Today was one of the most amazing days in our congregation. An Arab woman from Iraq shared how she left Islam for Yeshua.
Fatma was raised in a strict Islamic household. When she was 8 years old, her father took her to Mecca, where she saw a woman beheaded for adultery. Her father told her that the same thing could happen to her, if she did not live a devout Muslim life.
From that time on, Fatma was afraid of Allah. She shared with us that in Islam there is no assurance of eternal life. Allah is not a loving father, but someone to be feared. Despite the fact that she prayed and prayed, Allah never answered her prayers. Eventually, she was not allowed to leave the house without her father, brother or uncle. Her younger brother was given permission to abuse her physically if she was not living up to Islamic standards.
They took a trip to America and because of political unrest in their home country, they sought asylum, and it was granted. As a young adult, while living in Georgia and still under her family's control, she met a believer. Her grandmother, who was her only friend, had just died and she was devastated. This woman befriended her and took her to her congregation.
One striking part of her testimony was that Fatma had lived in the U.S. for 8 years and passed church after church in Atlanta, and yet, not one person invited her to go to one. Not one person—until this friend.
She went and was amazed at how friendly everybody was. In Islam, everything was competition—there was little affection, but here were people who simply loved her. She took a Bible home and began to secretly read it. She loved what she read.
Eventually, Fatma decided that she wanted to be immersed in water as a believer. After that, her whole life changed. She has no contact with her family and has to be very careful, as there are those who would like to hurt her.
She now travels around the world sharing her testimony. The most powerful part of her message is that she was wearing full Muslim dress—like a burja, with her face covered during the whole story—until she shares about being born again. Then, dramatically, she removes the oppressive Muslim garb to review a beautiful young woman, full of the light of Yeshua.
Everyone in the congregation clapped for joy!
She repented before us for the hatred she had of Jews—a hatred that was instilled in her from childhood. She said that she'd never met a Jew, and yet she hated them. Several in the congregation expressed forgiveness to her and asked for her forgiveness for their own attitudes towards Arabs and prayed that God would open their eyes.
Everyone was deeply moved, not just by her testimony, but also by her expression of love for the Jewish people and the Jewish nation, that she carried as an Arab woman.
(Names and places have been changed to protect her identity.)
Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah's Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.
This article originally appeared at messiahsmandate.org.
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