The following story is written by an East-West short-term trip leader.
I was sitting on a concrete park bench with my co-worker as we shared Christ with a man from Pakistan on a week-long short-term trip to refugees in Europe. Then, I noticed a man approach me and sit down on my left.
I turned to be greeted by a smile from a Middle-Eastern man named Malik. After a quick “hello” our conversation began.
I learned that he was from Afghanistan and asked him about his religious background. He shared about his Muslim heritage and strict upbringing as a young boy and teenager. But, he freely admitted that there was a deep restlessness in his heart for many years about the ruthless killing in the name of Islam.
This restlessness stirred him to find a Bible.
Sensing his disillusionment with radical Islam, I shared what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
When he read these words, they cut to his heart. He wanted to learn more from the Bible and—after time spent in the Word of God leading up to our conversation—became a follower of Jesus on the spot! What he said next was profound.
“I have changed my name to Paul. If I return to Afghanistan now, the Taliban will kill me!”
Before returning home, I met with Malik—now Paul—again to encourage him in his faith and introduced him to a fellow Muslim background believer for discipleship and fellowship. He also joined me as I shared Jesus Christ with two men from Pakistan.
This changed life story is from a short-term trip in 2015. Since then, the Muslim background believer has faithfully discipled Paul who now works full time with a local church and serves our Muslim outreach teams in Europe.