Palestinian Muslims Coming to Christ, Story #10

This excerpt from my dissertation is the conversion-story summary of Respondent Ten, a male from East Jerusalem. Feel free to interact in the comments or download my dissertation as a free PDF!

The following is ©2014 University of Pretoria and Craig Dunning, and if used elsewhere, should be cited as:

Dunning, CA (2014) Palestinian Muslims converting to Christianity: effective evangelistic methods in the West Bank. Pretoria, South Africa: University of Pretoria, PhD thesis, pp. 335-337.

Respondent Ten was raised in a moderately religious home that self-identified as Muslim, but did not live “like good Muslims.” However, the respondent was “always uncomfortable with Islam.” He said, “I always wanted to pray, but not in the Muslim way.” Though he was not a very observant Muslim, he knew enough about Islam to have certain objections. Specifically, he was troubled by what he thought was the cruelty of Sharia. He also was quite perplexed why millions of people would venerate at the Kaaba in Mecca, which he said, “is just a stone.” Any time he tried to raise these objections to his parents, he was told, “Don’t ask questions!” This type of response to his questions only served to push him further from Islam.

In 2006 the respondent’s journey toward Christianity began with a dream. In his dream, the respondent was walking near the Flower Gate in Jerusalem where a man dressed in white approached him. Immediately he recognized the man as Jesus, who said, “[respondent’s name], I want you to come with me.” According to the respondent, Jesus took him by the hand and traveling through the lower realms of the city, they arrived at the city wall. Then, Jesus reached through the wall and brought out a Bible and said “read this!”

The respondent awoke from his dream confused, but with a good feeling about what had happened. However, he did not tell anyone about the dream, neither did he begin reading the Bible.

After about two years, the respondent had his second dream, which was the first in a series of three. About one month later, he had the same dream in which he was sitting inside a church reading the Bible. In conjunction with these dreams he met a few evangelical, Arab Christians who were very friendly toward him. After the third dream in this series, which occurred about one month after the second, he asked to meet with the Arab Christians he had recently met. During their conversation, the respondent mentioned his dreams and that he thought it was odd for a Muslim to have a dream about Jesus. He was surprised when one of the Christians said, “You’re not the first Muslim to have a dream and you will not be the last.” He was also surprised when the man told him that “Muslims are getting a message” because he had not heard of others having dreams like he had. This prompted him to ask for a Bible, which he received the next day. He immediately began reading the New Testament secretly, and in three months, he had read it five times.

As a result of repeatedly reading the New Testament, he described himself as falling in love with Jesus. He said, “I loved what He taught. I loved Him. And I wanted to know more about Him, so I asked if I could attend a [Christian] meeting.” A few days later, the respondent went to a Christian concert, which was followed by a meeting. During the concert, one particular song repeated the words “God is with you” several times, which the respondent understood to be a message similar to the dreams he had experienced three to five months prior.

After the concert, he attempted to hide in the meeting by blending in and not speaking to anyone. However, many people greeted him warmly, which surprised him because he hadn’t expected that. In describing the meeting, he said, “I was touched by the message, and at some point I realized it was okay to relax and even thought it would be nice to return again.” Between meetings, he continued to secretly read his Bible at home, which he thought gave him more confidence because the next week he made no effort to hide and sat in the front.

For the next two months he continued to interact with these Christians, regularly asking them to explain more and to convince him. Some of the Christians stayed late to speak with him. One even used the Qur’an to suggest that reading the Bible is okay. He described his questions as “typical Muslim questions about the person of Jesus”: “How can you call Prophet Jesus God? How can Jesus be God’s son? How can you say God’s Prophet, God himself was killed on a cross? “

After two months the men who had been so patient with his questions finally said, “There’s nothing more we can do or say to prove to you that Jesus is Lord. You need to pray and ask God to show you.” This bold approach calmed the respondent, and after returning home, he began to pray as they had suggested.

One week later, he experienced his final dream. In that dream, Jesus appeared and said, “I want you to help spread my word.” The respondent understood this dream as the confirmation he was seeking and responded audibly in his dream, “I believe now. Jesus is Lord!”

The respondent said he did not pray a prayer of salvation, “I just believed Jesus is Lord and began calling myself a Christian.” In response to a follow up question, the respondent said that when he says, “Jesus is Lord,” he means that he believes “Jesus is God and that he died on the cross to pay for my sins.”

When asked what he thought were the essential things that brought him to faith, Respondent Ten said, “dreams and having someone to encourage me to consider Jesus.”

Themes that emerged in this interview: Personal Bible reading, being “drawn/compelled,” Q and A, doubts about Islam/Qur’an, the kindness of Christians, prayer, dreams, retreats/conferences/special events, meeting Christians/MBBs, the “prayer of salvation,” the Qur’an as a bridge, and common objections to the gospel.

NEXT: Palestinian Muslims Coming to Christ: Story #11

Download my dissertation as a free PDF!

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