Achmed is from a devout Muslim family in North Africa. Observing Ramadan, praying five times a day, etc. were some of the outward signs of just how anchored their identity was in Islam. One day, a western couple moved into town- Drew and his wife. Though they were believers in Jesus, the couple never actually spoke openly about their faith. Instead they simply exercised love, grace, justice and a total lack of corruption. It’s not normal to be like that! Achmed wondered what could be going on with these people.
One day, around 5 a.m. just before the call to prayer, Achmed had a dream. According to Muslim tradition, any dreams regarding God that take place before the first call to prayer are from God and any dreams after the call are from the devil. Achmed recalls the dream vividly. “In my dream, Drew came up to me, took the Bible and held it close to my chest, next to my heart. I sensed it purifying my heart.” The next time he saw Drew in person, he asked questions about his faith and obtained a real Bible.
God deeply touched Achmed’s heart, and he later became a follower of Christ. For six months, he kept his newfound faith a secret. One day, however, Achmed’s family discovered the truth. At around 9 p.m. on that day, Achmed was disowned by his family and cast out of his home with nowhere to go. But God stepped in to care for his needs, providing food and shelter. Achmed later met and married a believing woman from the same country. They have grown into a godly family, raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. However, Achmed still feels the pain of separation from his family of birth whose strong Muslim convictions have produced a lasting rejection of Achmed and his new faith. To this day, there is no relationship between Achmed and his parents or anyone else in his family. He would like his children to know the love of grandparents, but the rift has stripped them of this bond.
Father, we pray for Your joy and peace to fill Achmed until that time when you bring reconciliation with his parents. We pray for Achmed and his wife and children as they struggle against injustice even in the community of believers there. Teach them to be content with Your presence in them, but also bring about reconciliation with their Christian neighbors, as well that Your church there might worship and serve You in unity. Thank You for the strength You have given them to endure, and we call on You to renew that strength daily, refreshing them in Your Word and filling them with Your grace. In the name of Jesus, who is always faithful, Amen.