As followers of Jesus reaching out to immigrants in the
U.S., a common thread is appearing through these contacts - immigrants
are interested in learning more about Jesus, particularly as they've heard
that the U.S. is a "Christian nation". Yet what they've perceived from
abroad and often what they find on arrival is that "Christian nation" and
Christ-follower are not the same thing. The following accounts are what
some followers of Christ have found in sharing the message of hope in Christ.
Earlier this year a young woman we will call Rifka was living with her parents and was pledged to marry a cousin from thier home country. Rifka's family had immigrated to America years earlier and still had close ties to thier home land. Our Ministry Partner made a broad distribution of our JESUS Film DVD which included Rifka's native language, as well as several other ME languages. Rifka received a DVD and was so excited to see the movie in her family’s native language! She was curious about what her Christian friends believed, although she had made fun of them for believing in a religion that was in her opinion so ‘obviously wrong’. As she and her family watched the story of Jesus’ life unfold before them, she realized Jesus was so different than what they had learned in thier religion. Before the movie was over her father turned it off saying it was not for them. But Rifka was’ taken’ by the Jesus in this film. For days she pondered the words Jesus spoke, His kindness, love, and miracles. One night as she slept, she struggled with the thoughts of her family’s faith and the contrast of love. She wanted to know the truth. Suddenly, Jesus appeared to her in her sleep and spoke to her. He was so real she knew it was Him. She awoke that morning and called the contact phone number on the back of the DVD. She is now a devout follower of Jesus and has been in Bible studies and prayer meetings for months and boldly tells other about Jesus! One might think this an isolated incident but it is not. For whatever reason, Jesus is ‘appearing’ to many from this part of the world.
That is not all! Her mother, we will call her Huma, was concerned about this change in Rifka. She even went to one of her prayer meetings where they were very kind to her and prayed for her at the end of the meeting. But in time Huma decided to try to stop Rifka and she began to argue and fight with her. Rifka told her prayer group so they continued to pray for Huma. Then early one morning before Huma awoke Jesus appeared to her and spoke to her! He then reached out and made the sign of the cross on her forehead. She awoke at that moment and as she awoke she still felt His finger still on her forehead! Huma then knew Jesus was real and she too became a true believer.
Now, Huma and Rifka are both bold witnesses for Jesus to their community. When Huma was giving her testimony later at the same prayer group, our ministry leader said, “She spoke as though she was in the very presence of God and everyone there wept with joy at her bold testimony.”
A Muslim Journey to Hope presents the true stories of people who have had a life-changing experience. Each story is true, and each story is different. Women and men. Young and old. Rich and poor. From many countries in the world. Each story tells how each of these people has found hope through Jesus.
Watch now: http://www.muslimjourneytohope.com/watch.asp
partner) - Several months ago I was shopping. I gave a copy of the multi-language
JESUS DVD to a clerk who was helping me. The woman was from Iran and very
excited to receive it, especially when she saw that the DVD had her language
on it - Farsi!
Sometime later, she called to tell us that she and her family have decided
to follow Jesus as a result of watching the film and talking to some other
followers of Jesus. She called to invite us to the baptism of her husband,
son and herself at a local church. We also learned that she doesn't live
very far from us, and that she'd found my phone number which I'd left with
her along with the DVD.
(postnote - the baptism was a wonderful event. The Iranian woman came up
to me before the meeting began and embraced me. She also shared her testimony
of receiving Jesus, including that she'd received the JESUS DVD and the
impact it had on her life.
partner) - "We praise the Lord as He has used us this year to lead immigrants
from South Asia to faith in Jesus Christ; wee played a role in seeing the
message of the Gospel proclaimed in a greater way than we've seen before. One
religious leader expressed that he sees the Jesus DVD in many Pakistani
homes throughout the metro area, and all of them have the our follow-up
sticker on the sleeve. We are thankful to God for this ministry growth,
and we thank you for making this possible through your giving and prayers."
Maryam - "For
several years, I've been translating for passengers from the Middle East
who are arriving into the U.S. at an international airport. They
have have to go through immigration but speak little or no English. God
has allowed me to befriend many persons who end up sitting for hours before
their connecting flight or until their paperwork is complete. I share
Christ with as many of them as possible. I also offer to get them
a Bible, and then send one to them later. With the Bible, I'll enclose
one of the 16-language DVDs from Christ for All Peoples. I praise
God for the DVDs and the impact they’re having on the recipients. Many
have indicated that they were looking for a Bible on their arrival; in
later correspondence, some of them have indicated that they have received
Christ as their Savior as a result of watching the DVD and reading the
During a recent distribution, I spoke with an Iraqi man. He’d fled
from his home country ten years ago because of the political regime at
the time. He had lost most of his family members to the war. He was so
sad, and when I told him about Christ, his eyes got wide and he told me
that he’d gotten a JESUS DVD last year. He said he believes in it
but he didn’t know what the next step is. After I prayed with him,
I told him to contact the ministry about whom to get connected with; he
was so excited, he almost cried.
teaching English as a Second Language courses, I have a student named Faysa
who came from the Arabian peninsula fifteen years ago and is a U.S. citizen.
As a girl, she wasn't allowed to go to school, and on arriving here was
able to learn to speak English by watching television, but due to raising
seven children hadn't had the time to learn to read it. She is a very eager
student! We've had many conversations about Christ, and she desires to
know the truth. I asked Faysa if she would like to watch the JESUS DVD,
and we arranged for a time convenient for her. We watched it in Arabic
first, and I could tell throughout the film that she was very touched by
what she was seeing. When it was over she said, "I get it!"
She said that she had never heard the love of Jesus Christ explained in
her own language, and that it really helped her understand God's love and
forgiveness through sending His only Son to die on the cross for her. She
asked me to get her a copy so she can watch it over and over. Even though
we've had many conversations about who Jesus is, this film opened her eyes
in a way that conversations hadn't. I'm very grateful to those who have
made this film available.
One day she was visiting a charity-run clothes store, and when asked where
she was from, said, "Iran." Mojdeh was pleased at the question, and asked "Do
you have a bilingual book in Farsi and English that would help me speak
smooth English?" The store helper told her that she had something even
better - a Story of Jesus DVD in both Farsi and English. Mojdeh became
very excited, realizing now that she could listen to a story in well-spoken
Farsi and then listen to the same story in well-spoken English. She said
that it was the perfect tool for her to study over and over!
This gentleman is a South Asian pharmacist who worked together with an
American pharmacist. Aslam asked him for a copy of the Jesus DVD so that
he could learn classical Arabic to help in his understanding the Koran.
While watching the DVD in its original language, Aslam will have the opportunity
to learn of Jesus and God's plan of redemption for Aslam through Christ's
shed blood on the Cross.
My story is of an immigrant who was eating in his car. At the time he was
leaving, he rolled the window down and said to me, "I will take your materials
if you eat my food, and he offered me a piece of food. I took it and ate
a bite of it to show love and respect to his offer. I gave the rest to
one of the team who was with me to do the same, and it was really good
food. I told him 'thank you' with a smile on my face, "It's your turn now",
and I offered him the materials about the Truth of Jesus Christ. He took
them with a smile and thanked me. Another immigrant rolled up his window
and he said declined the offer of the story of Jesus; however, his wife
rolled down the window and she took the materials from my teammate who
was standing on the opposite side walk. Praise God. We were filled with
joy, and the presence of God.
Maadi - “I
really enjoyed being at the event yesterday. I found that 90% of the participants
accepted the gift, whether they were from a majority religion, Jewish,
Zoroastrian, or secular background. Knowing the language and being older
helped me in talking a few minutes with quite a few. Also when I gave out
a gift to one person and spoke in their language, often others asked for
the gift also.”
“I also experienced a God given moment: One person asked where I lived
in the home country, and I told them, and he replied that was his home city.
We talked about different locations there that we both know. Then I asked him
if he knew about the Christian hospital in the city (It had been a Presbyterian
hospital, and then given to a Christian doctor). He replied that he was trying
to think of that hospital and its name all this week. I told him that God must
have led in this, and encouraged him to watch the gift and and listen to an
additional CD that I gave him.”
"This man, Maadi, who lives out of state, then requested a full Bible in his
language. He asked, 'Have you heard that lots of people in my country are becoming
followers of Christ?' ”
Mahmood - "Jim
and I were sharing one Friday evening in North Carolina and stopped by
a shop to get some coffee. We entered the store and began a conversation
with the clerk who was new to the country. After a few minutes of friendly,
light conversation, I offered him a copy of the English-Arabic New Testament
containing the Gospel of Jesus. Mahmood was hesitant at first, but then
took the small book. I told him we'd be interested in knowing what he thought
after he read some of it, with the intent to return. A few minutes later
we left and went to the car. As we started to back out of the parking space,
Mahmood hurriedly came out of the store to our car. I rolled down the window,
and Mahmood asked earnestly, 'Will you come back?' We promised we would
in a couple weeks, and left the facility. We did return a couple weeks
later, but Mahmood wasn't working, or perhaps had left the job. Please
pray for him and those around him - that the Holy Spirit would make the
words of God's truth alive and that they would know Jesus.
Aslamah - "Some
friends gathered to pass out some JESUS Film DVDs one weekend during an
immigrant-related festival. While there, an older man--perhaps around the
age of 70--came up to us and we offered him a copy of the DVD as a gift.
He took it and disappeared. Late in the afternoon, he found us and excitedly
told us that he had watched the DVD at home and asked Jesus to come into
Him. He said, 'I can feel him from the top of my head to the bottom of
my feet! Thank you for giving me the story of Jesus.' " Please pray for
Aslamah that the Holy Spirit would give him assurance and courage as he
Rhonda - "I
came across your 'The Life of Jesus Christ' DVD while using a pay phone
in Queens, NY. I took the DVD home with me to watch; I was very pleased
with it. My fellow women housemates viewed it and everyone was very joyous
about the film. They'd like to get additional copies! I hope to hear from
you soon. Thank you and God Bless."
Hamid - "I
ordered a copy of the Jesus Film in Farsi for an Iranian friend who had
become a follower of Jesus a few years ago. I called my friend, Hamid,
and asked him to go to lunch with me and, at that time, gave him the Jesus
Film in Farsi. Hamid hugged me and cried. He said no one had ever given
him anything in his own language before.
"Several days later Hamid called me to say that his brother showed up from
Iran the same day that he'd received the Jesus Film. It was a “totally” surprise
visit for Hamid. Interestingly enough, Hamid had always wondered how he would
present the gospel to any of his family members when he saw them again! Now
he had the Jesus Film to present.
"After showing the Jesus Film, Hamid asked his brother if he had ever heard
of Jesus. His brother responded, “Oh yes, but I thought He was an American!” Both
his brother and his mother became Christians. Praise be to God!"
A Family - "We
were sharing the Gospel in a neighborhood of immigrants, going house to
house, and passing out a film about Jesus. We came to one house and knocked
at the door. It opened and a young girl was standing there. Two others
from the household gathered and asked what we wanted. We told them we had
a gift for them in the Arabic language--that it was the story of Jesus--and
it was for them. They took it, looked at it, and then asked if we'd like
to come in for tea. We ended up watching the film with them! God is so
good." Please pray for this family, and others like them--that the Holy
Spirit will show them the Truth of Jesus Christ and that they'll surrender
their hearts to Him.