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Heaven's Family Magazine
October 2011 Issue

A Savior Finds His Savior

The Persecuted Christians Fund at Work in Pakistan

Carole Collins, Persecuted Christians Ministry

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Aziz and Mohammad

“So you think you are so brave to kill Aziz because he has become a Christian? Then kill me, because I say that I am a Christian now, too!”

With those words, Mohammad, a Pakistani Muslim, divided the group of young Muslim fanatics. His ploy of making the group wonder if he was a Christian, too, sufficiently confused them to allow time for his friend, “Aziz the Blasphemer,” to shift to a safer location, saving his life.

It was 1984. After studying a borrowed Bible for ten years—while also studying to become a Muslim mullah—Aziz made a decision that he knew could cost him his life. Everyone had expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps as the next Muslim mullah in his family, serving at the mosque built by his great-great-grandfather in 1860. Instead, Aziz became a devoted follower of Jesus. From then on he became a marked man.

Mohammad was not able to save Aziz from every new peril that he faced as a Pakistani Christian convert from Islam. Through the years, Aziz endured ostracism, beatings, torture, abuse, and imprisonment, including solitary confinement. Once, when he was riding on his motorcycle, hate-filled Muslims intentionally collided with him in their car, knocking him down onto the street. With shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is greater”), they kicked and beat him, breaking his leg and knee before driving off. Aziz later met his assailants face-to-face, telling them he had forgiven them.

On another occasion, Muslim fanatics broke into Aziz’s house, and finding only his wife, warned her with threats to halt their evangelistic efforts. She responded, “We will continue to our last breath.” They struck her on the head, stole a computer and camera, and left. After that incident, by means of gifts to the Persecuted Christians Fund, Heaven’s Family helped Aziz and his family to relocate again to a more secure location.

In all of his trials, Aziz’s faith only grew stronger. He always prayed for his persecutors, and he maintained his friendship with the Muslim man who saved his life in 1984, Mohammad. Finally, after 25 years of persistent prayer, the man who once saved Aziz was saved through Aziz. Mohammad gave his life to Christ and was baptized on January 1st of this year.

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Mohammad with his mobile book store

Now Mohammad faces the same ostracism and hatred as Aziz, and Heaven’s Family has provided the means for his family’s relocation to a safer place. We also helped him purchase a motorcycle cart and inventory to start his own mobile book-selling business. He and Aziz are working together to reach Muslims and disciple new believers in their city. Thanks for helping these brave men and their families endure hardship and persecution for the sake of the gospel.

THE BIGGER PICTURE:

Aziz wrote to us, “Preaching the gospel is not a problem. The real problem is to settle new converts so that they don’t feel insecure or lonely as outsiders from the community.” Gifts to the Persecuted Christians Fund help persecuted new converts securely relocate and start self-sustaining businesses so they can stand strong and grow in their newfound faith.

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Strategic Stewardship

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Actually, “hotels” in rural Kenya are tiny restaurants. The food at the Upendo Hotel was reported to be pretty good, but I didn’t have the stomach or the faith to give it a try. — David