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Stories at Lake

Let a story of faith, healing, hope and courage inspires each and everyone of us to understand God's mercy and His purpose for us.

 

I grew up in a country in the Middle East where the Muslim faith influenced and dominated every aspect of my life. My family was also Muslim, but at the same time was not fully committed to the beliefs and lifestyle required of the faithful. We did the prayers and did, on occasion, attend services at the local mosque, but with a low level of personal conviction and commitment. We always lived in fear that we weren’t doing the right things, or enough of the many expectations required of the faithful to please Allah.

As I grew up, there was a desire to find out more about a God, who was loving and kind, who really cared about me and would guide and protect me. As a teenager, I heard from friends, that there were TV programs taught by Christians, who talked about a God of love and mercy. I took a risk and began watching these programs and learned many things about God, Jesus Christ, the Bible and how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Every time I watched, a sense of peace and a calm came over me that I couldn’t explain. And, the more I watched and heard, the more I felt drawn to the Christian faith and wanting to know more about finding a relationship with Jesus.

There was a turning point experience in my life as a teenager that changed everything for me. I had a dog, who was my constant companion and meant a great deal to me. She got very sick and the veterinarian told me that she would soon die with or without surgery. As she was already nine years old, they gave her a 1% chance of surviving the procedure. I wanted God to help me. One night, I had a dream that I was actually flying in the air with my dog and the dog was perched on a big, wooden cross on my shoulder. A strange dream for sure! I woke up and had no idea of where the dream came from, or what it meant. But, I did know that it had something to do with Jesus, who died on a cross for mankind. I decided to have the veterinarian do the operation on my dog and miraculously, she survived and was completely restored to full health again! After that, my dog lived another seven years. I knew that God had answered my prayer for her. I saw it as a miracle!

Soon after that, I had an opportunity to visit the USA and spend time in New York City. One day, I was standing in front of a beautiful white church in Manhattan. All of a sudden, I had a very strong sense of God’s presence right there with me and I began to sob and could not stop.

I knew then that there was a God, that He was real and I wanted to get to know him.

Another event in my life after that sealed my desire to find a relationship with God. It had to do with my grandmother, who was very ill at the time. I prayed a prayer to Jesus and said to him, “If you are there and really love me please heal my grandmother and bring her home from the hospital.” He did heal her and she returned home soon after that prayer. After that, I began to believe in this Jesus and started reading the Bible to discover more about who he was and what he had done for me. I had one more dream, that really confirmed that I had found in Jesus what I had been looking for all along: he appeared to me in a dream in a room full of almost blinding light. He came to me and placed a beautiful cross into my hands and smiled at me with kindness and love that I had never experienced before.

Later, I decided to move to the USA and ended up in Southern California. A friend of mine from home was already there and helped me find a place to live. As it turned out, she had already become a Christian and was attending a church in Pasadena, LAC, and invited me to attend. So, one Sunday morning, I attended a worship service and was absolutely amazed at what I heard and experienced. I met some wonderful Christians and they helped me to understand more fully what it meant to be a Christian and experience a personal relationship with Jesus. I started reading my Bible as much as possible and began growing in my faith and trust in the Lord. A short time after I started attending Lake on Sundays, I realized that I needed to be baptized and publicly profess my faith in Christ. However, I had a problem. It would have been too dangerous for me and for my family back home to publicly profess that I was no longer a Muslim, but now belonged to Jesus Christ. So, I made arrangements with a family in the church, to be baptized in their backyard pool. My mother and a close friend attended this service, which had a powerful impact on all of us. Now, my family is also very openly interested in the Christian faith and it is my prayer that they will also soon embrace Jesus as their Savior.

I love Jesus and thank him daily for saving me from my sin, choosing me as his child and giving me eternal life.

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