Over the last year, we've been sharing the stories of believers in the Gulf who are passionate about reaching their own people for Jesus through creative media, to show them that there are believers from the same cultural background as them!
Now we bring you their stories in their own words, through letters they have written. Some are powerful and uplifting... others are very challenging, particularly to believers from a Christian background.
We encourage you to spend time reading each one carefully, and to pray regularly for each believer and their families represented here. There are many more like them across the Gulf.
If you'd like to reply to their letters to encourage these new believers, please leave a comment at the bottom and we will pass it on. Thank you.
Please allow us to thank you for all your efforts in media production.
We are a family of four. Our children were able to learn a lot from the Christian programmes for children that we watch on the TV and on the internet. When we first came to faith, it was through watching stories of others who walked this path before us. At this point both my husband and me were struggling with many issues. As we watched some Christian families, we were captured by the happiness and harmony they were living in. This made us wonder why are they different. We started searching the internet till we ran across some testimonies (as you call them!)
We know we still have a lot to learn but we are sure we took the right step.
A family who worships the Lord
I used to carry a lot of negative feelings of loneliness and isolation. After receiving Christ as my Saviour, I felt that I lived in a deserted island. I was no longer able to communicate with my family, friends or neighbours because of my new faith. For years, I thought I was alone and that nobody else could have taken that crazy step of becoming a believer.
But now, I know I was wrong. I met people that made that decision. We are having a regular fellowship time together. We pray together, study the Bible together, and are there for each other. We know that there are more but we do not know where they are. We are praying for them so that they find a fellowship. We are also praying for others from our countries to come and know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour.
I am Mohamed.
I didn’t finish my education. I accepted Jesus Christ and I kept searching for someone to baptise me, but the church refused my baptism before I completed studying the Bible in an academic way, which stumbled me because there are a lot of educated Christians who get baptised before completing an academic Bible study. Why would they judge my faith by my knowledge and information?
I am Fatma.
No one spoke to me about Jesus but I saw him in the behaviour of his children, as if they were a living Bible. And when I decided to understand the secret of this behaviour and started reading the Bible, I asked them about things in the origin of the creed but unfortunately they didn’t have answers. They were believers in their hearts but most of them were ignorant in the Bible and the scriptures, unlike Muslims.
I am a doctor who accepted Jesus five years ago. I married a Christian man, but because I don’t have any Christian papers the pastor refused to give me a marriage certificate and he only led the marriage prayers and vows. When I had my first baby I registered him in my in laws’ name. After a while I was able to change my religion in the official documents. When I had my second baby I registered her in her father’s name. So now my first son is my husband’s brother and his sister’s uncle. We are currently struggling with the inheritance problem as well.
I am Christian, my husband transferred to Islam. I have two kids and I am pregnant with the third. He changed my kid’s religion to Islam and when I asked why he said the children follow the superior religion. In our culture Islam is considered superior. Also, children follow their father’s religion. They are still children. They still come with me to the church, but they are registered as Muslims. They are studying Islamic religion at school. I do not know what to do.
I searched for someone to talk to me about the idea of Christian faith from a Christian perspective. I found a discipleship website on the internet so I decided to communicate with them, I spoke to the person in charge and asker her how God is known except by his spirit? I hadn’t yet received the spirit to know him, so how can i receive the spirit?
She told me exactly “You have to be naked in front of the Holy Spirit and reveal yourself in his presence and pray eagerly, till you are filled and become drunk by the wine of the Spirit.”
Here is what I understood:
- I need to get drunk using alcohol, which is completely immoral
- I need to take of my clothes and be naked
This is what will make me a Christian.
I lived in a Muslim community. We were taught Islam in school, mosques, radio and television broadcasts, it was easy for any Christian to learn about Islam from the surroundings, but as for Muslims, they don’t have a chance to learn about Christianity except through an Islamic Sheikh (of course their speech was false).
I refused Islam when I finished studying Qu’ran. I tried to read about other heavenly religions, maybe I will find God, but… I didn’t know how to get a Bible or a Torah and is it possible for us to enter a church or library safely? And when I saw a Bible for the first time with a friend, I didn’t understand its language well.
Now I thank God there is an app for the Bible in an easy language for Muslims (The Book of Life) - through this I can safely know Jesus Christ.
I know Jesus through Christian sites and shows that declared Jesus and salvation. One Christian site adopted and followed me till I was freed from my previous thoughts and I accepted salvation. After that, their role in my life ended. I feel salvation is only the first step in the Christian life, not the last. How can we grow without discipleship to transform daily into his likeness? This gives us the wrong concept of becoming a follower of Christ. Sometimes we feel that we are as valuable as a tick on a report. But worse we are being taught that we are called to accept salvation, go to heaven and that is it. This is not what the Bible says.
I am Fatma.
I was veiled, and I considered Christians were infidels but I didn’t hate them.
One day I had a problem, I visited my Christian friend who knew my problem and I was surprised that she had one of the church ministries. She asked me if I wanted her to pray for me (it was the first time I knew about someone praying for me) and I agreed. I was surprised afterwards that she contacted me to ask about my problem. It meant a lot to me that in spite of our differences, she was praying and following up with me.
I was an Islamic preacher and my husband was a sheikh in the mosque. I had 3 children, 2 daughters and a small son, Yousef. I accepted Jesus through reading about him in the Quran. My family wanted to kill me and take away my children when they knew about me. I ran away from them 15 years ago after a lot of anguish leaving behind my children and everything else.
I kept praying that God will reveal himself to my children and family. I was waiting and talking about Jesus through a site on Facebook and internet to persons like them, thinking maybe they would read it one day. 14 of my family accepted Jesus but none among them were from my children or brothers and sisters.
After 15 years I almost lost hope, I was blaming God that he didn’t listen to my prayers and didn’t grant me the promise. At the same time, I found an unknown message “I am your son Yousef, I was following what you’ve been writing since months. They said you are an infidel, if what you’re writing is infidelity, then I am an infidel also.” I then knew that God met him months ago and he was baptised.
Prayers never go in vain.
(Read more of Basma's story in the October issue of Prayer & Praise, here)
Would you consider writing back to these believers, to encourage them in their faith? Please leave a comment below and we will pass it on!