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The old man looked at me with tears in his eyes. "I don't know what to do with my sons," he said. He is the iman, the leader of the local mosque, and his sons have become an embarrassment to the whole community. "The oldest one is unemployed, and won't try to find a job; the younger two- well, you know what has happened to them." They were recently arrested for breaking into cars; the elder of these two had been expelled from school for punching a teacher. "What can I do with them?" he asked me.
I have the answer to your problem," I answered gently. "You see, when I was a young man about your sons' age, I was like them. I drank too much alcohol, I was too much concerned about women, and I was failing in my university studies."
"What?" he exclaimed in amazement. "You were like that? I don't believe it! What happened?"
"Jesus Christ changed my life. He gave me a new heart and a new nature. He can do that for your sons too. If you like, I can pray now in Jesus' name and ask him to help your sons. " He seemed surprised that we could do this in his living room but he agreed to it. We prayed in Islamic style, kneeling on the floor with our hands lifted up to heaven. I asked God to change his sons and to bless his family. I prayed in the name of Isa Almasiih, the Muslim name of Jesus Christ. He was grateful for this prayer, and expressed his thanks.
It is a constant source of amazement to me that events such as the above can and do occur. The Christian mission to Islam has not always been characterized by the present climate of openness and opportunity. We find ourselves at a strange point in history, and in order to understand the present we must have some knowledge of the past.
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