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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | August 20, 2017

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At risk: West Bank converts

“I didn’t choose to be a Muslim…”
Meeting a secret believer

by Julia Fisher

Julia Fisher’s visits to the Holy Land are not the usual pilgrimage 

Julia Fisher’s visits to the Holy Land are not the usual pilgrimage

As a broadcast journalist, for almost 20 years I have travelled frequently to Israel to record the stories of both Jewish and Arab/Palestinian believers, so Christians in the West can hear news of what God is doing despite political tensions in the region.

Recently I was taken to meet ‘A’, a recent convert from Islam. My friend, who lives in the area, understands the precautions necessary when arranging such sensitive and dangerous rendezvous. We cautiously drove to an area of ‘no man’s land’, pulled into the side of the road and ‘A’ slipped into the back of the car. We drove off thankfully; nobody had noticed and we weren’t being followed.

‘A’ had become a believer after his brother gave him a Bible. “As I read it, I saw the truth of what Yeshua said,” he explained. “I knew my thinking and behaviour was changing. I had found the way of truth. The Spirit of God spoke to me.”

‘A’s’ brother received his Bible thanks to my friend who, a few years earlier, drove into their town with a box of books and left before the crowd realised the books, were Arabic Bibles – forbidden books.

When ‘A’s’ brother opened the book he could hardly believe what he was reading. The person and teaching of Jesus had an immediate impact on him and he became an enthusiastic evangelist. However, the Palestinian Authority police heard about this and he was arrested and badly tortured.

Undeterred, ‘A’ delved into his brother’s Bible. Revelation 22:16-17 changed his life: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”

‘A’ told me, “Islam is forced on us from birth. I didn’t choose to be a Muslim but I did choose to accept Yeshua’s invitation to ‘come’ and believe in him.”

His town’s schools follow a rigid Islamic curriculum imposed by the Palestinian Authority; children are taught to hate Israel and the Jewish people while desiring martyrdom.

Yet thanks to covert evangelism and supernatural dreams, his town now has over 300 believers in Jesus who meet secretly in very small groups.  ‘A’ admits, “I’m not afraid of dying because God is with me, but I feel responsible for the people I shepherd to make sure they stay safe and stay alive. I believe the number of Muslims becoming believers will continue to grow, but we have to be careful about who we talk to and where we go.

“My views towards Israel and the Jewish people changed when I became a believer. Now I pray for them.”

Visit the Events section of this newspaper for details of our unique tour in April 2018 to meet believers in Israel and the West Bank!