“If you continue to follow these Christian courses, you will be thrown out! You are only a traitor and an infidel and …” (another word was used, which I prefer not to repeat).
For some time my family members knew that I was studying a correspondence course about Jesus Christ. Unpleasant remarks rained down on me. How did I, a person who grew up in a Muslim environment, come to be interested in the teaching of Jesus?
How did my interest begin?
Everything began the day when I was visiting a scout meeting and found my leader reading some literature entitled. “One God—One Way”. I was intruiged. Curious about the topic, I approached him to take a look at the leaflet. I liked it, but at the time I let it go. It was a week later that I realized that had spoken to me through this material. It was a lesson from a Bible course, offered freely by a Christian group. I wrote off and received lessons. With the help of this correspondence course, I began to seek the peace of God, which my religion had not brought me.
That’s the reason why I was having problems at home. It didn’t discourage me too much. I did not see why a Moroccan should not have the right to study the Bible, or even to become a Christian. Why should it be necessary to belong to another race or country to be a Christian? Were there not many Christians in the Middle East? However, I confess that at that time I considered going to Europe to be able to follow my beliefs freely.
In October 1970 a Christian brother offered me his help in my search for truth. For a few months everything worked well, I was careful and diligent in the study of the Bible and in attending fellowship meetings where I could learn more about Christ, but afterwards I let myself be drawn away by the attractions of the world. I forgot God, my school, and my young Christian friend.
However, in September 1972, I had a curious experience. I had a dream in which it seemed that God was showing me that my life was full of darkness, that I was blind, that I was losing my soul. When I woke up I realized the seriousness of my sin against God. I knelt down and asked God for His forgiveness. The next Sunday I attended a Christian worship. In his message, the preacher recalled these words of Jesus:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (The Gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verses 28-30).
God was speaking to me personally through this verse. I knew that He wanted to give me the peace of heart and the assurance of forgiveness of all my sins. That day I gave up my life to the Lord Jesus and decided to follow him, whatever trouble it would bring me.
In my heart I received not only peace and rest, but also a new confidence to speak of my Savior, Jesus, to my family, at work and even in the street. It was not always easy to do that, especially when my employer threatened to report me to the police, saying I was mad. But God had His hand on me, and protected me. After 1973 I had no difficulty at home, despite the fact that I regularly met with other Christians to worship the Lord and to pray. I saw that I should not let myself be controlled and held back by fear, because God was my refuge. He also guided me so that I knew I should not go to Europe, but serve Him in my own country.
In 1975 I testified before everyone that Jesus Christ had raised me from my sin to a new life. I was baptised as the Bible describes it by being immersed in water, and then coming out again. This signifies that the Christian is united to the Lord Jesus in his death and resurrection.
I would like to say to everyone who reads this: entrust yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to the men and women of the whole world and who alone can free you from the burden of your sins and give you the Peace and true rest.