Ahmed* stood on his apartment balcony, looking out on the small Muslim village that he called home. He had tied the noose from his roof and was ready to jump and end it all.
Things were not always this bad. He used to work for the government as a daily laborer, but a year and half ago the work dried up. He had looked for work constantly, but he found nothing. Being the father, the responsibility fell on him to provide for his family. The fact that his youngest daughter had leukemia made everything that much more difficult.
He arrived back home after another unsuccessful day of looking for work and his wife snapped, “You don’t care for us; our daughter will die because of you!”
That night, Ahmed had concluded that death was less shameful than his life. Yet, as he stood on his balcony the question would not leave his mind, “Who will look after my wife and children?”
Ahmed broke down and sobbed. He had come to the end of himself and had no idea where to turn. He could not end his life. He could not abandon his family, but he also could not provide for them. He could not save his daughter’s life.
The following day a pastor knocked on Ahmed’s door. The pastor was welcomed into the house, and as they began to talk Ahmed broke down again. Ahmed explained all that had happened, how he was crying out for help and how his daughter was ill. The pastor gave them food packages and then asked if he could pray for Ahmed’s daughter.
Together, they kneeled and called on the name of Jesus that Ahmed’s daughter would be healed of leukemia.
A week later, Ahmed took his daughter to the clinic for what he thought would be a routine blood test. Only the results came back negative; she was perfectly healthy. The doctor was confused, but Ahmed understood. He explained that Jesus had healed his daughter. The doctor was dumbfounded. Just to be sure, Ahmed went to a second clinic and had his daughter’s blood tested a second time. It came back negative a second time.
Ahmed was ecstatic! He told everyone he could, “God healed my little girl!” Word travelled fast in the small village. The village did not take kindly to the news that Jesus had healed someone in their village, and Ahmed and his family suffered persecution. His house was ransacked and he and his family were beaten; but nothing could steal the truth that God cared for him and his family.
Days later, one of the villagers approached Ahmed in utter confusion. “I thought that you were saying these things for money; but we have seen you have nothing in your house! After we beat you, we realized there is much more to what you are saying. Please tell us more.”
Ahmed remains faithful to the Lord to this day. The church continues to minister in the village, meeting regularly with some of the villagers who want to know more. Though the persecution has now largely stopped, Ahmed still faces difficulties living in a hostile environment.
Ahmed’s village is one among hundreds in the Near East that suffers from extreme poverty. The local church, in partnership with OM, tries to reach out and distribute food packages and literature among these people where the need is greatest. They also follow up with weekly meetings where there are people who take an interest in the gospel.
Currently, the local church rents a car to take food packages to these people; needless to say, this is an expensive and inefficient way of running their ministry, but they have no other means of transport. They are in need and are currently praying for a van or minibus for this ministry.
Please pray, as Ahmed is still in need of a job. Pray also for his village and those that surround it, that the Lord continues the work He has done there and brings in a bountiful harvest.
Also, pray that Ahmed has courage and endurance to reach out in the face of persecution. Please pray that God provides for the church’s needs to continue its ministry, specifically transportation. Praise God for the display of His healing power in Ahmed’s daughter’s life.
Ben is an enthusiast photographer, blogger and writer. He loves listening to, experiencing and then sharing stories about what God is doing. He is currently on a six-week communications internship in the Middle East and is excited to see and hear what the Lord is doing in this region of the world.
This article is a follow up to the abbreviated story about Ahmed* in “God’s transforming power in a war-torn nation,” written by Rachel Morris in December 2012.
For the original article, visit om.org.