Stories from the Field: the Middle East

This is a story about A’s journey to faith recounted by our team from this summer.

Before coming to Beirut, A’s son (about 11) had a dream. He was on his grandfather’s roof and had a vision of Jesus. Jesus told the little boy that his mother was going to have a baby boy and she should name him Jesus. They are Muslims, living in a Muslim village. In the dream, the son told his father there was someone on the roof dressed in all white who looks like a sheikh. He asked his father who it was. His father said he didn’t know and that he should ask his grandfather. He asked his grandfather who took him by the shoulders and tells him that it was Jesus the Messiah.

A became pregnant the next month. She was afraid to find out what she was having because she wanted a boy so badly. Late in her pregnancy she promised her son that if it was a boy she would name him Jesus. Usually the baby would be given a family name and there is no one in A’s family with the name “Jesus”. But she did have a boy and she kept her promise to her son and named the baby Jesus.

Her family lived in Syria. They left everything because of the war. When they got to the border, the guard told them to go back. A told the guard that everything they had was gone. The border guard looked at their passports and asked, “Do you have a boy named Jesus?” The little boy says, “It’s me!” The border guard said, “because Jesus is with you, you can come in.”

In Beirut, there were 28 of them living in very small place. A cried every day for a year. They didn’t have money or food. She would dig through the trash for food. When she first heard about the Oasis ministry center she went and was turned away. The leader told her there was no space and she should come back next year. She was so curious about what they were doing that she went upstairs without him knowing. She saw they were teaching English and Arabic. She sat in. A woman came from the church and shared a Bible story and she felt so touched by it. When she left, she saw the leader again and he said, “you’re still here?” She went home and came back the next time. Again the leader said that they didn’t have space. He said she should not come back until he called her. She said no, that she felt God wanted her to be there whether they gave her food or not. She wanted to be in the spiritual lesson.

The third time she came the leader told her they would visit her at home. They went and saw how sick her husband was so they got him to a doctor. He had some sickness in his blood which they thought might be cancer. He was tested and they waited for the result. After a while, they prayed for him to be healed. Then the test came back clear. A is convinced that Jesus put new blood in him. She’s been radically saved and experienced real transformation. Now she shares with everyone God’s work in their lives– even while they were in Syria, He had a plan for everything.

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