January 3, 2023
To Help you Pray this month for your Local Mosque Community.
I was born into a Sunni Muslim family in Afghanistan, and learned the basics of Islam and the Quran when I was a teenager. I became a fanatic Muslim and hated all other religions and their followers. When I was young, I met some communist followers, and I was so fond of their ideology I believed that communism was the only way to save the human race from poverty and adversity. I lived a sinful life with such ideologies far from the love of God.
In 1995, I found a copy of the Gospel of Matthew and my attention was drawn to the verse on the cover of it: "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28) I read it many times because I knew that it was not an ordinary book, but a profound and life changing one. One day, a brother came to our home and saw the book and asked me if I wanted to know more about the Gospel and Christianity. I agreed and he introduced me to an American named Juan who at the time lived in Afghanistan as missionary. Juan helped me to learn the Bible, answered my questions, and helped me to know about Lord Jesus Christ.
One day, Juan told me that that day he would not answer my questions and would let someone else do it and gave me a copy of the Jesus Film. I started crying and crying as I watched the film; God touched my heart and I submitted and dedicated my life to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior that day in 1996. In spite of the ongoing civil war where rockets and bombs were destroying the city, I met with Juan every week to study the Bible because of my passion to know more about my Christian faith.
Serving the Lord in Afghanistan
I started sharing the Gospel and serving the Lord during the Taliban Regime when they were against all other religions and there was a death penalty for any Muslim to leave Islam. I started a Bible study in my home; Juan taught us the Bible and, by God’s grace, my family came to faith and gave their hearts to Jesus and started worshipping Him along with me. I started making copies of the Jesus Movie and distributed them to my friends and acquaintances. I was stopped by the Taliban once when I had the movie with me; they would have hanged me if they had only looked in my bag.
Juan introduced me to other Afghani Christians and home church leaders. We formed an underground church called The Christ Followers Council of Afghanistan; it became the centre of all underground churches from all over Afghanistan, and I was selected to lead this council. This was the first underground Afghan church formed and led by Afghan believers in Afghanistan. The Council trained leaders and planted new underground home churches all over the country. It became a connection hub between underground home churches in Afghanistan and abroad until 2014.
The Council Attacked by Suicide Bombers
The Taliban and other extremist Islamic groups hated us since we were a kind headquarters of Christians. Even though we were underground and off-the-record, the Taliban found our location and three gunmen attacked us during our weekly worship service on November 29th, 2014. Several of my friends were martyred and others, including me, were injured. The Afghan army got involved and there was a heavy fire fight for hours until the Taliban attackers blew themselves up with bombs. The whole building caught fire and burned down, but by God’s grace I and some others survived (additional article).
But that was not the end of the ordeal; the survivors were arrested and interrogated because conversion from Islam to Christianity is a crime according to the law. We were finally released after two days, and Juan helped us escape to India.
Escape and Sojourn in India
I joined the Afghan Church of New Delhi where I also brought other Afghan leaders for Bible training. I helped at the church while I waited for the situation to get back to normal in Afghanistan, with the mind that I would return and resume my ministry there. After three months, I purchased air tickets to return to Afghanistan, but my wife and friends warned me that the Afghan Intelligence Agency was searching for me for my "crimes" and I would be arrested on arrival. I stayed in India to save my life and to protect my family.
Later, my family was sponsored by a church to come to Canada; it was a show of amazing, Christ-centered love to sponsor us to come to Canada, where we have been living at since.
*Source: Pray for the Nations (P4N), Afghan Muslims
- Praise God with us for the work of The Jesus Network and one of its missionaries, Obed, who has been working tirelessly the past few months to help complete the refugee/immigration processes to get multiple Afghan families into the GTA and out of Afghanistan. Pray that this work will continue and flourish, that Afghans come to a place that provides them safety, refuge, and exposure to the good news of Jesus and Jesus Himself in a caring, nurturing environment among followers of Jesus.
- Pray the Lord will raise up laborers among Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Afghans to evangelize, disciple believers, & start churches.
- Pray that current workers among GTA Afghans be connected to existing Afghan believers.
- Pray for Christians to show Afghans the power of Christ’s love, & empower GTA Christians to be instruments of peace.
- Pray for GTA evangelical involvement among Afghans: it will likely require developing a discreet yet strategically intentional presence among Afghans via social media, as they are very active and connected online, especially back to Afghanistan via the Internet.
- There are few known open Afghan followers of Jesus in GTA from a Muslim, Sikh, or Hindu background, and there are only a few known churches (possibly four) in GTA with Afghans as the primary members/attendees. There are a few believers, churches, & at least three mission organizations focusing attention & outreach efforts on Afghans in GTA. Networking and collaborating with such existing believers, churches, & organizations (and emerging ones) will be wise.
- Pray for more GTA believers to live among GTA’s Afghans in their own buildings/communities (the Move-In approach).
- Pray for more GTA believers to work among Afghans (perhaps in labor jobs).