“I met Jesus on the TV”. Samara smiles at my confusion. “One day, I was flicking through the TV channels looking for something to watch. I found this man talking about religion in Arabic. But this wasn’t Islam. He was talking about Jesus. At the end of the show you could write to them for more information. So I did! I wrote to these people in Finland, who were talking about Jesus in Arabic! They wrote back, and sent me a Bible with lots of information and questions, all in Arabic. It was like doing a correspondence course about Jesus! I loved going through the information, finding out more. I wanted to know all about the Jesus and the God that they talked about. Eventually I sent back my answers, and they got back in touch. I didn’t know that there were Christians in my country, I thought they all lived in the West. But these people knew local believers and asked me if I wanted to meet with them. I jumped at the chance. The local believers travelled for hours to meet with me, and talking with them I knew that I wanted to be a Christian and that I didn’t want to follow Islam.
Telling my family
After a while, I managed to tell some of my family. They weren’t very happy but as long as I didn’t do anything about my beliefs, or tell other people, then they were ok with it. Then, the time came for me to get married. When I met the man that my family had chosen to be my husband, I told him that I was a Christian. He said that he was ok with that, and that as long as I didn’t make a fuss about it we would be fine. I was pleased to find someone who would accept me and my beliefs. It was only after we were married that I found out he was lying.
I moved in with him and his family (that’s the traditional way here), and it was there that it became clear that he didn’t want me to be a Christian. He didn’t want me to have ideas of my own. He started beating me. Around this time I started meeting with other local believers in my hometown. But soon my husband wouldn’t let me go out on my own. Then I got pregnant. I thought that having our baby might help things between us. But when I came to give birth, the labour was so long and things were going wrong. They told me that my baby was in distress. Eventually the baby came. They had to pull him out with forceps, and I think that they damaged him. I don’t really know what happened, I was in so much pain. They gave me my baby, but he was hurt and couldn’t feed. His mouth and his throat weren’t working properly. When the doctors looked at him they told me that my boy was going to die. They put him on tubes, but told me it was only a temporary measure. Soon they would take the tubes out and my boy would die.
My husband told me to let the child die. His boy wasn’t perfect, so he didn’t want him. My in-laws just wanted my little boy to die too. They were ashamed of his disabilities. And of me. The hospital pulled out the tubes.
I texted my friends who were believers, and another friend from America who is a Christian worker here. I asked them to pray for me and my boy, and for them to help me. My husband told me to let the child die. His boy wasn’t perfect, so he didn’t want him. My in-laws just wanted my little boy to die too. They were ashamed of his disabilities. And of me. The hospital pulled out the tubes.
My friend, Cheryl, the Christian worker, came to the hospital. She took my boy in her arms and carried him and me out of the hospital. She took us to a private clinic where they put the tubes back in. My son would live.
I cry out to God
The private clinic taught me how to look after my disabled son. I named him Amiz. He’s 10 years old now. My husband divorced me when I wouldn’t let my son die. So, now I live in the house of my childhood. My mother has died, so I live with my dad and my son.
My life is hard. I cry out to God and ask why I have had a such a difficult life. Why have such difficult things had to happen to me? Why did this have to happen to Amiz? I don’t know the answers. But I do know that God is good. I know that Jesus has saved me and I know his peace.