Refugee Man and Daughter’s ‘Chance’ Encounter Leads to New Life in Jesus Christ

With the economy in his Middle Eastern country in tatters and his wife leaving him, Mohammad* saw no hope for himself or his young daughter.

He was bitter, though not surprised, about his wife abandoning not only him but their 9-year-old daughter; his ex had always been emotionally unstable, and she had made it clear that she wanted to erase her past and start over entirely. He spent most nights drinking the memory of her into oblivion.

His daughter was largely uncared for during the day as well, when he would look for odd jobs, usually without success.

“They were very poor, and when he took out a loan, he spent it on alcohol and other nasty habits. Then he came to Turkey as a refugee and decided to repent of these bad habits and return to his Shiite religion,” said a native of that area of Turkey, undisclosed for security reasons, who works for a Christian ministry. “Yet he admitted that he found no peace in his heart from any devotion to his old religion. He felt sure he would suffer a lot of penalties for living such a wicked life. He was sure he would be sentenced to hell, and that there was no hope for him.”

“He was sure he would be sentenced to hell, and that there was no hope for him.”

Turkey receives more than 64 percent of all refugees from the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan, and migrants from those countries seeking asylum often show up at the ministry center seeking help. There Mohammad met another Middle Eastern refugee who invited him to his apartment, where the new arrival noticed he had an Arabic New Testament.

Explain Christianity

The Shiite Muslim asked to borrow it, and the refugee gladly obliged; also raised a Muslim, he had been attending the native ministry’s Bible studies and was thinking he would soon become a Christian. Native missionaries had given him several New Testaments to share with others, and he gave Mohammad a handful of them.

Mohammad read the Gospels of Matthew and Mark before he fell asleep. Fascinated by what he had read, when he woke at 5 a.m. he immediately sent a text message to the refugee asking if he was a Christian, and if so could he explain it to him.

“I’m not able to explain it, but the pastor in our church can explain it very well,” the refugee answered, according to the missionary.

He told Mohammad that the pastor also had an online lesson plan and would be eager to personally answer any questions he had.

“This man, together with his daughter, took those lessons, and together they decided to accept Jesus as Lord of their lives,” the missionary said. “Now they are continually coming to the church and participating in any lessons being offered.”

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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission