Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Algerian Judge Asks for Prayer

I would like to share with you a story that I recently read in an editorial by Tom White, Executive Director of our sister mission in the United States, in which he recounts a story told to him by a co-worker in Algeria.

"When I was 15 years old, I was looking for God. I tried to ask everyone. I even went to a sheikh. I told him, ‘I love God. I am looking for Him.' He told me, ‘You are a blasphemer. You only need to obey your parents and say the five [Muslim] prayers.' But I was not convinced. Every night before I went to sleep, I said, ‘God, I know You are there. If You are there, why don't You talk to me?'

"One night, I was crying on my bed and I saw heaven open and rays of light writing the words, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.' I knew this was not a dream. I ran outside on the patio to look up at the sky. I was sure God had talked to me. Later, a woman gave me a New Testament. When I found Jesus' words, ‘way, truth, life,' I said, ‘That is what You told me. You are God.' I gave my life to Jesus.

"When I married, I told my husband that I was a Christian. My family reported me to the police. The police in Algiers filed a court case against me for despising Islam - blasphemy."

"One morning they took me to court. The judge was sitting at his desk between two advisors. He leaned over and asked me, ‘Are you a Christian?' I said, ‘Yes.' He asked, ‘What did you find in Islam that you didn't like?' I replied, ‘I was looking for God in Islam and I didn't find Him.' Then I told him about my night vision and the words I found in the New Testament. I don't know if he was curious or wanted to trap me, but the judge asked, ‘How do Christians pray? What do they say?'

"I tried to explain to him what we say. He still didn't understand how we talk to God. He asked, ‘Where do you pray? What do you pray?' I replied, ‘We can pray anytime, anywhere.' He leaned forward and asked, ‘Can you pray now? Here?' I said, ‘Yes.' He sat back and said, ‘Okay. Pray.'

"I stood before him and raised my hands and started to pray. I knew that in my prayer this would be an opportunity to give a message of salvation. I began, ‘Thank you, Jesus, because we are sinners and You died for us....' I took 10 minutes to finish this prayer. I prayed for the president of Algeria that God would bless him. I prayed for those in this court to see the salvation of Christ.

"When I said ‘Amen,' the officials in the court turned to look at each other. The room was quiet. They were speechless. The judge said to me, ‘This case is dismissed. Go home.'

"I turned to walk down the long aisle to the door. I heard someone running behind me. I turned and saw the judge. He caught up with me and said, ‘Woman, when you pray to Jesus, please pray for me.'


crooked deep down said...

I was fascinated by this when I was in the Middle East and got to talking about my faith with Muslims-- the kids especially asked me to pray right in front of them. The idea that God is approachable in the street with whatever words you have for him and regardless of whatever clothes you're wearing is bizarre to them, and it provides great opportunities for sharing.

nachtwache said...

Wow, that is such a moving story. I long for peoples eyes and hearts to be opened that they'll find God.