October 4, 2021
To Help you Pray this month for your Local Mosque Community.
I was born into a Sunni Muslim family in Afghanistan, and learned the basics of Islam and the Quran when I was a teenager. I became a fanatic Muslim and hated all other religions and their followers. When I was young, I met some communist followers, and I was so fond of their ideology I believed that communism was the only way to save the human race from poverty and adversity. I lived a sinful life with such ideologies far from the love of God.
In 1995, I found a copy of the Gospel of Matthew and my attention was drawn to the verse on the cover of it: "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28) I read it many times because I knew that it was not an ordinary book, but a profound and life changing one. One day, a brother came to our home and saw the book and asked me if I wanted to know more about the Gospel and Christianity. I agreed and he introduced me to an American named Juan who at the time lived in Afghanistan as missionary. Juan helped me to learn the Bible, answered my questions, and helped me to know about Lord Jesus Christ.
One day, Juan told me that that day he would not answer my questions and would let someone else do it and gave me a copy of the Jesus Film. I started crying and crying as I watched the film; God touched my heart and I submitted and dedicated my life to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior that day in 1996. In spite of the ongoing civil war where rockets and bombs were destroying the city, I met with Juan every week to study the Bible because of my passion to know more about my Christian faith.
Serving the Lord in Afghanistan
I started sharing the Gospel and serving the Lord during the Taliban Regime when they were against all other religions and there was a death penalty for any Muslim to leave Islam. I started a Bible study in my home; Juan taught us the Bible and, by God’s grace, my family came to faith and gave their hearts to Jesus and started worshipping Him along with me. I started making copies of the Jesus Movie and distributed them to my friends and acquaintances. I was stopped by the Taliban once when I had the movie with me; they would have hanged me if they had only looked in my bag.
Juan introduced me to other Afghani Christians and home church leaders. We formed an underground church called The Christ Followers Council of Afghanistan; it became the centre of all underground churches from all over Afghanistan, and I was selected to lead this council. This was the first underground Afghan church formed and led by Afghan believers in Afghanistan. The Council trained leaders and planted new underground home churches all over the country. It became a connection hub between underground home churches in Afghanistan and abroad until 2014.
The Council Attacked by Suicide Bombers
The Taliban and other extremist Islamic groups hated us since we were a kind headquarters of Christians. Even though we were underground and off-the-record, the Taliban found our location and three gunmen attacked us during our weekly worship service on November 29th, 2014. Several of my friends were martyred and others, including me, were injured. The Afghan army got involved and there was a heavy fire fight for hours until the Taliban attackers blew themselves up with bombs. The whole building caught fire and burned down, but by God’s grace I and some others survived (aditional article).
But that was not the end of the ordeal; the survivors were arrested and interrogated because conversion from Islam to Christianity is a crime according to the law. We were finally released after two days, and Juan helped us escape to India.
Escape and Sojourn in India
I joined the Afghan Church of New Delhi where I also brought other Afghan leaders for Bible training. I helped at the church while I waited for the situation to get back to normal in Afghanistan, with the mind that I would return and resume my ministry there. After three months, I purchased air tickets to return to Afghanistan, but my wife and friends warned me that the Afghan Intelligence Agency was searching for me for my "crimes" and I would be arrested on arrival. I stayed in India to save my life and to protect my family.
My family was sponsored by Bethany EMC to come to Canada. It was a show of amazing, Christ-centered love to sponsor us to come to Canada.
Now I am pioneering a church and outreach for the thousands of Afghan Muslims in the Waterloo Region.
I hold regular worship meetings, Bible studies, and prayer groups with Afghan and Iranian believers. The church as a group is working to build connections and relationships with the local Afghan community in Kitchener-Waterloo. This work in the community is supported in part by a growing network of churches that desires to see this ministry established.
- Pray for believers, both Afghani and expats living in the country. That our brothers and sisters would know His presence with them, for the right kind of boldness, and discernment to know what to do.
- Pray for the Afghan people. That many Afghans who are facing increasing turmoil are able to hear the good news that God loves them and find their hope and future in surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ.
- Pray for ministries that are actively engaging with Afghan people to be creative in engaging in ministry during these turbulent days.
- Pray for the Taliban. These zealots are loved by God. Pray that many will become dismayed at their own behaviour and put down their weapons to serve the Prince of Peace.
- Pray for the church and outreach for the thousands of Afghan Muslims in the Waterloo Region.