He used to join the angry crowds at the Gaza border with Israel, protesting and demanding Israel be returned to Palestine. A logo on his clothing declared “For sure we will return”. But Omar (not his real name) now spends his time reading the Bible and petitioning the God of Israel with prayers for his family!
Omar is in his twenties, but just over a year old in faith. He had been watching our evangelistic videos in Arabic from Gaza and eventually got in touch with us. He had a lot of questions. Like many Muslims, his big stumbling blocks were whether Jesus really was the Son of God and whether he actually died on cross. Omar had watched a lot of our videos and was particularly impacted by the series about how the Bible has not been corrupted, but has been preserved accurately and faithfully.
After a while he and Carlos spoke on the phone, and Carlos shared the gospel with him, explaining how the words of the prophets have been fulfilled in Jesus. Their conversations became regular, a friendship was formed, and it was during one of these conversations he received Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
Omar had a great hunger to read the Bible, and it’s pretty much impossible to get hold of a copy in Gaza, so we were able to send him one through someone who was visiting. Due to his intense desire for the word of God, Omar took just about a month and a half to read all the way from Genesis to Revelation! He read it night and day and was completely absorbed in his new faith.
One day he fell asleep and when he woke up family were around his bed, They seemed agitated and started to question him:
“What’s this you’re saying Jesus is Lord?”
“Me? I never said a word!”
“But we heard you speaking and praying that no one would take and burn your Bible and that Jesus wouldn’t leave you!”
“How did you get to this point and what on earth has happened to you?”
He had evidently been caught talking in his sleep. His whole being was so full of intense passion for Jesus that it was overflowing even as he slept. The houses are small and privacy is hard to come by in Gaza. His secret was out.
He told Carlos: “I’m frightened of my family because of what they heard when I was asleep… and of what might happen if I fall asleep again!”
For five nights he leant against a wall instead of going to bed so that every time he fell asleep he would wake himself up. He was so deeply into his faith that it would inevitably rise to the surface as he dreamed—he read and prayed so much it just came out in his sleep. In fear of his life, Omar managed to escape from Gaza. He is currently in another country where he can practice his new faith more freely, and we have connected him with a church there who are taking care of him. But he still keeps in touch with his Israeli friend Carlos. His new faith softened his heart and the fury that used to eat him up has become a God-given love, overflowing from his heart.