Posted by: JennyRain | November 13, 2009

The story of an Amazing Grace

My friends from the middle east are in town.

As my friend KH shares his harrowing trials of life in the war-torn middle-east I am amazed that he is even alive to share his story. When KT tells of her heart for India and how God re-routed her to KH’s country five years ago where she was introduced (and later married) to him, and then how their ministry TOGETHER was exponentially increased because of their partnership, I stand in awe.

 

My friend was raised in a Muslim home.

He did not have a choice with religion as his country is an Islamic Republic, which means that you are born into Islam, and Muslim is what you are. You are Muslim by birth – it is your identity, it is your heritage, and it is your inheritance.  Islam is the norm if you are raised in Afghanistan – it surrounds your life, is a part of your daily journey, and is netted into the fabric of your family. Rather like a shadow that you  never notice stretching out beside you, Islam is just a part of who you are if you are raised in an Islamic Republic.

My friend was raised in a home filled with love. He was taught honor and compassion. He was taught to value family. He was taught to value education. He was taught all of these things in a war-torn country where not once, but twice the family had to flee for their lives with only the things they could carry.

My friend tells stories of riding atop a truck where the bullets were so close he could hear them whizzing by his ears. He shares about the six months that his family spent in their basement because their home was located at the epicenter of the fighting between the Mujahadeen and the Russians.

To get the family supplies and provisions, he and his friends rode their bikes across a line where soldiers were firing at anyone who crossed. “Several times,” my friend says, “Friends who I was riding with just dropped to the ground off their bikes because they had been shot. I never knew if I was next or not.”

Amidst all of this, God stooped down and tapped my friend on the shoulder.

He was not reached by prostelytizing missionaries who brought the ways of the West to explain who Jesus is. He was reached by a simple sign on the door where his English class was being held that said:

“Class will not be held today in observance of Easter.”

The teachers had announced this in class the day before (in English) but because my friend did not understand much English, he went to class anyway. A friend had to translate the sign for my friend. “Easter? What is Easter?” my friend asked.

His friend just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

My friend was curious, so he began researching. He searched through books at the library, translating with a dictionary. By God’s grace, mentors came alongside of him to begin explaining this curious person, Jesus. My friend was given a bible and he began to read. My friend was also actively participating in his own religion, Islam. He would go to the mosque, pray, leave, go to his English class, meet with his mentors and read the bible. God created a hunger in my friend’s heart to know more.

Six months later, God drew my friend to Himself. As my friend learned who Christ really was (He says “Without those crazy pictures that missionaries draw with the two sides of the cliff and then the cross in the middle – I never did understand that anyway!”) and God revealed Himself through His word, my friend’s eternal destiny was completely changed.

 The story of how God brought my two friends together in marriage rings of the same sort of faithfulness and Grace.

For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
 

 

2 Tim 2:11-13

…But I will share that for another time. Today as I reflect on my friend’s story, I am reminded of God’s grace. I am encouraged by God’s fingerprints. I am reminded of God’s plan for each of us.

My friend’s story is a powerful testimony and reminder to me that God has uniquely designed each one of us. Our DNA is not wasted, we have a reason for being here, and God is there – even in the toughest times.  How grateful I am for God’s grace, and for my friends’ two lives to remind me of it.  

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now am found

Was blind but now I see! 

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