Praying against a Father’s Hostility in the Middle East

Weeping, a young professional woman phoned the leader of a ministry based in her country in the Middle East at 11:30 p.m.

Amal Mousa* still lived with the Muslim parents who raised her, and she told the leader that her father threatened her after learning she was attending church services again. He had forbidden her from doing so after discovering her copy of the New Testament and forcing her to reveal that she had become a Christian.

“What I feared has come over me,” Mousa told the leader. “It was a horribly hurtful argument with my dad.”

Asking her what she had told her father, he learned she had said, “Even if you kill me or put me out of the house, I am a Christian, and I will attend church.”

“Even if you kill me or put me out of the house, I am a Christian, and I will attend church.”

Her father had replied, “We’ll see about that” and stalked out of the room.

The leader tried to comfort her with assertions that the Lord would give her victory.

Praying for a Miracle

Mousa first showed up at a church service saying she had believed in Christ after spending several days watching the leader’s sermons online. From then on, she had lived in fear of her father or brother finding out and beating her or forbidding her to attend even as she took a course on the significance of baptism.

The leader said that after hanging up the phone that night, he prayed with his wife for Mousa.

“But we wondered what we should do,” he said. “If she’s put out of her home, should we let her live in the church? Where will she be able to live? I confess that I got rather worried. But I began to pray, ‘Lord, change the heart of Amal’s father. May a miracle take place.’ However, I was doubting that this would happen, so I kept thinking of alternative possibilities.”

The prayer was answered with a miracle. Mousa called the leader the next day to tell him that her father had come into her room that morning and said, “Look, you’re an adult now, and I must honor your decisions. It’s just that I’m afraid for you. Those churches in olden times used to fight us [Muslims], and this worries me.”

The leader was stunned. “Her father’s heart had totally changed in answer to prayer,” he said.

Later, Mousa’s sister-in-law decided to accompany her to a church service to investigate how church leaders and others treated outsiders, he said. Mousa’s sister-in-law was so impressed with the fellowship’s love and spirit that she returned the next Sunday – standing up to join the singing so joyfully that the leader felt she would soon trust in Christ, he said.

Seemingly miraculous turns continued.

“Amal’s father also came to meet us one day,” the leader said. “Then he came again to have tea with us just before attending one of our worship meetings. When his daughter sang songs of praise with our singing group, he was so joyful that his eyes filled with tears.”

God reminded him of His amazing power to change lives in answer to prayer, he said.

“The Lord spoke to me, ‘Why did you think it impossible for this man to come to faith in Me? You prayed for this man that he would have a change of heart, then doubted that I would answer? If I hold the hearts of kings in My hand, can I not also change the heart of this man?’”

Mousa was later baptized. Her brother also put his faith in Christ, the leader said.

“He leads prayer times at our church now,” he said. “Your prayers have brought this fruit for the kingdom of God, and we are so grateful.”

Religion of No Peace

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are listening to the ministry’s radio programs and viewing its online messages, he said.

Stocking a bookstand outside the church doors twice a day with New Testaments and other literature, local missionaries find passersby have taken them all by the end of each day, the leader said.

“And when we go out into the street to share New Testaments, people come to take them from in front of our church doors and come back telling us they’ve bowed their knees to Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives,” he said.

Five daughter churches in other parts of the country are seeing the same kind of response, he said.

“Everywhere, it seems, people are wanting to be baptized,” the leader said. “We are noticing how the believers who left the religion that gave them no peace are seeking God’s genuine love more and more, especially those who are refugees.”

Workers throughout the country are finding similar openness to the gospel. Please consider a donation today to equip them to bring the message of eternal life amid this unprecedented opportunity.

*Name changed for security reasons

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