Young Muslim Woken Up by Loud Voice After Earnest Prayer
How a television broadcast is making a difference in a teen’s life.
Editor’s note: Names and locations have been changed for security reasons.
, communication coordinator, Middle East and North Africa Union
I am a Muslim, and now I love Jesus Christ because of your channel,” Ali, 19, wrote in his Facebook message. “I am your brother Ali from North Africa. I love Jesus Christ and love the Arabic Hope Channel, and I want to serve Jesus in my life and share His good news with others.”
Besides going to college during the day, Ali works night shifts at a restaurant to support himself and his family, he wrote. He does not have a phone, so it is difficult to contact him directly. He was hopeful, however, that he would have a phone soon.
We let Ali know that we were praying for him, which made him really thankful.
When asked to share more of his story, Ali wrote back: “I was a strong Muslim, part of a strong Muslim family. I was practicing Islam. All of this praying, reading the Quran, helping people, and trying to do my best for God, did not give me peace deep within. I was always waiting for God to answer my prayer and give me peace and joy, but there wasn't any of that in my heart. I felt lonely, disappointed, and lost. There was not any genuine purpose to my life. So, those things broke me to my core, and I became depressed.”
The emptiness took a new turn when Ali happened upon Hope Channel.
“During this time, I was watching a program on your blessed channel and the pastor was talking about Jesus as the Lord and Savior,” he said. “I had known Christ as a prophet and a good man, so I thought the pastor was preaching the wrong message and leading people astray, which made me really angry.”
But the wrong message also led him into deep thought.
“I was thinking that I was doing my best for God,” he said. “But there was no relationship between Him and me. I was feeling that there was something wrong in it all.
“But then I heard about the gospel. The pastor said God wants to be my friend and is interested in the details of my daily life, just like a father and his son.”
That was exactly what Ali said he needed and was looking for. He was longing for God's presence in his life and doing everything he could to find this father-son relationship with God.
Continuing to watch Hope Channel programs, Ali found out more about a God who reaches out to people despite their sins and and demonstrates His love through Christ’s death for people while they are still sinners (Romans 5: 8). But, he heard, people need to repent of sin and ask for God’s grace in their lives.
Ali started pleading with God for that father-son relationship with God. “God,” he prayed, “please just show me which way is true, the Quran or the Bible.”
Something unusual happened that night.
"Then I went to sleep,” Ali said. “It was around 1 a.m. when I heard a voice wake me up and call my name: ‘Ali, Ali, I'm coming back soon. Go and tell others.’
“I woke up and looked around. No one was in the room, so I went to sleep again. The same thing happened three times that night. The last time I heard a huge voice, shaking the room, and I woke up. I was scared and felt for the first time the presence of the Lord on me. It was very majestic and fearful, yet very sacred and solemn. I saw a huge light in the room, which I couldn't look at, and the voice told me again, ‘Ali, Ali, I'm coming back soon, go and tell others.’
“When I accepted that, I said, ‘Amen.’ I fell asleep like a dead person.
“The next day, because of that meeting with the real, living God, my life was changed once and for all. I became someone else. I found in my heart joy, peace, and extraordinary love for people. Everything changed, and now I love that pastor and love the people in my life. I love my life.”
Ali is eager to study God's word and know more about Christ and His teachings. He is happy and excited about what God has done in his life, although he is facing some challenges from family members who have started to notice his new television watching preferences.
“I want to be one of Jesus’ children, but my family will not tolerate my right to choose whom to worship,” he said in another message. “I still love them, but I truly need wisdom to know how to deal with them and show them Christ. I know no one who can help me with that here in my country.”
We praise the Lord for Ali and the many other precious souls with whom we come into contact. By God's grace, we are following up with Ali as he desires to become more like Jesus and follow in His footsteps.
Hope Channel is striving to be a voice of love and friendship in the Middle East and North Africa, a powerful tool of communicating the message of Christ’s love and salvation. The channel delivers the gospel in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Berber, and French.