A Pauline Conversion
Paul like conversions still happen.
Persecution has never gone away; sadly, it is not something that has suddenly started again in Iraq. However, we are glad that more and more people are becoming aware of the prevalence of the situation, not just in Iraq, but in other areas of the world as well. Sometimes it seems there is no hope, but then, we can remember that God hears our prayers.
We would like to encourage you with the fact that like the Apostle Paul in Acts, those who persecute can be changed into men and women who spread the love of God. One of our partners in Bangladesh, Jayne*, shares her story of what is happening in Bangladesh, and of Abdul*.
Here is a little background on what has happened: During and after January elections in Bangladesh, minority groups, mainly Hindus and Christians, have faced severe persecution by Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent Muslim political party who lost the elections.
It is heartbreaking to hear of the persecution being faced, however, we were encouraged by how our partners have not only protected each other, but also their Hindu neighbors. And through their witness, God is changing lives.
"After the national election in January, the new elected government was formed. However, the Jamaat-e-Islami party, who was defeated, have been leading rebellions. Mainly among minorities, they have been setting fire to houses, raping women and girls, and causing all sorts of destruction.
During this time, we had been meeting with a Hindu family in Boalmari, Faridpur region, who had recently agreed to listen to us and hear the gospel. However, this family was attacked by the Jamaat-e-Islami group, and tried to make a case to the police station. The police tried to help, but the family was threatened by the group, who said they would kill their children and burn their house.
On behalf of this family, I went with other evangelists to try to compromise with this radical group. But they threatened us, telling us they would come to our villages and kill us next.
So, this duration was a very terrible time to lead and work for Him and His kingdom in preaching the Gospel. Though this duration was terrible to preach the gospel, and it was hard to go to the non-believers, we still have a very good statement of the Lord's work. For when we prayed and expected with our hearts and souls that Jesus would answer, He did because we were praying for His kingdom and glory.
We were praying for the situation explained above, because otherwise we would perish by the hand of the Muslims. And we prayed for the Lord Jesus to save the village from the Jamaat-e-Islami attack. But we also prayed that the emotion in the heart of the guilty people would change.
And finally, the main man, Abdul, who persecuted us came to the police station and surrendered himself, and begged pardon from the family he had attacked in Boalmari. He had felt God lead him to this, so he then came to us to accept Christ and be baptized.
Now Abdul is our main evangelist in that village!
God is Good, so praise His name."
Join us in praising His name, and in continuing to pray for these Paul like conversions, and for the strength of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
*Names changed for safety