I was so blessed to connect again with a beautiful family from the Middle East. Their commitment to the Lord is inspiring and I want to share a testimony from a dear sister in Christ. (For their safety, all names have been changed.)
Testimony of finding Truth
Kristen liked reading the Bible and in time she spent more time reading the Bible than the Koran, but she showed her family that she was still reading the Koran. She also would share small things from the Bible with her family but they would not accept its truth. Kristen's family noticed that her behavior had changed and they found out about her communication with Steven, this did not make her family happy.
At this time her mother was very angry with her and she was removed from her education at the hostel. Kristen continued speaking with Steven on the phone and shared with him what was happening at her home. He encouraged her with verses from the Bible. The first time her mother got angry with her, Kristen prayed in the Name of Jesus as Steven had taught her and a half an hour later she noticed that her mother was no longer angry. Her faith was encouraged, she loved her mother very much and was happy at this result.
The communication between Steven and Kristen grew into more and they felt it would be good for them to marry. Naomi had learned that Kristen had accepted Jesus and was praying in His name! Naomi wanted them to go to Kristen’s parents and ask for her hand in marriage. When she told her mother she flew into a rage and forbid Kristen to see Steven and his family. Her family became very strict with her, she was monitored all the time and accompanied wherever she went. However, she had decided she wanted to marry Steven.
When Naomi heard that Kristen’s family had refused to allow her to marry, she understanding what a shame it was for the family took Steven’s phone from him so he could no longer communicate with Kristen. However, when she realized that Steven and Kristen were truly in love, she returned the phone to him. Though it was difficult Steven continued to reach out to Kristen and encourage her with Scripture.
After knowing Steven for two years she went to his house for the first time; it was Resurrection Sunday. She was greeted with great love, and she felt at home. This was the first time she met Steven face to face, upon meeting she was filled with joy and knew she wanted to marry him. Steven continued to teach her about the Word of God. Kristen was fully committed, she now knew the Truth and the Truth had sent her free!
Steven's family talked about the marriage, but Steven's father was not happy about the union as he knew it would mean trouble and even death for the family. Steven and Kristen were very upset about this and decided to pray, fast, and seek God’s will. Steven's older brother and father asked if she was prepared to leave her family. She responded that the "Lord would give her strength." Steven and his family decided on a date when Kristen would leave her home. Kristen made sure she had all her documents and left a note for her family. In it, she told them she had come to know the Truth and had accepted Jesus Christ. Kristen met Steven and Naomi and they went straight to court where they were married under Muslim law. When she didn’t return home that night, Kristen’s mother called her. Kristen told her mother that she had left a letter for the family and that she was fine. Her family kept calling but she did not answer. A few days later they had a church wedding.
Kristen’s family did not leave things alone. They registered a case of kidnapping against Naomi, Steven, and Lorna as well as a case of adultery against Steven. Steven's father advised that Kristen should file a petition to say that she had left her family and married of her own free will. However, Naomi thought this would incite Kristen's family. Her family sent Police to Naomi's house to find out were Steven and Kristen were hiding. Naomi would not give them any information and she went to jail for two nights. Kristen phoned her family and asked them why they had Naomi arrested, she was told that they did not care about Naomi, but she must return home. When Naomi was released from jail she went straight to check on Kristen. Naomi never got angry or uttered a bad word against the actions of Kristen’s family. Kristen testified that in all the years since her marriage to Steven, his family has never spoken one bad thing against her family. She has been completely accepted by the family.
“I am far from my home and far from my family. But I don’t feel I'm among strangers. ”
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Sojourning in Africa,