On every trip, there is an email that I would especially like you to read. This is that email.
This is the story of two brothers, and their families, who chose to follow Jesus with wild abandon. They are all refugees from the war in Syria, and were Muslims. Today, they all follow Jesus Christ. When they first came to faith, they kept it a secret, so that they could escape the danger that would come with this decision. Both men had deeply studied their faith, and were respected in their communities as true believers.
Before very long, they became more concerned for their friends and family who did not know Jesus, and less about their own safety. They started a Bible study in their homes for children. Soon, more and more children came, and even some young people. As their study began to grow, people started to realize that they were telling Bible stories, and that is where the problem started. Their troubles increased, and the children were forbidden to come. The other adults began to attack the brother’s children. A man ran over one of the brother’s sons with his motorcycle, and the boy spent a long time in the hospital. More persecution followed this unthinkable attack, as one night, 30 or 40 men attacked their home with guns and rocks. The rocks were thrown with such force that they broke out all the windows in the home and destroyed the house. As they were being shot at, the son reminded his father that God was with them. My friend climbed on top of his house, because he said he wanted to see the men that were trying to hurt him…so he could pray for them.
The community had judged them guilty of a terrible crime, loving Jesus. Finally they attacked with fire, burned all of their possessions, and destroyed their home. They escaped with only with the clothes on their backs. One brother said, "We left all of our stuff, but we never left God."
Then one brother became sick, and needed surgery. He had no money, but saw God provide, his testimony was that, "all of this shows me that the God of the Bible loves me and cares for me." He was very quick to tell me that he has no hate for those that hurt him, his son, or the rest of his family. The other brother said, "I am happy that God took us away from the dangerous place where we were living. We were living in the dark." The key that opened the door to our hearts was the testimony and work of Yasin [not his real name]. We saw in our friend someone who was different and we decided we wanted to be like him. We lost everything, even our jobs, but we gained everything because we gained Jesus. We are so happy and grateful, our friends words changed our lives."
When I asked them what their plans for the future were, they were very quick to give me this answer, "We want to go forward with God and follow Jesus."
Now I have a question for you….after hearing these two brothers’ story, are you willing to go forward with God? Are you willing to follow Jesus?