Friday, October 31, 2014

One of the Cloud Series: A Muslim Convert Speaks Out, Part 2

This post is a continuation from yesterday. If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you read it first. You don’t want to miss a single detail of this man's search for the truth, and finding Jesus Christ.

After 2 years, my father demanded I move to another state; he felt I had lots of Christian influence on me. Every time we talked, he knew I was changing. Because he was supporting me financially at that time, I had to listen to him. So he arranged a place for me to live with my brother who came to America after me.

I moved in with him next to a mosque. I was not happy about this move so I ignored the mosque and decided it was an opportunity for me to search for more answers. That same month I met my lovely future wife, who comes from a very strong Christian background. I knew deep inside this was no coincidence. God had a plan for me. We started meeting in Starbucks at least four times a week to talk about the Bible. She did her best to answer my questions, and connected me with pastors who answered questions I needed more help with. For the first time in my life I felt Christianity might be true.

I prayed to God constantly to show me more signs. One day as I sat on a university campus, a guy walked up to me and gave me a book called More Than A Carpenter. He asked if I was a Christian, and I said, “I don’t know. I’m in between Christianity and Islam; I’m still searching.”

He smiled big and said, “I’m so excited to meet you.” He gave me his number, email, and the book, and told me if I had any questions to let him know. I knew that day God answered prayers; this was my first sign. I really loved the book; it opened my eyes.

Not long after that my mother told me a conference was taking place in my area featuring Christian believers from Muslim backgrounds. The topic was - Unveiling the Mask of Islam. I thanked God for this opportunity and went.  I was shocked by the amount of flaws in the Quran. That and all the tasteless stories of what Mohammad did, which most people don’t know. They hide those facts, and teach what they want.

After that, my view of Islam went downhill, which encouraged me to search even more. Almost every day I did some research about Islam for about a month. I watched all the episodes of “Unveiling the Mask of Islam” on YouTube and started writing notes. I stopped going to the mosque and started going to Church regularly. One day I was watching a clip in my darkened room around midnight, when I saw one that convinced me completely that Jesus was the only way. It felt like a light bulb just turned on in my head.

I faced my head to the sky and started praying. As I prayed, I felt a huge burden like a mountain come off my shoulders. I rushed to my phone and started searching YouTube “How to become a Christian.” The next morning I got up early with huge excitement, and called my future wife. I said, “We need to meet at Starbucks right now!” There I told her what God had shown me. She was thrilled. I asked her to pray with me. Then we prayed together, and right there, I gave my life to the Lord in Starbucks.

Two years later I shared my testimony with my brother. Because I had researched a lot and knew the questions he might be asking, praise the Lord, it only took my brother two months to find the truth. During the time he was in search, he had a vision. The next day he called me and asked what he needed to do to become a Christian.

Since the time of my searching and salvation, my wife and I continue to be passionate about our relationship with the Lord. Our desire is to reach out to others, so many will learn the truth, just as I did.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

One of the Cloud Series: A Muslim Convert Speaks Out, Part 1

For safety reasons, the identity of this individual must remain anonymous.

My father was an extremist who abused my mother in front of our eyes. He locked my mother in the bedroom for a month, beat her till he made marks on her skin, and would come home trying to find a reason to beat us. This is the father example I had as a kid.

I grew up a devout Muslim who wanted to do whatever it took to please God, which included praying five times a day and fasting. I even went on a pilgrimage to Makkah (the holy city). 

When I was 11 years old, my father decided to send me to school where they don’t teach anything but the Quran (the central religious text of Islam) and Sharia (the moral code and religious law of Islam). If I had stayed there four years I would have been shipped to Pakistan.

As a kid I didn’t know why my father sent me there, but later I found out that this was a school where they train you to be a terrorist. That’s why they don’t teach you any skills that would help you in life to get a job. The whole point is so you can go to jihad and kill yourself for the sake of Allah. I later find out that most of those teachers were child molesters. God helped me get out of there in the right time. I was a victim of child molestation and tried to escape from that situation. My dad refused to let me leave school but with God’s help; I was able to get away.

Like many of the other students, I always had questions in my mind about Islam that didn’t make sense to me. One of the main questions was about 9-11. I asked my father how they could kill innocent people in the name of Allah. He simply answered, “Jews are killing hundreds of Palestinians every day. Do you think this is fine?” His answer didn’t satisfy me so I began to doubt all the things I had learned growing up concerning Islam.

Years went by and I graduated from High school. The first thing I wanted to do was get out of my dad’s house and have some freedom. I moved to Syria for college, then transferred to Jordan and had the opportunity to speak with my mom. She was living in America; my cousins pooled their money and I was able to fly to America to see her after 10 years of being apart. My intention was to just visit her, but I decided to go to college in America. I realized that America was where I belonged.

My first introduction to Christianity was through my mother. I was so afraid she would go to hell, so I kept begging her to come back to Islam, praying and fasting for her. But God had a different plan for me. I started asking her about Jesus and how God could have a Son. Her answer didn’t convince to me at the beginning, but the more I asked about Jesus, the more I started falling in love with Him. However, when she said Islam can’t be a true religion, this is when I started researching to prove her wrong. Our conversations got intense and the topics got more sensitive. So I did my own research to prove her wrong. To my surprise, every time I tried, I came up empty handed. 

Instead, I discovered I was wrong in my beliefs. This frustrated me; I started doubting Islam more than I ever had before.  I remember many nights I couldn’t sleep, because I was confused and lost. I prayed to God every night to show me the truth. One day my mom’s friend who knew an Arab Egyptian Christian, thought it would be a great idea to meet with him. I was nervous; he was the first Christian Arab I’d ever met in my life. We went to Starbucks and talked about the Bible. He answered some of my questions. At the end he gave me an Arabic Bible as a gift. This was the first Bible I’ve ever had in my life.

I started scanning it, and then reading more and more. The first thing that caught my attention was God’s love that I never saw in the Quran. It was very hard for me to understand that God so loved the world that he gave his Son to take away our sins. I couldn’t understand that just by believing in Him and that I could be saved by what He did. Coming from an Islamic background, it was a very hard concept to comprehend.

Be sure to check this blog tomorrow for the rest of this tremendous story.

Monday, October 27, 2014

One of the Cloud Series: “The Parlor Maid Who Wouldn’t Stay Home”

young Gladys

Today’s member of the Great Cloud of Witnesses (of Christians who have gone before us) is a plucky English maid from the 1900’s. She wasn’t the mousy servant you might picture dusting, cleaning, and curtseying in a great English home. She was a mighty woman of God who was so confident of her calling, that she wouldn’t take no for an answer, even when it looked impossible for her to follow her dreams.
“Gladys Aylward felt God's call to be a missionary after reading an article about the desperate need in China. Excited to begin a lifelong adventure, she became a student at the China Inland Mission in London. For three years she diligently studied the language. But the missionary society rejected her application to go.*

“‘You’re not qualified,” the mission president said. “I'm sure you are willing, Miss Aylward. It's just that by the time you reach the level of competence we desire for our missionaries you will be almost thirty years old. Everyone here agrees it is nearly impossible to learn the Chinese language at that advanced age.”  

“That didn’t stop Gladys. She found her own way to China. In 1930, she left England with no financial support and less than ten dollars in her purse. She didn’t know the language and lacked a proper education, but God supplied for her needs and used her in incredible ways. 

“For years she ran an inn where mule teams stopped for the night. Each evening she served the drivers bowls of rice and Bible stories. They in turn, spread the stories all over China as they journeyed to sell their wares. Through her bold witness, the Mandarin of her district came to know Christ.

“Gladys also served as the chief foot inspector, by order of the Mandarin. Equipped with his authority and soldiers, foot binding, a custom that had painfully crippled the women of China for centuries, was eradicated. And not surprisingly, created another outlet for Gladys to spread the gospel. 

“When World War I orphaned hundreds of Chinese children, many came to Gladys for help. She led more than 100 orphans over the mountains on foot - dodging gunfire, fighting starvation, and just before enemy troops took over the area, God miraculously made a way for them to cross the river to safety.

“Gladys Aylward’s work as a parlor maid doesn’t seem like the most effective preparation for winning the masses in China.” But God knew what He was doing when He called her to the work. She was strong, willing, and used to serving others. “Gladys Aylward praised God that, ‘one so insignificant, uneducated, and ordinary in every way could be used to his glory for the blessing of his people.’”

Gladys is an inspiration to us who don’t feel like we’re smart enough, prepared enough, and lack the finances to accomplish all God is challenging us to do. Her story shows us we don’t have to have the resources – we just need to be obedient, and God will do the rest.

Ingrid Bergman in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

You can read her story in this easy-read book by the Janet and Geoff Benge, or The Small Woman, by Alan Burgess. I also recommend the classic movie, based on her biography, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness” starring Ingrid Bergman. 

*Excerpts taken from my book, Moments for Homeschool Moms from AMG Publishers. Available in Christian bookstores,, and 

Our next member of the Cloud is a man who came out of the Muslim faith.