It had all started when Shediya’s niece Selema went to study abroad and met a Christian who shared the gospel with her and invited her to study the Quran for herself. When Selema did so, she was shocked to discover that Islam was not what she had believed it to be. Her world shaken, she reached out to her aunt, Shediya.
With her husband’s permission, Shediya studied the Islamic Scriptures to help her niece return to a solid faith in Islam. But her research had the opposite effect. Everything she had previously believed about Islam was quickly unravelling.
During her research, Shediya heard of Muslims who had become Christians. Someone on Facebook suggested that she check out Paltalk to find people to talk with about that topic. It is through Paltalk that she came across our “Arabic Church Online.” Here she met Muslim-background believers gifted in apologetics, evangelism, Bible teaching, worship leading, encouragement, and prayer. These mentors were able to answer her many questions, share their testimonies and explain the Gospel through WhatsApp.
After many months of research, she was still wrestling with the same truth that has perplexed so many Muslims before her: “How could Allah appear on the earth as a baby? Could it really be possible? Could Allah (God), the Creator and Lord really come to earth as a baby to save us?”
It required a huge step of faith to believe the Gospel, but last July, she took that step. After months and months of searching, Shediya was born again.
She was so full of joy and hope that she enthusiastically shared her faith with her husband and her father-in-law, a very wealthy devout Muslim businessman. She also shared it with her mother-in-law, a Catholic woman who had converted to Islam 35 years ago in order to marry her husband.
She thought they would be able to share in her joy, but that was not the case. Her husband was quite angry with her and continually tried to change her mind. Her father-in-law was deeply offended with her claims about Islam and her confession of Christ. When she tried to explain herself, he only got angrier. In his eyes, she was committing the sin of apostasy. A traditional Arabic patriarch, he ruled his marriage and his family with absolute authority. He forbade his family from eating with her and they all stopped talking to her. But one day, her mother-in-law came secretly to her and told her that she too still believes in Christ: “Jesus never left my heart even though I married your father-in-law. But I cannot tell him about my faith in Jesus or he will surely poison me to death.” Shediya knew this to be true. Her father-in-law would kill her in order to preserve family honour.
Eventually, her father-in-law demanded that his son divorce her, and her husband acquiesced. After ten years of marriage, it was over. Shediya and her son were put into a rented apartment.
Despite all her losses, Shediya has decided to keep following Jesus, whatever the cost. In fact, she was recently baptized. Utilizing our wide network of Arab-speaking believers, we found an Arabic Church nearby that was happy to arrange it! And our network of mentors continues to encourage her in her precious faith.
*names changed to protect privacy
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