Algeria: Chaima and Ali
Chaima had never met a Christian. Most of the people where she lived in Algeria followed Islam, the religion of Muslims. So how did Chaima decide to follow Jesus if she didn’t know any Christians and had never been to church? She listened to Christian radio stations and wrote down the Bible verses she heard on the program.
One day, Chaima met a young man at a bus stop. The young man, Ali, was attracted to her. “May I talk to you?” Ali asked her. Chaima knew it could be dangerous to be a Christian in her country. But she answered Ali, “No. Don’t talk to me. I am a Christian.”
Still hoping to find favor with her, Ali said to Chaima, “My brother is a Christian.”
“Really?” Chaima asked.
But there were many things he DIDN’T tell Chaima. For one thing, Ali was a strict Muslim and he had been trained to fight alongside radical Islamists. He had forbidden his own mother and sisters to watch TV because he wanted them to be stricter Muslims. As for his Christian brother, Ali thought he deserved to be dead because he had left Islam to follow Christ.
The Bible and a Dream
But Chaima didn’t know any of that. She asked Ali if he could please get a Bible from his brother for her. Ali was eager to please Chaima, so he did get a Bible for her. But before he gave it to her, he read it to see what it said. He began to compare its teachings with the words of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. (Read about the differences between the Bible and the Quran here, here, and here.
Then one night he had a dream that Jesus spoke to him and said, “Come to me all who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” (See Matthew 11:28.) Ali woke up. He felt as if a load had been lifted from his shoulders. “Lord, forgive me,” he prayed. “You are Christ, You are God, and I believe.”
Chaima and Ali Today
Chaima and Ali are now married. They work as a team among Muslims, and they have led many people to Christ. They meet with other Christians secretly in homes, cafes, and parks, because police officers are watching them.
Ali is not worried. “When I die, I know where I am going,” he told a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs. Ali and Chaima teach new believers to expect persecution. But they encourage them to trust that Jesus will always be with them.
(Source: The March 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter)