Bravery and Sacrifice in the Face of Death
Abdel, a young man in a Middle Eastern country, knew something was wrong when his mother showed up at his apartment with a checkbook in one hand and a burial cloth in the other.
His mother had forged an extraordinary attachment with him as a child, as she had sensed that he took after her serious and sensitive nature, and she often favored him in disputes with his brothers and sister. It had deeply wounded her when Abdel told her he had left Islam to become a Christian.
He had put his faith in Christ after months of intense conversations with a missionary native to his country. Abdel knew that embracing Christ would mean being shunned by his family, but he was not prepared for his mother’s reaction after she learned he had been baptized the week before.
Abdel knew that embracing Christ would mean being shunned by his family, but he was not prepared for his mother’s reaction after she learned he had been baptized the week before.
Sitting with him in his apartment, she wanted to make her point with a trenchant illustration. His parents were paying for his apartment and most of his other living expenses, as he had yet to find work in an economy reeling from rampant unemployment. She held up the checkbook in one hand, and the linen shroud used for wrapping the dead in the other.
“You must choose between the two,” she said.
Abdel swallowed. He knew his volatile mother was capable of anything.
“I want to live for Christ and die for Him, no matter what the price will be,” he replied.
She stood up to leave. Before exiting, she said, “I will let you pay the price.”
Two months later, a Muslim gang kidnapped him, brought him into the wilderness and beat him nearly to death. They burned his body with cigarettes and put a knife to his neck.
“He was so broken when he came back home,” the director of the native ministry said.
His mother later sold his share in the factory that his family owned. And even though he himself had no debt with the factory creditors and suppliers, she told them to go after him and collect their money.
“One of the suppliers came asking for his money and gave him a period of only three months to pay him,” the director said. “Then the supplier asked him, ‘Why did you become a Christian? I don’t understand how a Muslim can become a Christian.’”
Abdel had a cup of tea in front of him. He put a few sugars into it and took a sip. “How did you like the sugar?” he asked the supplier.
“The supplier was surprised and said, ‘You tasted the sugar, not me,’” the director said. “Our brother replied, ‘It is I who tasted Christ as well, and you won’t understand until you taste Him.’”
Such brave evangelism in the face of Islamic hostility is taking place throughout the region. Please consider a gift today to help bring Christ’s saving sacrifice to hurting peoples.