Don’t Be Afraid of Us

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Elias was an East African missionary living in the crowded Somali refugee quarter of a large city in the Horn of Africa. As Elias prepared his dinner alone, after a long day of ministering to refugees, he was startled at the knock on his door by a 65-year-old Somali sheikh named Abdul-Ahad. The sheikh had come from the war-torn city of Mogadishu, Somalia. Elias was nervous, wondering if this would be the night that Al-Shabaab (Somali militants) chose to extract their revenge on yet another Christian.

When Elias opened his door, the sheikh abruptly demanded, “Yes or No. Jesus’ blood paid for the sins of everyone in the world?”

Elias replied, “Yes.”

The sheikh responded adamantly, “You’re lying!” Then he hesitated before saying, “The blood of Jesus cannot forgive my sins.”

He told Elias of the violence he had committed in Mogadishu. The old sheikh began to tremble and weep. “I need relief from that,” he said.

Elias told him, “If you and I agree tonight, then God will forgive you.”

The old sheikh prayed with Elias, and Abdul-Ahad was saved that night.

Before he left, Abdul-Ahad turned to Elias, grasped his arm, and said to him, “When you look at me on the street, you see my Muslim hat and beard, and you are afraid of me. And, to tell you the truth, that is why we dress this way, to make you afraid of us. But you need to know—you need to know that inside we are empty. Don’t be afraid of us. We need the gospel.

— David Garrison, A Wind in the House of Islam: How God Is Drawing Muslims Around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ, KL 1165-1174.

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