salvation and pray for you.’ At once I left my house to see you.”

The elder man introduced himself as Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast. He explained to them who Jesus is, why he was crucified and died. Hajira and her brother repented of their sins and accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior. Pastor Paul put his hands on Hajira’s head and prayed.

“Immediately I felt something extraordinary flowing through my veins,” she said. “I got up from the bed and knelt down on the floor. Yes, Lord Jesus totally healed my sickness and sealed me by His precious and victorious blood.”

She told the doctors Jesus had healed her. After thoroughly examining her, they accepted her recovery as miraculous. Seeing their precious Hajira restored to health, all her family members accepted Jesus as savior as well..

“Pray that our Lord Jesus protects us and gives us strength to survive persecutions,” she asks.

________________________________

The experience of Haroon (update on Dec 20):   At the sound of Jesus’ voice, militants toppled, guns blown from their hands.

Story of Oct. 02:  Heavenly dust storm protects newly-baptized from militant gunfire

The ministries of Bibles for Mideast operate on faith alone. 
We appreciate the support and prayers of the children of God. If you can help in any way, please see the bottom of our Contact Us page.

Militants firebomb home of Bibles for Mideast women; two seriously injured

(Nov. 19, 2016) The house of six women working with Bibles for Mideast was fire-bombed by Muslim militants in the Middle East yesterday evening, with two seriously injured.

Ramza, a young woman featured in a story here last July (Muslim father kills daughter; Jesus raises her from the dead), managed to miraculously escape with only minor injuries.

The six women lived and worked together, evangelizing and distributing bibles to local women, as well as  working for their livelihood as farm laborers.

After their evening prayers, the women had gone to bed. Not long after, they awakened to a terrifying noise and saw their house burning around them. They screamed and attempted to escape. But men armed with guns stood at their door.

“As we tried to come out, they fired at us,” reported Saleeha, who managed to escape unharmed. “So we were forced back into the house. By then, two women had collapsed, seriously burnt.”

“People living nearby managed to reach our house with weapons, and the attackers finally left,” Saleeha said.  “Five to seven attackers had come to kill us. They came by motor bikes. But our Lord Jesus Christ protected our lives,” she added.

“Christ Jesus is our mighty Savior and Lord!” Ramza added. “He is able to keep us safe. Whether we live or die, we belong to him.” As someone who had already experienced death at her own father’s hands, and been resurrected by Jesus, she certainly understood better than most of us the truth of her words.

The injured women were hospitalized, and the others moved to a different location. Please pray for them.

1,268 baptisms and many miracles in three days!

By God’s grace, underground house churches of Bibles for Mideast conducted 127 baptismal services across Asia, Africa and the Middle East over the past three days, with 1,268 former Muslims going through the cleansing waters. In Saudi Arabia alone, 613 people in 72 different areas went through the sacred rite. While threats and attacks accompanied the services, so did the miraculous!

“Because of police patrolling and the threats of attack from Islamic militants and terrorists, we avoid sea shores for the baptisms and held the services inside of our churches.” Pastor Paul, Director of Bibles for Mideast explains. Most churches arranged to have fiber or polythene water tanks erected inside of their prayer halls.

Many did experience attacks or threats.

Baptism in makeshift pool

Baptism in makeshift pool

“A mob of Islamic militants attacked the people of our church on their way to the service,” Pastor Hilal of one church reported. “Nobody knows how it happened, but the people of the mob ended up having a serious argument about something and they divided into two groups.  Finally they fought each other and police came and arrested them all.”

Al Muthalib reported what happened when some radicals attempted to attack the people gathered at his church.

“Some militants smell about the baptism service of our church, and they gathered outside of the church wall with weapons and tried to enter the church compound by jumping over the gate. While jumping, one of them was seriously injured by an iron bar fixed to the top of the gate. The sharp point of the bar went through his body. Others took him to the hospital at once.”

“Police came to search in our church,” Evangelist Davood reported from his area. “But the pastor got information they were coming, so the service ended quickly before they arrived. The people turned the water tank upside down in a corner of the compound and put hollow bricks around and on the tank to hide it.   When police came, they couldn’t find any evidence of a religious service, so they left.”

Salmath shared the wonders witnessed by all at her church.

Water 'boiling' in the tank!

Water 'boiling' in the tank!

“During the baptismal service, a star light descended from above the water tank and water started boiling with steam, but without getting hot.  Till the end of the baptism, the water boiled continuously. All the people who were baptized in that water tank were immediately anointed by the Holy Spirit!”

So many wonderful accounts have come in we are not even able to report them all.

Please keep these new believers in your prayers, and continue to pray for the evangelization of the entire Muslim world.

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
— Psalm 34:4-8

Testimony of Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast, a former Muslim

At the request of many, Pastor Paul tells his story

I was born into an ancient, prominent and orthodox Muslim family in South Asia, the fourth child of a retired higher secondary school principal. Besides being a former principal, my father was an Islamic scholar and President of the Jama’ath (parish of the mosque) Committee.

More than 4000 Muslim families lived in our area, and some Hindus in the suburbs. As far as I know there were no Christians at all not even in the schools where I studied.

The mosque we attended is around 1,000 years old. My ancestors spread the religion of Islam in that area and established the mosque very close to our ancestral home. My grandfather founded the present mosque. The land, revenue and auxiliary records of the mosque were kept in my father’s name well into my boyhood. 

I was brought up to love and highly regard my family as well as Islamic teachings and practices. I did my religious education before regular schooling. No bad habits existed in our family life. As a young man, I even wrote and published a book on the Qur’an.

I went to a Christian institution for my college education, so the vast majority of my classmates were Christian. As the only Muslim, I at first had difficulty mingling with others there, but gradually became close and intimate with many.

This, however, led me into evil associations and wretched habits. I started smoking, began to use drugs and alcohol and became known as rowdy in the city. Damaging reports and ugly pictures concerning me began to appear in the newspapers. As a result, my parents, brothers, sisters and dear ones became greatly concerned.  It began to look like I’d have to discontinue my education.

By that time I’d become addicted to drugs and alcohol. My body began to shiver and I became very tense if I did not use drugs at the habitual times. I was even on the police watch list. When I had money in my pocket, I had lots of friends, ready for any adventure. But when my parents cut off the money they’d been giving me regularly, those ‘friends’ became my sworn enemies. I lost my peace of mind.

At this juncture, some missionary students gathered enough courage to come and talk to me. They claimed that Jesus is the Son of God, and was crucified for all humanity. He rose from the dead and He is the King of Peace, they told me. They further claimed that if one believes in Him and confesses all sins, he will become a new person.

I could not even imagine that Prophet Isa (Jesus) could be the son of God, or that he was crucified and rose from the dead. So I in turn exhorted them to reach heaven by believing in Islam, which I told them is the true religion. I had heated arguments with them on many occasions. They could only find fault with my wretched life, but could not prevail over my arguments or prove my ideas wrong.

But without losing heart, one day they brought some gospel tracts.  They were based on the bible which I considered forbidden, for it is abrogated. [Most Muslims believe the teachings of Mohammed override, or abrogate, earlier Christian and Jewish scriptures—Ed]

Hence I went into a rage. The thought that the advice I had given them earlier regarding Islam had made no impact on them only increased my anger. I tore the tracts into pieces. With despicable words I threw the pieces into their faces and threatened to destroy them if they continued misleading others.

It was a serious matter that students of the priesthood were publicly insulted and persecuted, especially within the walls of a Christian institution. It looked almost certain that I would be expelled from the college. I could also expect trouble from many other directions.

The next day I went to the college armed with weapons and intent on using them. When I entered the class, the missionary students ran up to me and embraced me with love and joy. They surprised me by expressing regret for having caused me mental distress. Had the college been run by my religion and I found myself in the place of those missionaries, I know my reactions would have been very different. I was so touched by their love, kindness and gentle nature. The Holy Spirit, which reminds us about sin, righteousness and judgment, began to work upon me.

That night I found a piece of paper in a text book in my room. On it was written, “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came to the world to save sinners, for whom I am the foremost” (1 Tim 1:15). On the reverse side of the paper I read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). I did not know they were verses from the bible. But I was overcome.

All the sins and violations I had committed since childhood began to appear before me as if on a screen. I recognized all my iniquities, big and small. Each one of them seemed to transform into a blister on my body. The blisters burst open and became sores. The flesh and bones, from where pus began to flow out, became very hot and began to melt. Worms were competing to get at the marrow of the bones. The pain was unbearable. The stench could not be described. I was being pulled into a bottomless pit. There was nobody to save me.

“God, save me!” I cried out.

Then a man, holy, white and bright, descended from heaven and touched me. I understood it was Jesus. For a moment I closed my eyes with heavenly joy, for His touch cooled my body and mind. When I opened my eyes, all the blisters and sores had disappeared. It was as if I’d been washed with perfumed ointment. But Jesus, who came in bright and spotless, was now infected with blisters and sores. Pus and discharge was flowing out of them and worms and maggots roamed freely on his body. He now appeared as an abominable, foul-smelling creature.

 “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our inequities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Christ had taken on himself all my afflictions. I should have been condemned to death for all my sins.  But I saw Christ taking on all my sins and being crucified in my place, for my sake.

Earlier I had never believed that Christ had been crucified. I used to ask how our sins could be washed away by his death, even if he was crucified. But now I was convinced how and for what Christ died.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

I saw Jesus break the tomb and rise up from the dead, glorious and resplendent. I fell at his feet crying, “My Lord and my God!”

I do not know whether this experience was a dream, a revelation or a vision. I wasn’t a believer in anything like this. But it transformed me into a Christian.  It enabled me to throw away the old man and become new. I received joy and peace, the like of which I had never known before.

I shared my conversion of mind and my new joy that same night to my parents. Although they listened, they tried to dissuade me, saying this was only a trick played by Iblis (Satan).  But I was convinced that the loving God had saved me through His only Son, and that I would inherit eternal life.

I was baptized in water as soon as I accepted Him as my personal Savior. The Lord also baptized me with the Holy Spirit and granted me the gifts of the Spirit.

But mine has by no means been an easy path. Some of the community I formerly belonged to felt that my accepting Jesus Christ was an act of betrayal and they tried to take revenge. Someone once sprinkled sulfuric acid on me.

One day, I was narrating my Christian experiences to some of my friends near the mosque. Suddenly one of my cousins stabbed me, splitting my lower jaw. Everyone thought I might die. But God saved me and made me a witness again at that place.

My cousin began planning another way to kill me, and try to make it look like a suicide.  While tying a noose for me to the top of a tree, a gust of wind knocked the branch he was on to the ground. We found him there near death, and I instinctively wished he would die. But Jesus ordered me to love and nurse him as He had loved me when I was His enemy. He was taken to the hospital and was in plaster for more than six months. When he recovered, he accepted Jesus as his Savior.

When yet another person became a Christian, the Jama’ath (mosque) authorities chained me, shaved my head, and locked me in an underground cellar. When I tried to escape, they sprayed me with acid. I was beaten up several times and even lost a few teeth. I considered these experiences as lucky tips in the name of Jesus and as a symbol of my spiritual fervor.

The Lord visited a few more people who had caused me trouble, and most of them have come to believe in Jesus.

I have two sons and one daughter. A terrorist group once sent a division out to destroy my entire family. Their commander managed to make my children consume poison, and all three were taken to hospital in critical condition. My daughter remained in a coma for close to 30 days. Her remarkable recovery so resembled a resurrection from the dead that the man who had wanted to kill them became a follower of Jesus Christ. He has dedicated himself to working as a missionary and winning many souls unto His fold.

Pastor Paul in one of his demolished churches

Pastor Paul in one of his demolished churches

Another time, I and one of my assistant pastors were severely beaten in a village by a mob of radicals who also burned down our prayer hall. God alone has saved me, over and over.

Recently our Lord enabled me to overcome a murder attempt. Someone ran their motorcycle into me intentionally, trying to make it look like an accident. While I was in the hospital recovering, my wife and children faced murder threats at home as well, but God preserved us all miraculously.

I must mention that my parents, brothers and sisters were all devout Muslims. Most of the seniors are Hajjis (men who have made a pilgrimage to Mecca) and Hajjummas (women who have done so). Having let Jesus Christ into my life, I was ex-communicated and for quite some time was not allowed to have any contacts with my parents and extended family.

I and my wife felt sad about this, and brought it to the Lord in our prayers. Gradually, I began to re-establish links with my people through letters and telephone calls. Finally, a day came when they had accepted the fact that I worship Jesus Christ, visited my place and stayed with us and our children. I spoke to them about the love of God. We have maintained good contacts since then.

Two days before his death, my father had a vision of Jesus with the marks left by the nails on His hands and feet, and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. My mother too became a believer shortly before she died.

My deep desire is to take the gospel to the unreached, especially to the world of Islam, and win them to the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Abducted missionaries miraculously rescued from terrorists in Middle East

(June 20, 2016) The last three stories in the Bibles for Mideast website have built to this astonishing Book of Acts conclusion. As reported earlier: That article included a call to 100 hours of concerted prayer and fasting for the missionaries’ release, as well as for other serious global needs.
Today, we have the following jubilant report from Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast:

1.    12 Arabs convert from Islam and are baptized;
2.    The missionaries involved are attacked and hospitalized;
3.    The missionaries aren’t safe in hospital and are abducted by terrorists as they try to return home.

Today, we have the following jubilant report from Pastor Paul of Bibles for Mideast:
___________________________

All praise and glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Mere words cannot express our thanks and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ for His unspeakable grace and gifts. He is our Wonderful Counselor. He always hears and cares for His children.  Today we praise and thank Him for the miraculous rescue of abducted Bibles for Mideast missionaries Stephan, Samuel and James. We thank every prayer warrior fasting and praying for them around the globe.

The Lord brought the three men safely back to us this evening. They are extremely tired and weak because of the stress, lack of food and sleep, and a long walk through the desert.  When we saw them, we all embraced and wept together, praising our Lord.

No one can tell the story better than the men themselves. Here, Pastors Stephan and Samuel, along with Evangelist James, describe what happened:

“After the worship service and Lord’s Supper, we were going back home. On the way we met somebody who smiled at us and said ‘Assalamu Alaikkum,’ which means ‘peace be with you’. We replied, and got an opportunity to speak about real peace, and the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. We explained to him using Bible verses about the Lord’s birth, life, ministries, crucifixion and resurrection … and the need for salvation for everyone. Accepting Him as savior and Lord is real peace, freedom and the way to heaven, we told him.

“All at once, several extremists jumped out at us with sticks and iron pipes, took the Bible from our hands by force, tore it up and threw it away. We consider the Bible precious for our life, so we begged to have it back. At that point one of them started beating us, others shouted ‘Kill them, kill them!’ They all then began beating us and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [an Arabic phrase translated directly as ‘Allah is Greater’ but often mistranslated as ‘God is great’—Ed.].

“A bus driving by immediately stopped, and the travellers jumped out and attacked the extremists and rescued us. They then brought us, in the bus, to the hospital and had us admitted. James was the most seriously injured.

“While in the hospital we sensed unusual movement, that someone was against us. So we asked the doctors to discharge us from the hospital. Though Brother James was not yet well enough to walk properly, we did not want to leave him alone at the hospital. He also wanted us to take him with us. So we helped him leave as well.

“We hired a taxi. It was a fake taxi. There were two other passengers also inside the taxi. As soon as the car started moving, they took out a revolver and pointed it at us. At gunpoint, they asked us many questions about our ministries and its workers. When we started screaming loudly, they tied our mouths and hands, and assaulted our heads and faces. They accused us of propagating western religion. They said we have no right to live any more on earth, and that we would be killed. Then they blindfolded us.

“About three hours passed. They took us to some other people, who we suppose were the leaders of the group. They also shouted at and assaulted us. When we fell to the ground, they kept attacking us savagely. Finally, they locked us up in a cellar.  There they untied our eyes, mouths and hands and locked the door.

“The cellar had a bad smell, reeking of dead bodies and human waste. We could see blood marks on the wall. There were no windows or ventilation, only one small door. We were sure death was near.

“We called upon our Lord Jesus. We held hands and prayed for our Lord’s will to be done; and also for the salvation of those who had attacked, abducted, assaulted and put us into the cellar. We asked the Lord to make them His witnesses. For hours and hours we prayed. We could not sleep. We did not get any food or water.  We were not aware of the day and the night. And it was so hot in that cellar. But God gave us courage to remain faithful. We were surprised that we did not ever feel the need to pass urine or have bowel movements. Our Lord protected us.

“After maybe three or four days, we clearly felt our Lord’s presence in that cellar.  A bright light flooded the room. We could smell costly perfume. We began praising and worshipping the Lord. While we prayed, we felt oil being applied to our bodies. At first we wondered whether the terrorists were doing it before taking us out for execution. But then we realized nobody else was with us! Our Lord had done it. By the anointing of the oil, all of our outer and inner injuries were healed.

“While we prayed, we noticed a small creature going through a small hole in the wall. We found a nail and used it to try to make the hole bigger. We thought maybe this would be a way to escape, so we dug deeper and further. And finally, we saw a small opening to a narrow passage.

“We praised the Lord and, one by one, entered the passage. We travelled in darkness for maybe 100 meters. We were haunted by the fear of enemies with guns, of snakes, of wild creatures, but an unspoken courage guided us. The passage ended at the desert, which is outside of the terrorists’ main compound.

“From there, we knew we had to run very fast. There was pleasant moonlight, but we had no idea which direction to go in. Then we noticed a bird circling overhead. First we thought it was a local bird, but by the way it flew and performed, we think it may have been an eagle or a falcon. And we understood it had to be from the Lord to guide us.”

The men trudged through the hot desert sun and blowing sand for hours, with temperatures over 45°C (113 °F). The next morning, clouds sheltered them some from the excessive heat.

They decided to rest under the moonlight the second night, sleeping three or four hours. While sleeping, all three had the same dream (or was it a vision?): that the Lord’s angels came and fed them with appetizing food.

The next morning, 42 hours after their escape, the men followed their bird guide up to a house they did not recognize, and watched in wonder as it stopped to peck on the door of the home. Somewhat fearful at who might open it, all were astonished to see the equally overwhelmed faces of their fellow Bibles for Mideast missionaries. All embraced in joyful amazement, praising and thanking our miracle-working Lord.

When they attempted to point out the bird that had guided them, it had vanished.

“It’s the second time our Lord Jesus Christ saved us from death,” they explain. “First, He saved us from sin and death through salvation. Now He saved us from death by the hands of terrorists. So we submit our lives completely to Jesus Christ. And it is our topmost priority and responsibility to do His ministry and keep winning souls into His fold.”

We value your support, especially your prayers, and could not keep going without it. If you would like to support the ministry of Bibles for Mideast in any way, please use our CONTACT form. May God bless, encourage and guide you in all your ways.

Daughter of Muslim ruler under house arrest for Christian faith

Najima (not her real name) is the daughter of a Muslim ruler. She had firmly believed in and practiced Islam from childhood—reciting the Qur'an, praying (namaz) five times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadan and giving alms (zakat) to the poor and needy.

While she went to a western university for her higher education, she still never missed practicing ‘the pillars Islam’.

One day she noticed a small piece of paper stuck in a crease at the table at which she was sitting. She pulled it out and read: "For God made Christ who had no sin to become sin for us, so that in Christ we could become right with God." (2 Cor 5:21).

The verse struck her. ‘How can Jesus possibly be made to be sin for us?’ she asked herself, then threw the tract into the waste paper basket. But the verse kept invading her mind. Trying to forget it, she went bed.

But as much as she tried, she couldn’t get the verse out of her thoughts, nor escape into sleep.

Suddenly, she saw and felt her room fill with light. From that light, a voice spoke.

"Daughter, you're a sinner.  There is no one righteous, absolutely none. All have messed up and fallen short. But I came to take away all of your sins. I paid the ransom for many. Believe me and accept me … and I will give you eternal life."

She knew it had to be Jesus’ voice. Undone, she knelt down and accepted him as her personal savior and Lord.

She declared her new faith to her friends first. When she told her family, her father and brothers exploded in rage. They stripped her naked, bound her to a chair, and wired it up to a metal plate to electrocute her. She asked them to at least lay a bible in her lap.

"If you want to die together with your false religion, so be it," her father replied,

"That will show that your religion is powerless," one of her brothers added

Although they had bound her, she could still touch a corner of her bible. She then noticed a strange peace, as though someone were standing beside her.

Her father and brothers pushed the plug into the socket—and nothing happened. They tried four times with various cables, but it was as though the electricity refused to flow.

Finally, her father, angry and frustrated, hit her and screamed, "You are no longer my daughter!" He then threw her out into the street, naked.

Najima ran through the neighborhood, humiliated and in pain. People looked at her, curious rather than shocked. Shaking and tearful, she finally made it to a friend’s house. Her friend let her in, clothed her and gave her shelter.

The next day, her friend asked neighbors what they had thought when they had seen a girl running naked through the streets.

"What are you talking about?" they responded. "We saw a girl running with a wonderful white dress, like an angel.  We asked ourselves why someone so beautifully clothed had to run through the streets. With that dress, she almost looked like she was flying!"

God had hidden her nakedness from their eyes, clothing her in a beautiful white dress.

She became stronger in her Christian faith. But her father learned of her location. Her mother and  brothers went to see her to convince her to come back. But she would not, and reiterated her solid faith in Jesus Christ.

Her father then went himself, and took her back to their home by force. She remains there under house arrest. Because of her change of faith, he banned all other religious movements and activities in his region.

Recently, two women missionaries of Bibles for Mideast visited Najima at her home. Wearing veils, they introduced themselves as her university classmates, and so got permission to see her. Happy to see them, she prayed with the women. She asked that children of God around the world pray for her. She also asked that we pray that her father, mother, brothers, sisters and all the Muslims of her country experience the salvation of Jesus Christ.

"The Lord Jesus Christ gave me freedom from sin and death,” she said to the missionaries. “I experience that real freedom and peace in my mind."

She concluded with, “Amen and Halleluiah!”