A Syrian Father’s Life-Changing Journey
A Muslim father of three in Syria, Achmed, dreamt that God told him He wanted him to know Him. It was unforgettable but left him uneasy, since he had no idea what the Almighty meant.
Surrounded by mortar fire and bombs, he had more pressing matters to tend to. Syria’s seven-year-old civil war was raging around him in spite of territory government forces had reclaimed, and his family could no longer risk sitting tight and waiting for it to end. Getting out of the country in fits and starts, they were relieved to land at last in Madrid, Spain.
European Union and Spanish authorities sent them to the province of Cadiz in southwestern Spain, where officials had an agreement with a native Christian ministry to integrate refugees from Syria and elsewhere into society. The ministry had proposed putting them up in apartments rather than corralling into refugee camps, with the government covering part of the costs of rent, food, medical care and other needs.
Achmed was stunned that Christians would give so much time and effort to total strangers. He asked the ministry director, Pablo, why they were helping them in so many ways, from teaching them Spanish to trauma counseling.
“All I have read, I believe,” he told the ministry leader. “The only problem I have is God having a Child.”
Pablo replied, “We believe in God, who loves people and wants us to help other people. Jesus Christ came to die for us, and He asks us to die for you.”
Achmed felt an otherworldly intrigue, and he asked Pablo to tell him more. They had several conversations, and soon Achmed joined in Christian group activities and Sunday worship services. He read the Bible and Christian content online. One day he told Pablo, “All I have read, I believe. The only problem I have is God having a Child.”
In spite of the difficulty of fully grasping the Incarnation and the Trinity, Achmed said he knew he couldn’t save himself from the death and eternal punishment that sin brings. He acknowledged his need for Jesus Christ and put his faith in Him for his salvation.
“He said that he remembered having a dream in Syria in which God told him He wanted him to know Him, and now he knew what it meant,” Pablo said. “He became a believer three months ago.”
Thousands of such Muslim refugees are streaming into Spain as other countries of Europe turn them away, and many are coming to Christ every month. The former Muslims face daunting pressures. Achmed’s wife sought to divorce him after he became a Christian, and only after many talks with native missionaries did she and her mother accept Achmed – and Christ.
“Now they also come to church, and God is working in their lives,” the ministry director said.
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