Mohammed sat sipping his coffee at breakfast, looking intently at his brother Youseff and trying to take in the great change that had taken place in Youseff’s life.
Youseff, Mohammed’s older brother had been fanatical in his religious beliefs. His whole being had been totally consumed with a zeal to see religious law taken to its extreme in the government of the Arab North African country he lived in. The rage he felt against Christians, unbelievers and even those less devout than himself was something that he felt great pride in and believed that God would reward him for. His anger led him to a life of violence and murder, a life that he felt God smiled on. There had been a deep darkness in his eyes, a constant tension in his body: he had always been ready for a fight. His pilgrimages to the holy city, his giving of alms, his praying five times a day, his fasting and giving a set portion of his income were faultless. His only friendships were with those who were also planning the overthrow of the government and to implement religious law. He met with these ‘friends’ to plan violence, murder and evil. There was also a sense of competition within this group - who had carried out more murders, who had furthered their religious cause more than the others? The only laughter Youseff had known was that mocking laughter of seeing others suffer.
Now, Mohammed looked at him as if seeing a completely different person. His eyes had a brightness and look of release. Around his lips was a gentle smile. His body was relaxed and his whole being in a state of peace. Outwardly it was true that he’d made some changes - shaving off his beard (the longer the beard, the more religious he was perceived to be), and no longer wearing long white robes, but dressing in jeans and a shirt. But the far more obvious change to all who knew Youseff was the change that had happened inside him - which was shining out like a bright and beautiful light. Youseff had met a man on the streets who gave him a copy of the Gospel of John.Youseff had read the Gospel of John like a parched and dying man drinks water.He had read it and been totally amazed that he had been brought up to believe that the Bible had been corrupted. This was certainly not a book that was corrupted ... it was a living book, full of truth. It touched his heart in a way that nothing else ever had. Youseff fell in love with this book and with the Jesus revealed to him through its pages. He gave his life to the Lord. "What has happened to you? Why have you changed, how did it happen?" Mohammed asked his brother. Youseff gave to Mohammed the gift of the Gospel of John that had been given to him and said"I have found the truth and the truth has changed me..."
Mohammed too read the Gospel of John with tears of joy and also embraced Christ as his Saviour and Lord. After some time Youseff left his homeland for Europe because of the risk to his life.
Mohammed began to secretly attend a church - but was discovered by the religious police and put into jail. In jail he was tortured in a vain attempt to get him to deny Christ and return to his former religion. After a year in jail and on the day of his release the police advised him that if he and his family valued their lives he should leave the country. Mohammed visited the pastor of his church on his release from jail. The pastor heard his story and could see the marks of torture on his body, and he too advised Mohammed to leave the country, saying that he would have no problem in receiving asylum as the marks of torture spoke for themselves. Mohammed listened. He remembered the torture, but what burned in him now more strongly than his suffering was his Lord, his Saviour, Jesus Christ Who had strengthened him and ministered to him in jail, Who had given him life, eternal life by giving His own life on a cross for him. What burned in him now were his fellow countrymen - they were lost like Youseff had been, like he had been. What burned in him now was the love of God."How can I leave the millions of my countrymen who still haven’t heard the truth about Jesus and His salvation? I have to stay. If I don’t tell them, who will?"
God is working in the Arab World. How many other Mohammed’s are there?
Pray for the raising up in the Middle East of evangelists like Mohammed to reach the lost.