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Ali’s Story

Ali’s Story

Life was tough for Ali even as a Muslim in Syria but when he was forced to flee seven years ago, he found Christ.

Ali was living in a town in Syria where known terrorists with links to Islamic State were also residing; in fact, he had even rejected their invitation to join them.

One day, a bomb went off in his town, injuring him and many others.

When he was in hospital recovering from his injuries, the government, who were investigating the bombing, considered everyone in the town a terrorist – even those who were innocent.

When he was released from the hospital, Ali was immediately arrested by the secret police and sent to jail.
Jail in Syria was a horrific experience for Ali.

“I was beaten every single day and subjected to all kinds of torture just to get me to confess that I was a terrorist. I was tied up, given electric shocks and hung upside down daily,” he recalls.

Every day he expected to die, as many people were killed.

By chance, another man with the same name was imprisoned. This man happened to be the son of an army general and was to be released. Due to an error, officials mistakenly released Ali instead and after 14 months in jail, he was freed.

Islamic State found out that Ali had been released and were plotting to kill him. “No one was released from jail unless they worked for the secret police and, also because I rejected them, they were after me.”

The prison authorities soon discovered their error, but Ali acted quickly and fled the country. He first flew to Lebanon with his mother and sister before moving to Jordan to live.

After living in Jordan for a few years, Ali married, and his wife soon became pregnant but tragically she died in childbirth. Ali was left a widower with a newborn son.

At this time Ali was still a devout Muslim, reciting the Koran daily. One day, he noticed something new – that the Koran mentioned the prophet named Jesus more than it mentioned Mohammed.

“I noticed that this character was different, he wasn’t just a normal prophet, he acted different and spoke of bringing peace,” Ali says.

He met with a known Christian pastor, who had been helping him, and asked him for a Bible.

“I wanted to know about Christians,” he says. “In Islam and in mosques they talk about Christians as if they are bad people. But when I came to Jordan these bad people were the only ones to help me, the only ones to feed me, the only ones who encouraged me. These ‘bad people’ were actually good people.”

Ali began to read the Bible and gave his life to Jesus. He soon joined the church and began ministry.
Sadly, his difficulties didn’t end there.

The Muslim company that he worked for discovered he had converted to Christianity and made his life difficult before framing him for stealing money and firing him. They also told other companies not to hire him.

Ali hasn’t had permanent work for six months and he still suffers the physical effects from his time in prison, but cannot afford adequate medical care. He is serving the Lord, ministering to Muslims through the Koran and the Bible.

The local pastor who led Ali to the Lord continues to help him and says he would love to see Ali in full-time ministry. He believes he has a gift to help other Muslims find Christ.

VOM will continue to help refugees in Jordan.

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SYRIA: High Cost of Maintaining the Christian Presence

SYRIA: High Cost of Maintaining the Christian Presence

On 11 November at least two bombs were detonated in Qamishli; one outside a church. At least six civilians were killed and more than 20 wounded. Rev Hovsep Bedoyan (43), an Armenian Catholic priest in Qamishli, was driving his father and two church members to Deir ez-Zor where he was overseeing the reconstruction of a church built by survivors of the Armenian Genocide but destroyed by IS in 2014. Hovsep and his father were killed when their vehicle was ambushed by armed militants. Nobody doubts Rev Hovsep Bedoyan was assassinated for his efforts to re-establish the Christian presence in Deir ez-Zor.

Contrary to its deal with Russia, Turkey and its jihadist proxies continue to press towards the Assyrian town of Tel Tamer. Exploiting insecurity, Islamic State is re-asserting itself.

Source: Christian Faith and Freedom

  • Pray God will intervene to protect, preserve, rescue and sustain His people in north-east Syria.
  • Pray the plans of those who are bent on evil will be frustrated. Pray those intent on doing good will experience the wisdom, provision and blessing of God.
  • Ask God to bring an end to the violence and unrest in Syria.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

SYRIA: Bomb Attack on Qamishli Church

SYRIA: Bomb Attack on Qamishli Church

On Thursday 11 July, the Syriac Orthodox church of the Virgin Mary in Qamishli, North-east Syria, was targeted in a car bomb attack. Although there were no known fatalities, state media reported that 11 civilians were injured and that the church and nearby properties sustained material damage.

The attack on the church, which is in the predominantly Christian district of al-Wusta, took place at 6pm, shortly before the end of the daily 5.30pm prayer service. Residents note that there would have been far more casualties had the attack been carried out minutes later and suggest that this may have been the intention of the perpetrators. The identity of the perpetrators has not yet been confirmed, although there is speculation that Daesh (Islamic State) were behind the attack.

Source: Middle East Concern

  • Pray for the wounded and the traumatised, that they will know the Lord’s presence and healing.
  • Pray the Christian community will not be intimidated by this attack but will be agents of reconciliation, healing, peace and hope.
  • Uphold all those in Syria who are intent on violence. Pray they will know the Spirit’s conviction of sin and respond to the Father’s offer of salvation.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

Suicide Bomb Attack Changes Delfiana’s Life

Suicide Bomb Attack Changes Delfiana’s Life

Delfiana wasn’t interested in church and would often complain about going, that is until she was the victim of a suicide bombing attack outside her church building.

On 25 September 2011, when Delfiana was just 18 years old she walked outside of her church and was immediately struck down when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb injuring many people. She recalls: “All of a sudden, I lost my balance and my body was struck down. There was no warning; I didn’t even hear anything. It felt like a dream as shock and confusion flooded over me. Then I touched my head and realised my hand was full of blood”.

After arriving at the hospital and not realising how badly injured she was, the doctors soon discovered shrapnel was imbedded in Delfiana’s skull and she would need immediate surgery.

After surgery, the doctors said she would be in intensive care for about two weeks but it was only two days and after just a week, she was sent home. It was a miracle.

“I thank the Lord that I have been completely renewed by God’s grace. I am immersing myself into all the ministries at the church, which is such a contrast to what I was like before. I long to serve Jesus and I thank Him for His redeeming love that He shone on my life”, she said in 2014.

Delfiana is now 25 years old and has been working as an accountant for three years in Central Java. She still attends church and is actively involved in the music team as a vocalist.

Delfiana says she’s ready for a new challenge and wants to minister outside of her city.

We originally told Delfiana’s story in November 2014; this is the most recent update.

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Nine-year-old Clarissa Survives Church Blast

Nine-year-old Clarissa Survives Church Blast

Nine-year-old Clarissa Angeline was at church one day in Indonesia when an explosion took place in their church building injuring her and severely injuring her mother who spent three months recovering in hospital.

On Sunday 13 May, Clarissa and her mother left for their church service at 6am as they do every week. During the service, Clarissa went upstairs to the children’s ministry to visit a friend and at that moment, a bomb exploded in the building.

“The sound was so great, like a balloon blew up and I suddenly felt dizzy. I prayed that God would protect my mum and me during the explosion”.

Clarissa was hospitalised for just a day while her mother spent three months there recovering from severe burns covering her entire body. She is now home and on the road to recovery but now fears returning to church in case there is a retaliation attack.

Clarissa says she knows God is still good even though this happened to her and her mother.

“Jesus has died for me and it is enough because I still love Him and I’m not angry at Him”.

Clarissa’s dream is to one day become a surgeon so she can help many people.

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