By Corey Bailey
Hope in the darkness
Masud grew up in a strict Muslim home in a remote part of Bangladesh. Not only was his family strict, but his father was also an Imam.
Masud grew up with full knowledge of the Quran and considered himself to be a radical Muslim. As he grew, however, he began to wonder about the Jesus he read about in the Quran and asked his father many questions: “Who is Jesus? Is the Quran true? Is the Bible true? The Quran says we must study all the books that came before the Torah. Why don’t we study these?
By Mark Ellis
Gifted in several sports, John Werhas graduated from USC as an All-American and had the opportunity to play for the L.A. Dodgers or Lakers. He chose baseball, but later — as his athletic career began to wind down — an emptiness inside led him to ponder life’s greatest questions.
“Athletics was everything to me,” says Werhas. “Since I was a little boy, all I dreamed about was playing baseball in the big leagues.” When Werhas first ran on the field in Chavez Ravine as a Dodger third baseman in 1964, the team was coming off a phenomenal year when they beat the Yankees in the ’63 World Series.
by David Roach
When Chinese parents send their child to an American university, they expect her to return home with a degree and the opportunity to begin a career. But one student from central China returned home with much more.
By Dan Wooding
Bob Yerkes (left) with the Flying Alexanders
This legendary American stuntman began a life of acrobatics in the circus as a teenager and went on to work as a stuntman in such films as Back to the Future, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, and Hook.
“I started tumbling down at Santa Monica Muscle Beach, which they now call Venice Muscle Beach, when I was 11, and then I ran away and joined the Clyde Beatty Circus at 15 and joined an acrobatic act,” says Bob Yerkes.
By Mark Ellis
The biographical film “42” depicts Jackie Robinson’s courageous battle to break the color barrier in major league baseball. At the same time, the film provides a glimpse of his religious faith, which afforded the strength he needed to overcome fierce opposition.
“It took two Christians to pull this off,” says Chris Lamb, the author of “Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Spring Training” (University of Nebraska, 2004). “Robinson was a Christian and Branch Rickey was a Christian,” he notes. “Sometimes we miss this.”
Ying’s story: A Scholar and Family Transformed by Christ
Giving Christ to China”s future leaders
Ying, one of over 200,000 Chinese students and scholars seeking degrees, success and material gain every year at American universities, came to the U.S. as a visiting scholar. Like many others, she returned to China as a new creation in Christ.
Shortly after she arrived at her host university, a Chinese colleague invited her to a Friday night Bible study and English class. “Why not?” Ying thought. “I need to improve my spoken English.” Cindy, a kindly staff member from China Outreach Ministries (COM,) picked her up for class that first night. The class’s loving, joyful atmosphere impressed her. She returned week after week, joined in other COM activities and began attending the local Chinese Church. Continue reading
Kim Tae Jin, refugee from North Korea
Kim Tae Jin finds it difficult to talk. The contrast between his life in North Korea and his life now in Seoul are too great. “The most difficult thing for me,” he says quietly, “is making decisions. Freedom of choice is unknown in North Korea. The Party told us what to do. We were treated as a group, not as individuals,” recalls Kim. “As I got older my doubts grew about the propaganda the government fed us.”
With the hope of a better life, Kim fled to China. There he heard about Jesus for the first time when a Christian gave him a Bible. After four short months, Kim was arrested and repatriated back to North Korea where he was sent to camp number 15… the dreaded Yodok labor camp.
By Mark Ellis
He was born into the upper rung of Indian society, but his involvement in gang activities as a young person almost took his life.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼After his father died when Joshua was only a child, his mother raised him with his two sisters and brothers. Like many young men lacking a father in other parts of the world, he gravitated toward others seeking to prove their manhood in troublesome ways.
By Mark Ellis
Melissa before she came to Christ
While still in high school, she closed her heart to the opposite sex and embraced a lesbian identity with open arms. Years later, she and her live-in lesbian partner attended church together, which started them on path of surprising spiritual discovery.
“As young as 13 I was already confused about my sexuality,” says Melissa Fryrear. She recalls sitting in church with her parents and casually opening the Bible to Leviticus 18:22, which reads “A man should not lie with another man as one lies with a woman: that is detestable.”
By Wendell Evans
Kabyle Berber village
Edited by Mark Ellis
Mohand grew up in an Algerian mountain village among the Kabyle Berber tribe. His family were devout Muslims. After his father passed away when Mohand was young, his mother responded with a dose of Muslim fatalism, saying, “It is the will of Allah; He has done it. We can only accept it.”
In Mohand’s preadolescent mind, this meant Allah killed his father, so he grew up hating God. Whenever the name of Allah was mentioned, it evoked the death of his father. Like so many others of the Berber tribes, he also grew up hating Arabs, because they conquered his country and imposed their rule many centuries earlier.