God at Work in the Midst of Suffering: testimonies by Patrick Sookhdeo
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Tue Nov 20 00:55:59 EST 2001
GOD AT WORK IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING: TESTIMONIES
By Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo
The Barnabas Fund
Three Christian prisoners are released in Brunei. In Indonesia and the
Holy Land two Christian converts from Islam, both former violent
militants, give their testimonies.
Yunus Murang, Freddie Chong and Haji Malai Taufick have been released
after spending over nine months in prison. The three were arrested in
January ostensibly for being involved in cult activities. In reality
they seem to have been targeted because they were evangelical
Christians whose only crime was to seek to share their faith with
The release ceremony took place at the Jame Asri Hassanal Bolkiah
Mosque in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan. The three men had to confess
to being involved in 'subversive activities' and pledge not to do so
again. They also had to promise to fully co-operate with the
authorities in any way required in the future, and were made to swear
an oath of allegiance to the Sultan of Brunei.
Four others members of the church attended by the three were arrested
in December 2000 and January 2001, but were released earlier this year.
Andrew (not his real name) converted from Islam to Christianity over a
year ago. He was an Islamic holy warrior, a member of the Laskar Jihad,
trained to kill, and hardened to violence and bloody executions in the
name of Islam. Then one day he was given the task of murdering a
Christian minister who had converted from Islam and should therefore
die, according to Islamic law. Andrew could not bring himself to do it.
He felt haunted by the prayers of his grandmother, a Christian.
Eventually Andrew confronted the man he had been sent to kill, and told
him his story. The minister talked to him about Jesus, then Andrew
prayed and gave his life to Christ. Immediately Andrew went into hiding
from his former comrades, and began to be discipled as a Christian. Now
he is training to become a church leader.
THE HOLY LAND
Habib (not his real name) grew up hating and despising Jews, Christians
and Westerners. As a young man he took part in riots, throwing bottles
and stones and fighting with Israeli troops. He was even imprisoned for
his violent behaviour. At times he hated his Christian mother, urging
his father, a Muslim, to divorce her. He would laugh and cheer at old
newsreels of Nazi concentration camps. He rejoiced when he discovered
that a man he had partially blinded in a fight had been Jewish.
However, Habib's love of Middle Eastern history, and his passion for
the current conflict in the Holy Land led him to read the Bible, which
he began to compare with the Qur'an. Slowly he came to the conviction
that the message of the Bible was true whilst the Qur'an contained much
which was false. Finally Habib became a Christian, and has since found
his hatred for the Jews, his life-long enemies, turning into love.
The Barnabas Fund, The Old Rectory, River Street, PEWSEY, Wiltshire,
SN9 5DB, UK, Tel 01672 564938, Fax 01672 565030, E-mail
info at barnabasfund.org Web www.barnabasfund.org
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