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Omar Meets the Master

September 14, 2010

Some good news just in from a colleague in the Arab-speaking world:

At the end of my one-hour talk, there was an opportunity for anyone to walk up to the microphone and offer a prayer. I did not expect what happened next: An ex-Muslim, Omar (not his real name), got up to pray in Arabic and here are some excerpts:  “Lord, bless your chosen people, Israel. Lord, thank you for sending us Messiah Jesus (Yeshua) to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life. Lord, I pray for my Muslim brothers who are in the deception of Islam. Lord, have mercy and show them the straight way.”

I had to meet this humble man, Omar. He told me he was beaten by a sheikh with a stick for having the impudence to (1) refuse the sheikh’s “invitation” to pray with him at the mosque after Omar responded “I don’t need it” and for (2) answering back when the sheikh called him “shaytan.”  Omar’s sons immediately went to beat the sheikh to preserve their father’s honor but Omar stopped them, “No sons, this is not what Jesus would want us to do. Let’s pray for him.”

Another sheikh who witnessed the beating sought Omar out and Omar shared the gospel with him. Some time later Omar saw the sheikh without his beard and when Omar greeted him as “Sheikh so-and-so” he said, “Don’t call me sheikh. I’ve left Islam.”

With love and respect I visited Omar again today. His married daughter, who once considered blowing herself up, was a former member of Hamas. Today she boldly shares her Christian faith while working as a teacher.

When Omar prayed that remarkable prayer last night he used the phrase ‘sha’ab Allah al-mukhtar’ –God’s chosen people –in reference to the Jews, which gave me quite a start because Muslims almost always use this term in a pejorative sense. To pray a prayer like that in such an environment is inviting martyrdom, as you know.

I learned that Omar had dreams of Yeshua—as did his wife. The children were furious when Omar and his wife announced that they had left Islam; the children all became radical Muslims (covering, etc.) in response to their parents’ apostasy. The children hated Jews and the Jewish State.

But today Omar’s wife and children are all believers. They are all believers! One daughter is in YWAM Europe. Another daughter is married and a disciple of Christ in Jerusalem. All the sons are now followers of Yeshua.

The married daughter testified to the transforming power of Yeshua at a Messianic Jewish youth conference. She shared how her hatred for Israel once led her to contemplate becoming a suicide bomber. When Jesus entered her bedroom in a dream and revealed Himself as Messiah, she realized He was the Lord and surrendered (note the word) her life to Him. She uncovered and immediately testified to the transforming power of Yeshua. She was filled with an inexplicable love for her former enemies, Israel and for the Jewish people.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe” (Romans 1:16).

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