Walid grew up in a Muslim family in Egypt. He and his 31 brothers and sisters were taught to hate Christians by their father, who had five wives. (Islam, the religion of Muslims, teaches that men can be married to several woman at the same time. Learn more here.)
As a young man, Walid worked on a house-painting crew. One of his co-workers, Haytham, sang Christian songs while listening to music through his earbuds. Walid hated Haytham and his singing. So one night after work, he stabbed Haytham with a knife.
In the Hospital
Haytham had to go to the hospital for surgery. Walid quit work and hid in his aunt’s house, hoping the police wouldn’t find him. When he finally left the house to look for a new job, a taxi hit him and crushed one of his legs and an arm. He, too, had to go to the hospital for treatment.
Haytham, who was no longer a patient at the hospital, came to visit Walid one morning in Walid’s hospital room. Haytham brought some of his Christian friends with him. When Walid saw the Christians, he screamed. He thought they had come to kill him. But Haytham gave Walid some gifts and then left the room.
Haytham continued to help Walid as he recovered. Walid returned to work on Haytham’s painting crew. He no longer hated Haytham, and he felt guilty for attacking him. But he still didn’t understand Haytham’s faith in Jesus.
A New Life and Christian Friends
While Walid tried to deal with his confusion about Christianity, he had a dream and a vision of Jesus that brought him peace and comfort. “I felt like I was a changed person,” he said. He gave his life to Christ and began going to church.
But his troubles were not over. Some of his brothers beat him up when they found out he had decided to follow Christ. They continued to abuse and threaten him.
Today Walid lives with a church member in Cairo, hiding from his family. He is grateful that he has Christian friends in his life who care for him, including Haytham, the man he used to hate.
(In the photo above, Walid’s face is covered to protect his identity from those who might want to harm him.)
(Source: March 2018 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine)
To Think About
*Why do you think Haytham brought gifts to Walid in the hospital?
*Walid had to go into hiding twice in the story. In each instance, why was he hiding?
*List three things you can pray about for Walid, and then pray for him.