In a refugee’s discussions with a local missionary in a Middle Eastern country, the Muslim from Syria insisted that the Bible was corrupted by changes over the centuries – but then he had a dream that both excited and horrified him.
In the five years that local missionaries provided aid to people in his refugee camp, Zainab* often asked why Christians would bother to help Muslims. The workers would reply that God Himself was helping them through the Christians, leading Zainab to ask them questions about Christ.
When the discussions recently turned toward Scripture, Zainab raised the common Islamist reproach that the Bible was corrupted.
“He insisted that the Bible had been changed, but I refuted what he said with verses in the Koran,” the local ministry leader said. “He was very surprised that I was so knowledgeable and equipped about the Koran.”
At the same time, Zainab frequently thanked the workers for being the only ones who provided aid to the refugees at the makeshift camp. Having experienced Christ’s love from the local workers, Zainab was eager to tell the ministry leader about his dream.
“He called me last week and said he’d had a dream,” the leader said. “When I asked him what he saw, he said that through a beam of light he saw Him say, ‘I’m your Father, listen to my sons – they will bring you to Me.’ He said he woke up in horror and excitement.”
Though mortified by the admonition to heed local Christian workers, Zainab was so excited to hear the Lord’s voice that he wanted to talk with the ministry leader.
“Today another worker and I went to the camp, and we took our Holy Book with us,” the ministry leader said. “After a long prayer for him, when we asked him how he felt, he said that a great burden had been lifted from him, and that he and his family had accepted Christ as their God and Savior.”
Divine Beam in a Dream
The leader of another ministry in the region said he was amazed by the role a dream played in the conversion of an older Muslim.
The Muslim, Abdel*, dreamt that a wounded person was beckoning him, saying, “Follow me,” and telling him there was a church in a certain city (undisclosed for security reasons) where he needed to go for prayer so that the pain in his feet could be healed. The city was nearly 125 miles away.
“Of course, at that time this seemed like a crazy dream,” the ministry leader said, “so he woke up and went to the nearby mosque, sharing his dream with the mosque leader; he replied, ‘Dreams don’t always come true, just go home and help someone in poverty.’”
Abdel did as the imam suggested, but within 10 days he had the same dream, the ministry leader said. Not wanting to bother the mosque leader again, Abdel kept it to himself. Later listening to music on a smart phone his sons had purchased for him, he inadvertently clicked on something that brought up the ministry leader’s church services; he listened to two of them.
“Every word he heard about God’s love touched him deeply, so he called his sons, saying, ‘There’s a church in this city, please take me there,’” the leader said.
The men took their father to the church and requested prayer for his illness. After praying, the leader and other workers invited them to tea.
As they were conversing, according to the leader, Abdel told him, “I’m so ignorant and illiterate, but twice I had the same dream, and once I was listening to you by phone, but now I’m with you in the church. I’m from a Muslim family, but Lord Jesus has called me, and I’ve come. Please pray that He intercedes for me.”
“Then he started crying,” the leader said. “I’m so grateful to God for how He calls His lost sheep from the beginning of creation even until now. He gave that man this special dream, and then enabled him to be found!”
The financial assistance and prayers from Christian Aid Mission and its donors enabled the ministry to maintain its online outreach and advertisements, he said. Co-laboring with the Lord, the ministry’s workers saw more than 70 people come to faith in Christ last year and take baptism.
“They have been so thirsty for God’s love and the spiritual bread coming from our Lord Jesus,” the leader said. “Even those with hardened hearts have turned around, searching Christ’s Good News.”
Among those who came to faith in Christ were four young candidates training to become Islamic religious leaders, he said.
“We want to express thanksgiving to you for your help in keeping this going,” the leader said. “Indeed, we see an awakening happening in our country. We know God is at work here.”
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*Names changed for security reasons