Ayyad Meets Jesus
Ayyad was the leader of a terrorist cell in an east African country. He had directed many brutal operations against people suspected of being foreigners or traitors to Islam. He believed, as many do, that performing an act of jihad (a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam) such as committing suicide while killing others will allow one to earn instant entrance into eternal paradise with 1000 virgins. He believed he was doing Allah's (God’s) bidding. Now he is a secret believer who works to redeem youth who have been radicalized. He has renounced his violence and stands for peace. His is a “Saul to Paul” story. This is how it goes…
One day, Ayyad oversaw the killing of several expatriate relief workers. As they were being shot, one of them raised a Bible in his hand and said, "Forgive them Father, for they don't know what they are doing." In anger at why anyone would call Allah, Father (as if there was a Mother somewhere), he shot the man twice in the chest and in the head. The relief worker died instantly. The killers ransacked the corpses for money, passports, cameras, and any valuables. Ayyad took home the Bible. That night, he couldn't sleep. He kept hearing the cry of the man with the upraised arm saying, "Father forgive them..." He tossed and turned the whole night. Then he saw a bright light. A tall man dressed in a long flowing Arab robe and headdress appeared. He was shining so bright that Ayyad fell down prostrate. The following are Ayyad’s own words of what transpired...
The tall man lifted me up. In a clear, gentle voice, He told me, "Ayyad, I have a mission for you. Your hands are bloody from many lives lost at your hands. Now many lives will find Me through you."
“Who are you?” I asked, even as I could not dare to look on his face. He was so bright. I felt so sinful.
In a gentle voice, He answered, "Look at my hands." I did. I saw scars. "What are these Maalim (Teacher)?" I asked.
Taking the Bible by my bedside which I had taken from the man whom I killed, He turned to Zechariah 13:6. He began to read, "And one shall say to him, what are these wounds in your hands? Then he shall answer, those which I was wounded in the house of my friends." I was still confused. "But good Sheikh Rasul (a messenger such as a prophet in Islam), I don't understand. I am but a child. Teach me," I cried.
He then proceeded to open John 19 and read. When He came to verse 18 where it says “...crucified them… with Jesus in the middle” It suddenly dawned on me who this was. “You are Isa (Jesus), the prophet who is to return as Masih (Messiah) in the last days."
He then proceeded to teach me about the Bible and urged me to teach others. He told me to go to Samir (a secret believer and Gospel Outreach worker) to learn more about Him. I did. Twenty-eight months later, here I am going for water baptism the same way Isa (Jesus) did. It is the greatest day of my life. I will die for Him who died for me. The rest of my 17 compatriots being baptized today believe like I do. We must cause a revolution of ideas in this country. Wage a spiritual jihad. Isa is coming soon. We need to prepare our people to meet Him.
Join us in reaching Louisville, Kentucky at ASI’s 2019 International Convention! Soles for Souls is a project designed to reach the hearts, minds and SOULS of people in Louisville!
How can you become involved? It's easy.
1. Bring a pair of shoes or socks to ASI's 2019 International Convention in Louisville, Kentucky!
2. Drop off the shoes/socks at the registration desk in the Convention Center.
3. Smile because you made a difference.
The collected socks and shoes will be distributed to people in need. Together, we will spread the kindness and love of Jesus throughout the streets of Louisville!
Health and Healing with NEWSTART
by Janice Stevenson
My name is Janice Stevenson and I attended Weimar’s NEWSTART Lifestyle Program August 5-23 and September 2-20 of 2018.
I came to the NEWSTART Program at Weimar, desperate to restore my health in natural ways. I was a cancer patient, had uncontrolled diabetes with a high A1C, elevated liver enzymes, high blood pressure and I was struggling with some of the aftereffects of chemo and radiation. I had terrible bone pain that kept me awake many nights. My lack of sleep lead to extreme exhaustion and many times caused my eyes to turn dark red.
From my very first contact with Ron Giannoni from the NEWSTART Program, I knew that God was guiding. I found out about the August 5th program on August 3, but I have learned that when God says “Go,” nothing else matters.
My decision to attend the NEWSTART Program was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. I know that God was leading because in a matter of two days, He orchestrated everything and made it possible for me to attend.
I benefited from each aspect of the program in remarkable ways. I received spiritual counseling, exercise training, nutrition counseling, cooking classes and hydrotherapy. I received massage treatments which eased my bone pain, relaxed my muscles and killed cancer cells.
Not only did I receive physical healing at NEWSTART, but spiritual and emotional healing as well. All the staff were so supportive and compassionate. I felt the presence of God everywhere I went.
I attended both sessions because I was serious about improving my health. At the end of the August session, I saw marked improvement, but I was impressed that God wasn’t through with me yet, so I stayed for the September session as well. What a wonderful change has been wrought in my life!
I am a completely different person now and I thank everyone at Weimar for the part they played in cooperating with God so that His child could be well.
I went to NEWSTART a sick, broken person, but I left 3 sizes smaller and without all the medicine I had come with. I continue my new lifestyle by observing all the tenements of the program and I am becoming an excellent vegan cook! I now conduct vegan cooking classes in my hometown and I share God’s Word with those I meet and let them know there is a better way to live!
As of November 2, 2018, my local doctor has pronounced me CANCER FREE and by God’s grace and help, I intend to stay that way!
The Church Next Door
by Christopher Beason, Mission SONLight
Esmiarito and Dalkis heard about the meetings at the church next door. They wondered if the noise would bother them at night. The little house church at Cifuentes, a small town in the north central region of Cuba, seemed to come alive on Saturday mornings when the Adventists arrived for worship. But now they were going to have meetings every night for over a week. Esmiarito and Dalkis decided to keep to themselves and stay indoors.
The first night they could hear the music. The church was too small for the crowd of visitors so the meetings were held on wooden benches in the backyard of the church. The singing was just a few feet from their little block home with jalousie windows. It almost felt as though they were part of the program. But it was ok, no one could see them or know they were listening in.
Soon, they could hear Henry and Arlene Stubbs speaking. They would rotate the preaching responsibilities with giving the health talks before the sermon. Henry and Arlene are adept speakers, having worked in Cuba for 20 years as the directors of World Youth Group, an ASI affiliate. As the Stubbs laid out the case for living a life in Christ, Esmiarito and Dalkis became more interested.
They quickly found little projects outside their home to work on so they could casually keep an eye on the happenings next door. One evening, Esmiarito cleaned the same window three times while she listened to Arlene preach. Listening night after night, their interest grew and with little more than a barbed wire fence between them and the church yard, they started standing at the back of the meetings. Then they asked if they could come over and join those attending.
During an appeal towards the end of the series, the neighbor couple came forward and said, “We want to be baptized.” Henry said, “Let’s study and then in a few weeks when you’ve understood, you can be baptized.” “No, we want to be baptized this Sabbath. We understand.” “Well, where have you been?” “Oh we live next door, we’ve listened every night. We believe and we don’t want to be missed.”
They quickly found the hope they had been missing in their home. Their new Adventist family shared with them lessons from Scripture and better ways of living. Now they are baptized members of the Cifuentes Seventh-day Adventist Church, sharing their newfound hope with their neighbors and in turn, growing the church exponentially.
And that noise from the church next door? It’s always welcome as Esmiarito and Dalkis join the sound of praise with their new church family week after week.
*You can see the story of Esmiarito and Dalkis and other mission stories like theirs every week on Mission SONlight. Learn more at: www.missionsonlight.org.