By Mark Ellis
Al-Rashid was the commander of a fanatical Islamic group that sought to convert everyone to Islam and make all nations fall under Islamic rule.
He was angered by reports of Muslims converting to Christianity and spreading the Gospel. So he formed a special task force to track down the Christian leaders who were responsible and convert or kill them.
Rashid heard about Pastor Paul, a former Muslim and the leader of a group of ministries boldly evangelizing Muslims in Asia, the Middle East and other developing countries. Pastor Paul and his team were distributing Bibles in many languages and forming underground house churches in restricted countries.
The terror leader developed a plan to kill Pastor Paul’s family first, then capture the Christian leader, force him to convert back to Islam and use him as a propagandist against Christianity.
They made many attempts. “We attacked them several times,” Rashid recounted, “and miraculously they escaped.”
Once they initiated a plan to kill the family at night, but saw what appeared to be soldiers or gunmen stationed around their house, so they backed off.
Rashid discovered the family lacked adequate food and their children were hungry and weak. So he sent a woman to deliver poisoned fast food to them. But on the way to their house a dog bit the woman, seriously injuring her, and she never arrived.
They sent a second woman with poisonous chocolate to give Pastor Paul’s children. The boys ate the chocolate and survived, but the pastor’s daughter got very sick.
“I was watching with two others from an ambulance near the hospital to see his daughter’s death. Our plan was to kidnap the dead body along with his family in our ambulance,” Rashid recounts.
Then something happened that amazed Rashid. “I saw a ball of light came down from the sky and stand over the room where his daughter was lying unconscious,” he says.
To his utter disbelief he watched a hand come from the ball of light, touch the pastor’s daughter, and she immediately regained consciousness and stood up.
He was astonished to see a hole in the middle of the hand and that blood was flowing down. “I trembled with fear,” Rashid says. “I felt giddy and fell down. My friends moved me from there at once.”
After this unusual incident Rashid found it difficult to sleep. When he attempted to drift off, a vision of the hand entered his mind.
The following night a shadow of a human face appeared with the hand and asked him why he was “nailing him.”
“I lost my peace,” Rashid recalls. He was afraid to say anything to his friends.
Surprisingly, Rashid had a Bible in his room. “Actually I was using its verses for criticizing Christianity and justifying Islam.”
He opened the Bible and his eyes fell on this verse: “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” (John 1:9-10 KJV)
“I understood it was about Jesus,” he says. He realized the ball of light that came from above was actually Jesus, who suffered when he was nailed to the cross.
His heart softened, Rashid went to see Pastor Paul and shared everything with him. Unsure what his reaction might be, he was surprised when Pastor Paul embraced him, with tears running down his face.
“I was once an enemy of Jesus Christ, but he loved me,” Pastor Paul said. “He was crucified — gave His life for me – then He rose from the dead. Because of His love I can love you, because Christ loves you. I believe Jesus Christ Himself brought you here to share this love and to find salvation.”
“Jesus is the prince of peace,” he continued. “And He will give you peace. Accept Him as your Savior,” he exhorted.
Rashid surrendered his heart to Jesus Christ and was born again. “I accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal savior, was baptized and received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and I’m evangelizing people through “Bibles for Mideast,” he says. He has become one of their key leaders.
“Thousands of Muslims are secretly believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior. They don’t have Bibles and the rulers do not allow them to get Bibles. The Bible is totally prohibited in certain countries. But people are so thirsty for the Word of God.”
“Many of our team members are converts from Islam to Christianity with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and have good experiences of doing personal evangelism, conducting crusades, and pastoring house churches,” he says. Many are lay pastors who earn a livelihood to support their ministry.
“Bibles For Mideast” is distributing Bibles and establishing underground house churches throughout the Middle East. For more about their work go here.